Wedding cakes have been a part of the wedding planning process for years, but date back to the mid-17th century. During this era wedding cakes were known as the “bride’s pie”. These pies were presented to brides for them to place a glass ring in them. Everyone in attendance were expected to eat the dessert, as it was rude if they did not, and the young woman who found the ring was said to be the next married. Similar to today’s bouquet toss.
Eventually, the pie turned into cake that was normally fruit based and became the wedding cake we have today. They also started to be covered in white icing as a sign of purity and virginity. The white icing became known as royal icing after Queen Victoria used the white icing to decorate their cake.
There were many traditions that involved the earlier versions of cake too. The women of Ancient Rome had bread broken over their heads. This symbolized good fortune for the couple. Cakes were stacked as high as they possibly could be for the groom and bride to stand and kiss over in Medieval England. If they were able to kiss it meant that had a prosperous future.
Our cake today became mainstream in 1882 thanks to Prince Leopold, the Duke of Albany. His wedding was the first time the cake was fully edible. Wedding cakes did not have pillars or things between the tiers until around 1902. Normally covered in white icing the pillars symbolized prosperity and served as a status symbol for the wealthy part of society.
Wedding cakes also served as the center of superstition at weddings and still do today. Traditionally, in American weddings young women were invited to pull ribbons that were attached to the bottom layer of the cake. Only one ribbon contained a charm or ring and whoever got the charm would be the next person to marry. In other countries, like Rome, the wedding cake was broken over the bride’s head to ensure fertility and bring good fortune to the couple. Some people today think that eating the crumbs of the wedding cake will give them good luck because the wedding cake symbolizes happiness and good life to the newlywed couple.
Wedding cakes have a rich and tasty history and are continuing to change and modernize. Make our wedding cakes a part of your memorable day!!