‘Something old, something new… weddings are filled with traditions! Many of the traditions and customs we follow today emerged centuries ago and have been handed down through consecutive generations, largely because they tended to bring with them the promise of happiness and good fortune for the newly married couple.
Cakes have long played a part in weddings throughout history. The Romans began the tradition by sharing a plain cake of flour, salt and water during the wedding ceremony itself. The traditional fruit cake originated in Britain. Fruit and nuts were used as a symbol of fertility, and pieces of the cake were originally thrown at the bride to bring her luck with child-bearing! (One custom which thankfully hasn’t survived!)
The popularity of tiered wedding cakes came, legend has it, as a result of a baker’s apprentice in late 18th-century London. It is believed that William Rich, an apprentice in Ludgate hill, fell in love with his master’s daughter. When he proposed to her he wanted to impress her with a large, beautiful cake and his inspiration came from the nearby spire of St Bride’s church.
Originally the cutting of the wedding cake was used as a very definite conclusion to the wedding reception. It was originally believed that in order for the bride to bear children she (with the help of her husband) should cut the first slice of the cake. Today the cutting of the cake tends to represent their first joint task as a married couple, and the distribution of wedding cake to the assembled guests is said to symbolise the couple’s desire to share some of their good fortune. Today guests have come to expect a piece of the wedding cake, and there are now even collectors around the world who seek out carefully preserved pieces of historical wedding cakes!
A piece of William and Kate’s cake has just come up for auction, and is expected to fetch around £1,000.
written by: The Aspirational Bride - a lovely wedding blog