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Let's Go Back to the Wedding Cake Traditions


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In an ever changing world it is nice to know there are some things that do not alter too quickly and one of those is the customs surrounding weddings and in particular the wedding cake. As far as we know the wedding cake has been used for hundreds of years although it was somewhat different in the distant past. The problem with many traditions is that over a period of time, and because they are usually remembered as a verbal custom, they change and the true meaning is often not known.

One such change is that with the history behind the wedding cake which as far as we know was originally made u of a number of tiny wheat cakes which were then broken up and thrown over the brides head. Although no-one knows why, this was meant to bring fertility and luck to the new bride throughout her wedded life but fortunately this is no longer done. The cake will feature in many wedding photographs so it is only fitting that the bride and groom should take some time to choose the perfect wedding cake.

Although the tradition of a three tiered cake is not always used today; many are multi tiered, they are usually covered in royal icing even though a sponge center has become more popular. Couples are even able to have them made to their own specific design today which can lead to some unusual sights.

Cutting the wedding cake is not done just to signify the end of the wedding formalities although at one time if it was cut only by the bride and was symbolic of her forthcoming loss of virginity. Nowadays the meaning behind this has altered with the times and includes the groom and signals the intention of them both to share their life together.

For a long time it was believed that women who were unmarried should use a piece of wedding cake under their pillows at night if the slept as it would make them dream of the man they were to marry. Some people now recite this story at their reception even though the practice has long since been stopped. Many people wonder why the top tier of the wedding cake is not used; well this was always kept by the married couple and was too be used only if they christened their first child but over time this too has altered and now it is used on their first wedding anniversary.

Bridesmaids were also involved at one time in the past as lucky charms attached to a ribbon were inserted into the wedding cake; each had a special interpretation but usually telling the person what to expect in the future. There are a large number of charms but probably he best known are those shaped like a heart (bringer of love) and of course the horseshoe (lucky in life).

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