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Home / Bridal

The secret meaning of wedding cakes

 Different cultures have varying beliefs about the cake at the wedding (Photo: Shutterstock)

There are certain elements of a wedding that everyone automatically looks forward to. We’re excited about the fun, the food and for me it is about the oh so delicious cake.

Having a cake has always been a central part of wedding planning. 

Not all couples incorporate this into their wedding but majority of the time, you’ll spot a beautiful, carefully baked cake at the reception standing with all its glory. 

Of course, everyone is excited about having a piece but there are deeper meanings to the wedding cake than people realize.

The history of having cakes at weddings has been around for years and is still popular to date. Now that you know the cakes aren’t just for show, let’s look at some of the real meanings behind wedding cake traditions. 

  • Good luck

  • Different cultures have varying beliefs about the cake at the wedding. For some, the cake has a strong symbolic reference to good luck, longevity and prosperity for the new couple.

    Choosing to get married is a scary journey because you’re hoping that you’ve selected your partner wisely. To help release the anxiety, the wedding cakes give you that peace of mind and reassurance that your union is truly meant to be. 

     The wedding cake would grace the bride with fertility and abundance of offspring (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Purity and royalty

  • It’s not uncommon to see white wedding cakes. Although in these modern times there’s not much emphasis on the color, the history of white wedding cakes is still widely discussed.

    It was expected that the bride kept herself pure until her official wedding day. This would signify her worthiness to get married. Therefore, purity was represented through a white cake.

    The other symbolic meaning that the white icing represented was social class. The refined sugar was very expensive so if you had it on your cake, it was a sign of wealth.

  • Fertility

  • After a wedding, the next milestone for couples is adjusting to the routines of married life as well as planning for children.

    The wedding cake would grace the bride with fertility and abundance of offspring as the couple begins their journey together.

     Some cultures would hide charms like rings, which would be a sign of an engagement in the near future (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Masculinity

  • There are usually different styles of wedding cakes that couples choose to have. Some go with the classic tiered cakes, the cutting cake and others choose to simply have two cakes, one for the bride and the other for the groom.

    The bride’s cake was girly while the groom’s cake would be dark to bring out his masculinity. A common ingredient to be added was alcohol and the design of the cake would represent the groom’s interests whether it was sports or an activity like fishing.

  • Christening of the couple’s first child

  • There are usually no strict timelines as to when a couple will have their first child after their wedding. But in the previous eras, they wouldn’t wait too long before they did. That would give the cake enough time to be preserved until that date arrived. When it finally did, they would take the cake out and ceremoniously partake as a way of blessing their union as a family.

    The appropriate cake preserved for this ceremony is usually the top tier of their wedding cake.

  • Hope for the single ladies

  • Weddings have always given room for single ladies to stay hopeful. There is the throwing of the flower bouquet, which most people know, as well as secret rituals surrounding the cake that aren’t practiced as much in contemporary times.

    Some cultures would hide charms like rings, which would be a sign of an engagement in the near future and a flower charm to signify new love, among other symbolic charms. 

    Other cultures would place a slice in a box for the single lady to place under her pillow. They believed that this would make her see her future husband in her dreams.

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