The earliest known wedding cake dates back to the Roman Empire. Though of course, a cake back then is absolutely nothing compared to the intricate, tiered cakes that are served at weddings today. It's obvious that this classic tradition has come a long way from what it used to be.
The earliest known tradition of the wedding cake didn't even involve cake - it involved bread. The groom would eat part of a loaf of bread, then break the rest over the bride's head. This was supposed to symbolize the dominance of the groom over the bride, and breaking her "virginal state." This may also date back as far as the Roman times as well, but is definitely not practiced anymore. The last reports of this tradition took place in 19th century Scotland.
Medieval England didn't seem to eat cake during their wedding ceremonies either. But apparently sweet buns were piled in front of the newlyweds, and afterward the couple had to attempt to kiss over the pile. If they succeeded, it was said that the two would bear many children. Today, couples do not practice this tradition either. Though it is common for the newlyweds to save and freeze the top tier of their wedding cake and enjoy it on their first anniversary. It also still traditional for the couple to cut the first slice of the cake together during the wedding reception.
The wedding cake cutting ceremony
is a bit similar to the old bread breaking tradition. It is the first task that the bride and groom perform together as a couple; and it represents that they will work together. The ceremony usually takes place after the meal has been served and after the couple's first dance. Typically, the couple chooses a specific song to be played during the ceremony as well. It is a memorable moment that also involves a lot of picture taking! Here are some helpful hints to make sure the first cut goes well:
- The groom's hand should be over the bride's, and they should each be using one hand. However, sometimes if the cake has been frozen or has thicker icing, slicing it may be a little more difficult. If so, the bride can hold the server with one or two hands, and the groom can place two hands over hers.
- Before giving out the cake to anyone, the couple should feel the one another a forkful first. This is supposed to symbolize the close bond the couple shares, and their nurturing for each other.
- Definitely pay attention to the photographer. The cake cutting ceremony is going to be photographed by not only your photographer, but your friends and family too. Allow him to direct you and take his advice! He will know what will look best in the photos.
- Don't rush! Make sure you pause after positioning yourselves with the server, and you might want to take a moment to pose and smile for the cameras. All of your family and friends are going to be snapping photos, so take a second to let them get a good shot. And take your time so the rest of the pictures come out good too.
- If you're planning on saving the top tier, don't cut it! It's also the smallest piece, so it might easily crumble or fall off. You should choose a tier that's right in the middle, or the bottom tier.
- Wipe the knife in between cuts. This will ensure clean, neat slices. You don't want the pieces to fall apart as they are served to your guests. If using a wedding cake serving set
, make the slices with the knife, and pull the piece out with the server.
- An average slice of cake should be about one inch wide. But of course, this will vary on the size of your cake, and its shape as well. Use your best judgment if you are
cutting it yourself. If a caterer is cutting it and knows what they are doing, you shouldn't have to stress.
Don't forget, you'll need a cake server
set to cut the cake! We offer the most beautiful and fine quality cake serving sets
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ensure easier cake cutting, but it makes a beautiful keepsake as well.
© 2010 Kelsey Bowen, Little Things Favors
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