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History of the Wedding Cake

The custom of the wedding cake goes all the way back to antiquity. Even in the past, the preparation of cake to celebrate the marriage of two people. Whether a religious or a simple civil ceremony, the sharing of food, and cake in particular definitely has a historical precedent.

In Ancient Egypt, a feast would be prepared and the bridal party and the guests would partake of a flat bread made with honey in order to mark the occasion of when there was a new <i>Nebet</I or Lady of the house. According to a recent article in the Pocono Record , in ancient Rome, the groom would break bread over the bride’s head, and then break off a piece symbolizing the virginal state and his dominant role in the relationship.

As time went on the customs were built one upon the other. In England in Medieval times, the custom of cakes that were sweet, flower based and were rose when baked became more widely utilized. Often a stack of sweet buns was stacked and the couple would try to kiss over a steep pile of them. If they were successful, they would have many children and would have good fortune.

In the 17th through the 19th century, wedding pies became popular. In order to make for good fortune for both the bride and for other women who would come to marry later, a ring would be baked into the pie. The woman who received the slice that held the ring would be the next to become joined in matrimonial bliss.

Many customs that we use today are still age-old and were tied ultimately to ensuring crops and the fertility of both the land and of the woman who was getting married. Survival in largely agrarian societies was centered around having plentiful crops and children to take care of parents when they became ill or elderly meant the difference between survival and not. The cutting of cake with the hands of the bride and groom joined together in the process symbolized mutual support. The cutting was often done with a sword, which was also symbolic of defending each other and their family.

Other more modern wedding customs today are a bit different than what has been done in the past. Some couples opt to smash the cake rather than cut it together. Perhaps this move, though seemingly inexplicable to many, symbolizes shattering old norms and that the two will do things their own way and make their own traditions.

As for how a cake is decorated is up to the couple and their individual taste more than anything else. One custom that dates back to the 1940’s or maybe a little before, are the figures on top of a cake known as cake toppers. Today, there is a dizzying array of different types of wedding cake toppers. It is possible to make a cake topper to resemble anything you wish. Some artisans are capable of making toppers that look like the couple themselves. The only limit is their imaginations.

Whatever wedding traditions you choose to make your big day truly something that reflects you and the one you love, you want it to be both special and memorable. Let Geri Sims of Atlanta Wedding Décor be the one to show you just how you can make your wedding or special event stand out and really reflect who you are.

Geri specializes in wedding and event drapery and lighting that can make your wedding venue memorable. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your wedding plans with Atlanta Wedding Décor!


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