Before choosing a wedding cake, every couple should be acquainted with the many facts and traditions associated with the wedding cake so as to maximise the pleasure of all concerned and to enjoy the important role of the cake during the wedding celebrations.
Wedding Cake History
In Roman times, the first wedding cakes were made of wheat or barley and would be broken over the bride’s head to symbolise her fertility and as a blessing for long life and many children. Guests hurried to eat some of the crumbs to share in the prosperity and good luck of the couple.
During the middle ages, wedding cakes were still more like bread. It was traditional that guests should bring these small wedding cakes to the celebration where they were piled up as high as possible. If the couple successfully managed to kiss each other over the top without collapsing the pile of wedding cakes, then this was another sign of future prosperity.
The more traditional type of wedding cake was developed when in the 17th century, a French chef, visiting London, transformed this haphazard heap of cakes by icing them together. During the Renaissance period, the iced cake, a symbol of purity, became a real centre piece of the wedding. White refined sugar was expensive and hard to obtain so that the whiteness of the wedding cake also denoted the wealth of the family.
Around this time, small pieces of the wedding cakes were given to the guests to celebrate the good fortune of the happy couple. It was said that if crumbs were put under your pillow, you would dream of your future partner. By Victorian times, then, the white iced tiered wedding cake was firmly established in tradition.