Wedding planning is all about choices and decisions. Some decisions are easier than others, and those that are steeped in family and historical tradition can often be met with many opinions. In your quest to strike a balance between traditions and trends, consider embracing these time-honored wedding cake traditions.

We think these memorable moments are worth bringing back:

  1. Cut the Cake – The tradition of cutting the cake was first introduced as a symbol of unity and was often the first act a new couple did together. The cake cutting was traditionally done at the end of the night and signaled to guests that they could begin to leave. Today, weddings typically run late into the evening and while we don’t recommend waiting until the wee hours but we do suggest you take a moment to pose with your spouse beside a stunning cake to honor the special occasion. You’ll always enjoy looking back at this particular photo.
  2. Send a Slice Home – At one time, wedding cake wasn’t served as dessert at the wedding, instead it was packaged up and sent home with guests as their favor. In those days, single guests were encouraged to place the boxed cake under their pillow, an act that was said to bring sweet dreams of their future partner. This was also a time when wedding cakes were made from fruit cake which is much more conducive to withstanding a night under a pillow. Asking your guests to sleep with their cake might be a bit much but we wholeheartedly embrace the idea of edible favors. This sweet sentiment leaves your guests with something to remember your day but it’s not a keepsake that they need to find space for among their belongings.
  3. Save the Top Tier– When this tradition began, many couples celebrated their first child’s christening within a year of the wedding so a carefully packaged top tier preserved well and was a fitting cake for the ceremony. As couples began waiting longer to have children, the tradition changed to digging into the top tier to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. However you slice it, we think saving a little bite of this heavenly dessert will serve as a beautiful reminder of the love you shared on your wedding day.

Sweet Superstitions

In our wedding cake research, we came across a handful of superstitions related to cakes that we thought would be fun to share. These might be fun facts to build into a trivia game at a bridal shower!

  • Sharing the cake with family and friends increases fertility and prosperity.
  • The bride who bakes her own cake is asking for trouble.
  • A taste of the cake before the wedding means loss of the husband’s love (while a piece of cake kept after the big day ensures his fidelity).
  • The newlyweds must cut the first slice together. And every guest must eat a small piece to ensure that the happy couple are blessed with children.
  • At Queen Victoria’s wedding to Prince Albert in 1840, white icing was used to decorate her cake, and this icing has been known as “royal icing” ever since.
  • In medieval England, small spiced buns were stacked as high as possible. If the bride and groom were able to kiss over the tall stack, it indicated a lifetime of prosperity.

As you ponder your dream wedding cake, we hope you’ll take time to consider infusing some traditional elements as a meaningful way to honor the past while celebrating your future.

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