For hundreds of years wedding cakes have made their debut at ceremonies and receptions. Since its origin there has always been symbolism and superstition associated with the wedding cake. Included in the list of symbolism is the tradition of cutting the cake. The cake was originally intended to be distributed among the guests by only the bride because consuming the cake would ensure her fertility. As weddings grew and the number of guests increased this task became a joint venture, necessitating the help of the groom to cut the increasingly large cake and serve it among their guests. Once this tradition began the bride and groom would share a piece of cake before distributing it to the guests to symbolize their union and their promise to forever provide for each other.
Today’s traditions seem to be a variation to the those that started centuries ago. In the medieval era, wedding cakes were constructed out of rolls and buns that were laid on top of each other. The groom and bride would attempt to share a passionate kiss on top of the stack of rolls to ensure fertility and have good fortune. So that is why even today, it is thought to bring good luck when the bride and groom share a kiss after feeding each other a piece of wedding cake.
In the 18th century, newlywed couples would try to keep the cake until their first anniversary to prevent marriage problems in the future. Many couples today still take part in this age old tradition….passing the cake from the freezer of their parents home while they are on their honeymoon, to their first apartment, then possibly on to a second apartment, and maybe even making an additional journey to the couples first home.
There are also long believed myths that hopeful bridesmaids, dreaming of their future husbands would take a piece of the wedding cake home and place it beneath their pillow in hope that they would be the next to wed. Now I don’t know if all that’s true, but traditionally speaking, it is a good reason to leave the reception with an extra piece of cake.