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Wedding Cake Tradition Started

The Romans supposedly had wheat cakes that were broken over the brides head. This was done to bring fertility to the happy couple. I’d like to see a groom get away with that today. The guests would then pick up the crumbs for good luck.

A later tradition was guests all bringing pieces of cake to the wedding. They were then stacked up on top of each other using something such as applesauce to hold them together. The height of the cake depended on how popular the bride was.

In medieval times; guests brought sweet rolls and stacked them up between the bride and groom. If they were able to kiss over the pile of rolls it was considered good luck. However, the rolls were not always worth eating after being dropped on the floor and stepped on.

For a long time bride’s pie was served at weddings instead of cake. A glass ring was baked into the pie. Whoever found the ring would be the next to marry.

In England cake was often served as part of a wedding breakfast before the ceremony or even the next morning after the wedding.

A French baker finally got tired of pieces of cake sliding on the floor and starting using fillers, columns and icing to hold layers of cake together.

At one time, cakes with tiers were used only by royalty or the very wealthy. One of the first tiered cakes was inspired by St. Brides church on Fleet Street in London. A bakers apprentice, Thomas Rich, created the cake for his own bride.

In the 1800s fruit cakes became popular. These were brought to America and started the wedding cake tradition in the U.S. Part of their popularity was they would last a long time without going bad. This allowed the preparation to begin early.

Groom cakes were created so different flavors could be used instead of just the traditional white cake. It was often made of chocolate and tended to be less traditional than the brides cake.

The wedding topper, of a bride and groom in formalwear, became popular in the 1950s.

Today there are many variations on cake themes, flavors, decorations and toppers.