In today’s world there are just so many different options and choices available to us. We can get a hold of people by traditional phone, smart phone, regular cell phone, email, or regular mail. If we want to get somewhere we can drive a car, ride a bike, take a bus, or stroll along. Given all the various options available to us today, it’s only natural that this variety should work its way into one of our most cherished and honored traditions…that of the wedding cake. Selecting the flavor of the cake and the color of the icing is just getting started with the process. You will also need to take some time to choose the best wedding cake topper for your special cake. In this article we will be exploring the realm of the wedding cake. We will be providing some background details on the tradition, and eventually working on up to the selection process of the perfect topper for that very special wedding cake.
The wedding cake is often proudly and strategically placed during the wedding reception. Often towering way up into the heavens, it can compete with the bride as the “center of attention” on her big day. This delicious work of art establishes a focal point that the other aspects of the reception can revolve around. For those who prefer a flare for the dramatic, the wedding cake can be wheeled into the room at the end of the reception, providing a “grand entrance” for everyone to see. To many people this grand entrance will perhaps trigger memories of the bride who walked down the aisle earlier in the day.
The wedding cake has evolved over the years. Starting off as a simple symbol of fertility, it has transformed itself into an artistic tradition that can have many different artistic interpretations. For many ancient peoples wheat was a symbol of fertility and a bountiful harvest. The Ancient Romans used to throw grains of wheat at the bride and groom to “wish fertility” to the new couple during their wedding. This custom eventually evolved into bringing little cakes made from wheat to the wedding banquet itself. People would then crumble this cake over the head of the bride to wish the happy couple “many children”. The guests would then eat the fallen crumbs as a symbol of sharing in the couple’s good fortune.
Many think that this “crumbling of the cake” over the bride’s head may have evolved into another wedding day tradition? Do you know what it is? In order to protect the hapless bride from the wheat shower that is to come, bridesmaids draped a cloth over her head before the “crumbling tradition” took place. Many believe that this simple cloth evolved into the wedding veil of today.
Welcome The Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages buns or sweet rolls had replaced the original wheat cakes, but it was still very customary for guests to bring these tasty treats to the wedding. Placed in a huge pile between the bride and groom, if the happy couple was able to kiss over this huge stack of wheat, it was believed that they would be blessed with many children.
It is commonly believed that the next step in the evolution of the traditional cake was performed by a French pastry chef during the 17th century. During a trip to London he happened to observe this “cake piling” ceremony. Upon his return to France he dusted the stack of buns with sugar, and thereby “cemented” them together into one tasty art form. This was to become the first rendition of the tiered and frosted wedding cake, and a forerunner as to what was to come in the years ahead.
The Classic Style
Are you familiar with the classic style of the modern day wedding cake? You know, the one with the distinctive design of smaller tiers as the cake builds vertically? It is believed that this model was inspired by the spire of the 14th century Saint Bride’s church in London. How’s that for a bit of trivia for you?
Victorian England has brought us many of today’s valued wedding traditions. For example, Queen Victoria herself is said to have had a cake that weighed in at 300 lbs. As confectioners and bakers became more daring and skillful, their creations became even more daring and elaborate. When England’s Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were married back in 1947, their wedding cake weighed in at a whopping 500 lbs, and was 9 feet tall.
The Version of Today
In today’s world the elaborate wedding cake is no longer reserved for the rich and famous. Every couple can share in the tradition of having a wedding cake added to their big day. The wedding cake specialists of today’s world have taken their art to towering heights (pardon the pun). Long gone are those bland days when you were limited to a white cake with white frosting. Although a white cake will probably always be the most popular due to its traditional meaning, today’s couple is limited only by the limits of their imagination (and budget) when it comes to their wedding cake.
White is definitely the color of a wedding, but did you know that there is another reason why the white is the customary color of a wedding cake? Back in Victorian times the finer ingredients of a wedding cake were scarce and hard to come by. If the cake had a white icing, this revealed the fact that only the best and most expensive white sugar was being used. Brown sugar was much more common, and therefore much less expensive. So, the more white the cake, the richer the people.