Examining the Wedding Cake Tradition
This week we’re wondering: How did the wedding cake tradition begin?
Like so many traditions we follow today, the wedding cake tradition harks back to the time of the Roman Empire. However, the Romans weren’t exactly hiring the Cake Boss to whip up some elaborate creation complete with fondant flowers. No siree- the Romans were no joke. The grooms would munch on loaves of barley bread and then proceed to break the rest of the bread over the top of their new brides’ heads. Historians assume the tradition was meant to symbolize the breaking of the women’s virginal states and the males’ subsequent dominance. How romantic.
Nevertheless, there is an air of mystery surrounding how wedding barley bread was replaced by the multi-tiered cake. One rumor has it a pasty chef was inspired by Medieval England where couples would stack sweet rolls and attempt to kiss each other over the creation without knocking it over. Another tale claims the cake style was inspired by the tier structure of a church steeple in London.
Whatever the case, what we do know is that the multi-tiered wedding cake really came into its own thanks to English royalty. But even money couldn’t buy royalty what time and practice would; consequently, the upper tiers of their cakes were made of spun sugar and existed merely for looks. With time the tradition of the rich became a tradition of the masses and each cake tier became edible. These days the cake has progressed beyond tiers and has transformed into an art form.
Take a look a minute to admire some cakes that only deserve one reaction- “WOW!”
In the mood to learn some more about those wedding traditions you never thought to question? Read one of our other wedding tradition blogs!
*Unknown photography credits. All images taken from Tumblr.com.
By: Kelly Hamilton