Wedding Traditions – Let Them Eat Cake

As is the bride the center of attention at the wedding ceremony, so is the wedding cake at the reception. But the wedding cake is the probably the least understood of the wedding symbols.
In ancient Rome, wedding cake pieces crumbled over the newlyweds ensured prosperity. While it is not popular today to crumble cake over any of the wedding guests, least of all the wedding party, the wedding cake is still considered today as a sign of good luck. A couple who cuts their cake together with intertwined hands will be blessed with children. Traditional Irish folklore would have the couple save the top layer of a whiskey soaked, dense, dark wedding fruit cake saved; to be served at the christening of the couple's first child. And it is the Chinese who are said to have started the custom of giving cake to guests as a sign of good luck, even if guests were not able to attend the wedding. Rarely practiced today is the late 17th century tradition of unmarried women sleeping with a piece of wedding cake under their pillow so that they dream of their future husband. Due because of the tropical climate, in some Pacific Islands the actual eating of the wedding cake is incorporated into the wedding ceremony.

The wedding cake is traditionally iced with white icing, a link to the symbol of purity (from Victorian times) to the link between the bride and the wedding cake (originally called the bride's cake). This link between the bride and the cake is strengthened today as many brides coordinate the color of the wedding cake icing to that of their bridal gown color – even if their gown is not white! Prior to Victorian times the reason behind the cake icing being white was as an outward sign of affluence. The very whitest of icings required the most refined sugar available, and since only the affluent could afford the very expensive highly refined sugar for the wedding cake icing, the whiter the cake, the more affluent the families appeared.

Whether the wedding cake is a very traditional one-tier plainly frosted fruit cake, or an elaborate multi-tiered ornately decorated cake, wedding guests enjoy a piece at the wedding reception [ page / 760104] – now now symbolizing the joining of all guests as a community to support the newly married couple. Whatever the tradition associated with the wedding cake- let them eat cake!