Wedding cakes have been an important part of marriage ceremonies in the western culture for hundreds of years. Wedding cakes are made with many tiers and covered with icing to match the color of the bride’s dress or the theme of the wedding. Couples even save the top tier of the cake in the freezer till their first anniversary and cut it then. All these celebratory traditions make you wonder where it all started from.
One historical representation of wedding cakes dates back to the Roman Empire when a bread-like cake was made for the marriage ceremony. During the ceremony the groom ate a piece of that cake and broke the rest of it on the top of the bride’s head to symbolize prosperity, fertility and health. The guests would catch the falling crumbs which were believed to be symbols of good luck. But as the cakes grew bigger in size this custom was no longer practiced.
Another tradition from medieval England is thought to be responsible for the discovery of the stacked wedding cakes like the ones we see today. Guests attending the wedding ceremonies used to bring cakes for the newly married couple. These cakes were then stacked on a table between the bride and the groom. The couple had to then try and steal a kiss over the pile of cakes, succeeding to do so was thought to bring good luck to them.
A tradition started in the 17th century of making a bride’s pie or cake is still followed today in some cultures. A ring was hidden in that pie or cake and the bride would cut it for the guests. The woman to find the ring in her piece was predicted to be the next one to get married.
To this day wedding cakes are symbolic for marriage ceremonies and the first thing that the couple shares after getting married.