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Wedding Wednesday

Wedding Traditions Explained: The Cake Cutting

Whether it’s the bachelor party, the bridal shower or a list of items borrowed and blue, there are many recognizable customs inherent and adhered to when celebrating a wedding. Of course, all of these traditions are steeped in historical precedent, though not all of those origin stories are well known. One of the more fascinating conventions, though not widely known, is the story behind the cake cutting.

Where It Began

It actually all started way back in the Roman era. The man, symbolizing his ownership over his new bride’s, ahem, modesty, would break bread over the crown of her head. The crumbs were collected and distributed to family and friends as a symbol of fertility and luck in the marriage.

Victorian England, however, is where the iconic white, tiered cake came into play. Representing purity and wealth, the white frosted pastry was then known as the bride’s cake. It was an extension of her look, and therefore had to look pure, and therefore white, just as she was.

Modern Cake Cutting Symbolism

As wedding cakes maintained prominence in ceremonies, a new tradition began. The two-person cake cutting started as a result of the need for the groom to assist the bride in slicing through the thick, heavy frosting that was needed to hold up the heavy tiers. Together, their strength would get them through hardship. In feeding each other cake, they promise to provide for one another.

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