Wedding cakes are the traditional dessert provided at wedding receptions. Traditionally, wedding cakes were made to bring good luck to guests and the couple getting married. Wedding cakes can certainly range in size, from a small cake that feeds ten people, to a very large cake that will feed hundreds. Modern Pastry Chefs and cake designers use various ingredients and tools to create a cake that will reflect the personalities of the couple.
Marzipan, fondant, gum paste, buttercream, and chocolate are among some of the more popular ingredients used. Along with ranging in size and components, cakes range in price. Cakes are usually priced on a per-person, or per-slice, basis. Prices usually range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars per-person or slice, depending on the Pastry Chef hired to make the cake.
Wedding cakes have been present at wedding ceremonies for centuries. They were not always the focus of the event and often came in different forms, like pies or bread. There has always been a lot of symbolism associated with the wedding cake. The earliest known sweet wedding cake is known as a Banbury cake, which became popular in 1655.
During the Roman era unsweetened barley bread was used as the wedding food and the groom would break the piece of bread in half over the brides head symbolizing “breaking of the bride’s virginal state and the subsequent dominance of the groom over her.”
One of the most obvious symbolic traditions is the cake’s white color to symbolize virginity and purity. The white color has been attached to wedding ceremonies since the Victorian era when Queen Victoria chose to wear a white wedding dress at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Queen Victoria accentuated an existing symbol, the color white is frequently associated with virginity and purity. The wedding cake was originally known as the brides cake therefore the color white became common because the cake needed to reflect the bride.
The cutting of the cake is a task full of symbolism. The cake was originally intended to be distributed among the guests by only the bride because consuming the cake would ensure fertility. As weddings grew and the number of guests increased this task became a joint venture, the groom needed to help cut the growing cake and distribute it among their guests. Layers of cakes began to pile up and the icing would need to support the weight of the cake making is very difficult for one person to cut.
The groom would assist the bride in this process. Once this tradition began the bride and groom would share a piece of cake before distributing it to the guests to symbolize their union and their promise to forever provide for each other.
The wedding cake is surrounded by superstitions. In a traditional American wedding, maidens would be invited to pull ribbons that are attached to the bottom layer of the wedding cake. Out of all the ribbons, only one contains a charm or a ring, and whoever gets the charm will be the next person to marry.
In other countries, the wedding cake is broken over the bride’s head to ensure fertility and bring good fortune to the couple. Also, most people today think that eating the crumbs of the wedding cake would give them good luck because the wedding cake symbolizes happiness and good life to the newlywed couple.
There are also myths that most bridesmaids have on dreaming their future husbands. Hopeful bridesmaids would take a piece of cake home and place it under the pillow. Some bridesmaids would sleep with the pieces of cake in their left stocking and the rest are under their pillows after passing the pieces of cake through the bride’s wedding ring.
In the medieval era, wedding cakes were constructed in rolls and buns that were laid on top of each other. The groom and bride would attempt to share a passionate kiss on top of the stack of rolls to ensure fertility and have good fortune. In the eighteenth century, newlywed couples would try to keep the cake until their first anniversary to prevent them from marriage problems in the future. This is one of the reasons why cakes in the eighteenth century were made of fruits and blended with wine.
Wedding cakes provide a history of symbolism and superstition. In Gainesville, Florida, the best place to purchase wedding cakes remains a cakery, cake shop, or specialty cake bakery.
Categorised as: cakes