The History of Wedding Cake

The wedding cake is an age-old tradition dating all the way back to Roman times. The cake was literally smashed over the bride’s head and while that seems a bit cruel, it was meant to bring the happy couple good luck. From the time it became a tradition, it has been a symbol of good fortune and fertility. It is said to bring luck to all who eat the wedding cake. Cutting of the cake is just as symbolic in that the bride must cut the first slice of cake to ensure good fortune in the marriage.

Since the cake symbolizes such good fortune for the bride and groom, many people believe any single women in attendance at the wedding should take a slice home and put it under their pillow to produce dreams of a future partner. According to The Smithsonian, “In medieval England, newlyweds smooched over a pile of buns, supposedly ensuring a prosperous future. Unmarried guests sometimes took home a little piece of cake to tuck under their pillow. Perhaps this was preferable to eating it. One early British recipe for “Bride’s Pye” mixed cockscombs, lamb testicles, sweetbreads, oysters and (mercifully) plenty of spices. Another version called for boiled calf’s feet.”

Modern Day

Since then, the wedding cake has become more of a delicacy in the mid-sixteenth century when sugar was becoming more abundant in England. Sugar was becoming more refined. The more refined it became, the whiter it became. The cake became to symbolize the woman’s virginity. As Carol Wilson illustrates for us in her Gastronomica article “Wedding Cake: A Slice of History,” the whiteness became “a status symbol, a display of the family’s wealth.” From then, tiered cakes made an entrance with decorative icing and multiple layers of delicious confection, which is what we know now at modern weddings.

Want to design the perfect wedding cake to go with the perfect wedding day? Get in touch with Apropos Creations for all of your wedding planning needs!

Cake Credits:
L'Auberge de Sedona -
Chateau Luxe -
Photography Credits:
Sierra Blanco -
Divinemethod -

JoAnn M. Grant, CPCE

With over 11 years of assisting brides, grooms and their respective families create this moment, Apropos Creations, a local Chandler, Arizona wedding and event planner, who services Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona, and the surrounding cities, will make this journey enjoyable and stress-free. You will be offered inspiring ideas and flawless coordination. Besides our basic wedding packages, Apropos Creations also specializes in multi cultural weddings and Southeast Asian weddings, destination weddings in San Diego, CA, San Jose, CA, San Francisco, CA and neighboring bay area cities and Philippines destination weddings. We pledge to you our devotion to make your wedding and event as unique as you. We want what you want, a perfect and beautiful day of memories to treasure throughout time.

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