It is that highly anticipated moment at the wedding reception…..the bride and groom line up to politely and gingerly cut into the cake with cameras flashing. What happens next is often as uncertain to the guests as the bride and groom themselves. Will they end up with a face full of frosting, or will it be a sweet exchange of an affectionate nibble? How on earth did this tradition get started?
The wedding cake is historically a symbol of good luck and fertility in cultures around the world. In Roman times, small sweet buns made of barley were broken over the bride’s head by the groom, symbolizing the breaking of her virginity and subsequent fertility. In the Middle Ages, custom required the bride and groom to kiss over small cakes for luck, while later in Europe the top tier of the cake was wrapped and saved to be served at the first baby’s christening. The practice of feeding cake soon came out of these traditions to symbolize the commitment of the bride and groom to provide each other with tender loving care, while sharing this covenant with their wedding guests. Perhaps a slip of the hand or pent-up relief from the prenuptial tension started the playful trend of cake follies between bride and groom. When thinking about your own moment in the spotlight, you might want to plan with your future spouse how you want this exchange to go. After hours of primping and preparing, a sticky up-do or sugary foundation might not be what you desire for the remainder of the night on the dance floor. Agree to keep things fun yet manageable, and appropriate for the style of your reception. On the flip side, if you are open to adventure, you might want to order a little extra cake in case of an outcome like this: