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Wedding Cake Traditions Influence Today’s Receptions

Wedding cake with bride and groom at the top


In addition to the food and a DJ, what other wedding reception ideas do you have? A wedding cake is probably one of your necessities. The cake has been a tradition for centuries and continues to be an essential part of wedding receptions today.

Cake Ensures Good Fortune and Prosperity

Since ancient times, wedding cake has ensured the couple enjoys good fortune and prosperity. Romans guaranteed these two traits when they broke unsweetened barley bread over the bride’s head. Medieval English couples gained the same well wishes when they kissed over a high stack of cakes known today as a croquembouche.

Bride Cakes Paved the Way for Modern Cakes

Eventually, couples began serving cake to each other and to guests. The first bride cakes included a ring in the couple’s portion and symbolized the bride’s acceptance of the marriage proposal. By the 1600s to 1800s, fruit or plum bride cakes promised prosperity and fertility, especially when the bride served a piece to each guest. These bride cakes also included a single glass ring, which signaled marriage for the lucky guest who found it.

The early 1800s saw an increase in white pound cakes and white icing, thanks to accessible refined sugar. Those cakes became a symbol for purity, a tradition that stands today. Meanwhile, dark and sweet groom cakes decreased in popularity as the bride cake became taller, heavier and more prominent.

Introduction of Tiered Cakes

Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, solidified the tiered cake as a wedding showpiece in 1882. Completely edible, his wedding cake featured hardened, dense icing between multiple cake layers. Layered cakes symbolized status and wealth and remain popular in modern wedding receptions.

Will you break a piece of cake over the bride’s head or choose from the ballrooms in Miami based on your cake design? Probably not, but you will choose a wedding cake that looks beautiful, tastes delicious and continues ancient traditions.