Wedding cakes are as varied and unique as the people who will enjoy them — some tall, some short, some square, some round, some stacked, some flat, many different colors . . . you get the picture. Some are meant to be eaten . . . and , in fact, others are meant to be just looked at!
But all wedding cakes found around the world have one thing in common — being an integral part of a wedding celebration. A traditional wedding element that is even present in non-traditional weddings. The wedding cake has come to be symbolic of a joyful event shared by friends, family, and loved ones.
In addition to providing a tasty treat for wedding guests, the wedding cake is often times the centerpiece of the wedding’s motif or decor. The type of cake chosen usually reflects the theme, personality, and ambience of the wedding reception ( and sometimes the budget as well).
In recent times past, the wedding cake was considered to be a status symbol . . . a luxury item representing a couple’s celebratory and social status. In other words, the larger the cake– the higher their social significance.
Although not so much anymore (there are exceptions among the very wealthy), there are still certain “cake traditions” that many weddings still value and adhere to. Most weddings today still include the cake presenting, cake cutting, and cake sharing actions performed by both the bride and groom . . . irregardless of their socio-economic status.
There is, however, still much symbolism associated with the wedding cake. The traditional white wedding cake has been historically representing purity and virginity since the days of Queen Victoria in the 1800’s. Hence, the wedding cake came to be known as the bride’s cake . . . and the white colored cake became common to represent the bride.
Even the bridal cake cutting itself was symbolic . . . the bride and groom would share a piece of cake together before sharing it with the other guests. This would traditionally represent the newlywed’s union, commitment, and promises made to each other.
As tradition would have it, by then sharing the cake with the wedding guests, the gift of fertility would then be passed on to all who consumed it.
But no matter the past or present traditions concerning the wedding cake . . . one thing is clear — people usually enjoy eating cake, and associate that with having fun! And, isn’t that what weddings are supposed to be about anyway?