Guest Blog- The History of The Wedding Cake

Each month, Mwai Yeboah, a multiple award winning wedding planner and designer joins us as a guest on the Hedsor blog. With over ten years’ experience she gives couples the best wedding inspiration and advice. This month….it’s all about the cake and why it’s an important part of your day…

Wedding cakes are an important element of any wedding. They often take hours to choose, weeks to create and (sadly) just a few moments to devour, but they still take pride of place at the wedding breakfast.

Cake by  Sugared Saffron .

The history of the wedding cake

Wedding cakes date back as far as ancient Rome when the groom would break a loaf of bread over the bride’s head to symbolise fertility. The guests would then collect a few crumbs from the bread to take home for good luck. Although there’s not too many brides that would be happy with having their wedding hair ruined by crumbs nowadays, the tradition has morphed into something that we recognise today.

The changing style of wedding cakes

In medieval times, the wedding cake was actually a huge pile of spiced buns! The couple were encouraged to kiss over the buns, and if they remained upright, this was a sign that they would enjoy a long and happy marriage.

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The type of cake we usually associate with weddings has evolved from fruit puddings to beautiful sugar crafted creations. The change can predominantly be credited to royalty who have chosen more and more ornately decorated cakes as the years have gone on but also due to sugar becoming more and more widely available in the 16th century.

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Cutting of the cake

When the bride and groom cut the cake and feed each other a small morsel, this is a tradition that symbolises the unity of two people. They then share this with their guests as it was believed that handing out portions of the cake would increase the couple's prosperity and fruitfulness.

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Modern wedding cake traditions

Nowadays, the cake is still an important part of any wedding. Couples spend hours selecting flavours, styles and decorations together and even attend wedding cake tasting sessions before selecting their dream cake to take pride of place at the table during the celebrations.

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Many couples keep the decorations such as sugar flowers, cake toppers or even the top tier to be used as a christening cake should they have children in the future. And so it continues, the traditions and symbolism that have surrounded the wedding cake for centuries are continuing to develop even today.

Until next time… happy planning!

Love from,

Mwai

Cakes in the images predominantly by Melissa Woodland Cakes , Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium and Sugared Saffron