Your wedding cake is the centre of your celebrations and we aim to make it a fabulous showstopper! We are often asked about the traditions of wedding cakes and we hope this gives you some ideas.
Serving your wedding cake and when to do so can be daunting. Traditionally the cake is cut following the Wedding Breakfast and can be eaten at this time. Most bride and grooms prefer to keep the cake intact so that evening guests can admire it. Here are one or two of our top tips which we hope will help you.
Have the cake made with some stacked tiers and then a pillared tier so that the top tier can be cut after the Wedding Breakfast and then you still have a fabulous cake to display at your evening reception.
Serve your cake as afternoon tea. Chose a selection of cakes so that your guests can have a choice. Many venues will serve your tea or coffee that you would have had during your wedding reception later in the day.
For evening receptions - If you are having a tiered cake - chose different cakes for each tier from our lovely selection in our cake menu - chose cakes that make puddings and serve as dessert. Ask your venue if they can serve it with jugs of fresh cream.
Wrap up some of your wedding cake and take it on honeymoon with you! Our cakes have travelled all over. Check with your airline to make sure you can carry it with you!
The ritual of the wedding cake can be traced back to Ancient Roman times, when it would have been made of wheat, salt and water. Not too tasty I think! The groom would break the bread over the bride's head as a sign of his dominance and over her and the taking of her vaginity! Later this lead to the bridesmaids covering the brides head with a white cloth, which some believe lead to the wearing of the bridal veil.
In Medieval England sweet buns were piled high (the higher the better) and the couple attempted to kiss over the mound. If they managed it without toppling the pile they were assured a lifetime of happiness, prosperity and many children.
The popularity of tiered wedding cakes came, legend has it, as a result of a baker’s apprentice in late 18th-century London. The story goes that William Rich set up as an apprentice in Ludgate hill and fell in love with his boss’s daughter. When he asked her to marry him he wanted to impress her with a large, beautiful cake and his inspiration came from the spire of St Bride’s church.
It was the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 that really set the fashion for weddings – the dresses and cakes both became big and white as a norm. Sugar was now cheaper and it became much easier for working class families to imitate the weddings of the rich.
The cutting of the wedding cake is not done just to signify the end of the wedding formalities. At one time, the wedding cake was cut only by the bride, and was symbolic of her upcoming loss of virginity. But today, this tradition includes the groom as well, and cutting the cake and sharing the first bite with each other, symbolizes that the wedded couple promises to share a whole new life together.
The top tier of the wedding cake was traditionally saved for the Christening of the first baby. This can still be done if you select fruit cake. You would need to wrap the cake carefully in a layer of greaseproof paper and a couple of layers of alluminium foil. It can be kept in a cool dry place for many years but to be sure of its preservtion you could freeze it. Another nice idea for the top tier is to use it for your first wedding anniversary or first Christmas cake.
Another tradition was to place charms in the wedding cake, which were attached to ribbons. A bridesmaid would pull at a ribbon and depending on the charm that she uncovered, her fortune would be indicated. The charms that were traditionally used, and their respective meanings are:
- A Heart: Will bring love.
- A Clover: Meant good luck
- An Engagement Ring: You're the next to wed
- An Anchor: Adventure will come
- A Flower: Love is going to bloom
- A Horseshoe: You are lucky in life
Traditionally the grooms cake would not be eaten at the wedding but cut up and given in boxes to all the unmarried women at the wedding. They would put the cake under their pillows in the hope that it would bring them a husband!
Now at modern weddings the bride buys the groom a cake as a gift to make him feel more included at the wedding. The grooms cake can sit along side the main wedding cake or be eaten at the rehearsal dinner.