Wedding cake

From ArticleWorld

Wedding cakes are traditional cakes served to guests of a wedding following the ceremony, often during the wedding reception or wedding breakfast.


Wedding cakes are generally elaborate with multiple tiers or layers and heavily decorated. Oftentimes, they are topped with a statue of a bride and groom. Many times, they are also decorated by doves, rings and horseshoes.

With all of the art and decorations weighing the cake down, it requires the ultimate skill to create a wedding cake that is pleasing to both the sense of sight and the sense of taste.

Tradition of the wedding cake

The bride and groom must make the first cut together, often with a special knife (or, at times, a sword). Older versions required the bride to serve the grooms’ family (to symbolize the transfer of her labor to his family).

In many cultures, tradition requires the bride and groom to feed the first bite of each cake to each other to symbolize a new family unity that has been created. A popular way of doing so involves the newlyweds shoving the cake in one another’s face.

Once the couple has had the first taste, the cake is shared with other couples. Often, the top tier is saved; it is said to bring luck if a couple eats it at their first anniversary (or, in some cases at the christening of the first child).


Although it’s hard to determine the origins of the wedding cake, sweet food has been a tradition at celebrations worldwide:

  • Ancient Roman records indicated that sweets were handed out at weddings.
  • There are references to Medieval and Renaissance use of cakes at weddings (some believe these were fruitcake).
  • England’s Henry VIII passed a rule (perhaps to control or tax sugar) specifying how much — or how little — sugar a cake may have.
  • In World War II, sugar was rationed in some countries. This caused cakes to be reduced in size and, at times, made without sugar. To create the illusion of an elaborate cake, they were often served in a box that was decorated to resemble a traditional cake.