If you have a sweet tooth like I do, the cake is probably the most exciting part of the entire wedding for you. The taste, the texture, and most importantly, the design must be just right. After all, it is the centerpiece of the reception.
Typically, at a Ghanaian wedding reception, the cake cutting features an elderly woman assisting the couple, after giving a small speech on the significance of the cake and its make-up. Foreign traditions are more likely to just have the couple go ahead with the cutting – no long things. A number of these traditions are quite recent. Others, on the other hand, evolve from older ones. Let’s have a look at some of these traditions across the globe.
#1: The cake cutting
The most obvious part, I guess. Always has a spot in the wedding album. In some parts, the elder generation is very particular about it. They see it as the most important part of the reception and believe that once the cake has been cut, they can leave.
It represents the first activity done as a couple. However, historically, the bride did it alone. It then symbolized the loss of her virginity.
The whole process became more complicated as the number of the tiers increased in number as well as the number of guests. Since then, the groom began to help the bride and after the first cut, the caterers were left with the duty of cutting up the cake to bits for the guests. Most likely, we’re more familiar with that now.
#2: The couple feeding each other with cake
Another part of the ceremony is when the bride and groom feed each other a small piece of cake. This signifies a commitment to provide for one another and is also a display of love and affection. Romantic, isn’t it?
Interestingly, in recent times, while most couples still stick to just feeding each other, others have discovered a new side to it. Instead of just feeding their partner, they actually grind it into each other’s face.
I know right! A perfectly good piece of cake!
Who knows what inspires them to do that? I honestly can’t tell but what I know for sure is that I have better plans for my cake. Every little bit of it.
#3: Saving the top tier
Lots of couples like to save the top tier of the cake for their wedding anniversary. In the past, christenings were often done within a year of the naming ceremony so it’s assumed that they had something to do with that tradition. Nowadays, the christening part has almost disappeared yet the cake remains. There’s usually a small cake eating ceremony around the anniversary in commemoration of the day.
However, it is noteworthy that in order to make sure your cake is safe for the entire year, the cake must be well wrapped in plastic and kept in a deep freezer. Also remember to remove all flowers, stems, leaves and other garnish.
#4: Sleeping with a piece of cake under the pillow
Now there’s a crazy one. But apparently it does happen. Or at least, it did. It is thought that a person sleeping with a piece of cake under their pillow will dream of their partner – present or future – that night. This custom goes way back to almost 300 years ago and is often combined with wedding favors – tiny replicas of the wedding cake.
Of course it was less messy 300 years ago because back then, the wedding cake was usually a traditional fruitcake. That was much firmer than the cakes we use now.
So now we’re better off sticking to the favor – in a box.
#5: Baking wedding charms into the wedding cake
This is a tradition that has fallen into disuse. Tiny gold and silver charms were put in the cake and each of them had a different meaning. It was believed to bring a special luck on the person that received it.
The heart represented true love; the ring, an upcoming engagement; the clover, shamrock or horseshoe was for luck; the flower for growing love; the anchor, airplane or ship’s wheel for travel and adventure; the highchair or baby carriage for children; the rocking chair for long life; the coin purse or money bag for good fortune; wedding bells for upcoming marriage; the telephone for good news; and the picture frame for a happy life.
So you can try it out on your wedding day. But please do well to let your guests know so they’re careful when taking a bite.
#6: The white wedding cake
This might come as a surprise, but white icing on cakes used to be a symbol of money and social importance in early times. The fine sugar used to make white icing was extremely expensive and the lighter the cake in colour, the wealthier the family appeared to their guests. This made a white cake more preferred.
The white of the cake was a representation of the bride as the main focal point of the wedding. In view of that concept, even now, some brides create their cakes in the same hue as their dress or bouquet.
Of course, colour doesn’t matter much nowadays, though most people maintain that the base colour beyond the decorations should be white. After all, it is the colour of purity.
So there you have it – wedding cake cutting traditions in different parts of the world, then and now. Though some of them are outmoded, they’re still pretty good ideas, especially if you’re an adventurous one. So have fun! Dig in and surprise your guests with one of them.
I know you are feeling hungry now. What with all these beautiful cake pictures? Go grab some.
Call us for the best cakes for your event.