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Wedding Cakes - To Ice or Not to Ice?

A quick Google search and you are given a thousand theories of how the wedding cake came to be. I quite like this one, from the Food Network in Canada who state that "The origins of the wedding cake dates back to ancient Rome, when weddings concluded with the groom breaking a loaf of barley bread over the bride's head, symbolizing fertility. Guests would scramble to pick up the crumbs in order to take home some of that good luck". How wonderful! Although I'm not sure how much the bride would appreciate that after spending so much time and effort getting her hair done!

Why Three Tiers?

Apparently it was traditional that the bottom tier would be eaten at the ceremony, the middle tier for distributing after the event, and the top tier was saved for the first child's christening for good luck.

Dressed or Naked?

During the Victorian era, the white icing was used, they say, to symbolise purity. Perhaps so, or perhaps it's more to do with preserving? Whatever the reason, nothing says tradition as much as a beautifully white iced wedding cake.

Traditional 3 tiered iced wedding cake
Traditional 3 tiered iced wedding cake

Personally, I can't bear fruit cake of any description but Steve loves it so it's wonderful that today, wedding cakes can be tiered and traditionally iced and filled with fruit or they can be a stack of donuts, a pyramid of fairy cakes, wheels of cheese, a pile of macarons, a tower of chocolate cream puffs, quite frankly anything one desires!

Nowadays it's really popular to have 'naked' cakes. They are incredibly beautiful and, dare I say, a little more healthy?

Naked cakes are really great at rustic barn weddings
Naked cakes are really great at rustic barn weddings

Is this not the most gorgeous looking cake ever?!

What does the Cutting of the Cake symbolise?

According to 'The Secret History of Wedding Cakes (Food Network, Canada), the ceremonial first cut of the wedding cake symbolizes the bride and groom's first task together as newlyweds, and their eternal love for one another.

The hand of the groom is placed over the hand of the bride when cutting the cake to symbolize his support for her and her promise to take care of him and their family. They would cut from the bottom tier to symbolise the longevity and continuity of their relationship.

Are you having a traditional wedding cake? We'd love to hear your plans, please leave a comment below.

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