By: Karley Barker
Each and every wedding is infused with tradition and symbolism. It all begins with a ring representing commitment and love forever. A ceremony brings vows and traditional words that tie the couple together, and of course there’s the first kiss as a married couple. However, the symbolism of the wedding cake is often missed.
In recent years, cakes have not only made your mouth water and left you licking your lips but they have turned into incredible eye candy. From intricate designs to fun and funky displays, cake artists are finding new ways to put a spin on this wedding tradition. While many brides spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on this incredible work of art many don’t know how this business of cake cutting even began.
It all started in the 13th Century and while it has evolved from the original wheat bread state it still serves the same purpose.
“Serving each other cake symbolizes the first task performed together as husband and wife. Sharing their cake and good fortune and celebrating with their family and friends,” said Heidi Smith, the founder of Icing cakes. Heidi believes that brides can find even more joy in their beautiful cake if they understand the symbolism behind the creation. Even the traditional round shape of the cake has symbolism representing the never ending circle of the union and love.
Wedding cakes have come a long way from their original circular shape. Brides find themselves submerged in decisions of color, shape, and design. What is often over looked is how the actual event of cutting your cake should be done. Here are some suggestions for the time old tradition.
- Make sure that the timing is appropriate. If you are hosting a brunch or tea, cut the cake just after the guests have gone through the receiving line. If you are hosting a lunch or dinner reception then cut the cake after dinner and just before the desserts are served.
- Make sure to get everyone’s attention by either having your MC announce the event or by replaying the first dance song. Then have one of the bridal party – typically, the best man, make a toast to the couple.
- Cut the cake with the groom’s right hand gently holding the bride’s right hand – and make sure to slice through the bottom layer!
- Feed one another from the slice you cut. Typically the groom will first feed the bride and then the bride will feed the groom.
- Make sure that the bride serves the groom’s parents a piece of cake and that the groom serves the bride’s parents a piece as well.
- Designate a friend or someone from the catering staff to cut and serve the rest of the cake to your guests.
- Try to use a special silver cake knife – either an heirloom or one that you purchase especially for the occasion.
- Although some people like to smash cake into each other’s face, it is not a very elegant or dignified thing to do. Not only can it ruin the bride’s makeup and dress, this is the first act that the couple performs as husband and wife, and does not bode well for a future of wedded bliss.
The Wedding cake, like so many other aspects of the wedding day is ripe with tradition, and symbolism. By following the few simple tips, and thinking about the importance of this special event, your first task together as husband and wife will be a cake walk!