I'm very excited about our wedding cake. Our own piece of edible art at the reception. Orbiting this sweet centerpiece are quite a few odd traditions. Saving the top tier for the first anniversary, sleeping with a piece under your pillow, mini-me bride and groom a top it...weird, weird.
As with most wedding traditions it stems from you guessed it, fertility. Bread in your belly equals future buns in the oven? In ancient Rome those party animals used to break bread over the bride's head. "History tells us that breaking the bread symbolized the breaking of the bride's virginal state and the subsequent dominance of the groom over her." The frat boys of the ancient world those, Romans.
I can't remember which one because I've seen them all, but in some wedding movie I watched someone was instructed to sleep with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow so she would dream of her future husband. I thought it was a joke, but it's really "a thing" as Liz Lemon would say. In fact, "In the late 18th century this notion led to the curious tradition in which brides would pass tiny crumbs of cake through their rings and then distribute them to guests who could, in turn, place them under their pillows. The custom was curtailed when brides began to get superstitious about taking their rings off after the ceremony."
You can't make this stuff up! Or maybe you could...How many bloggers claiming something was good luck on your wedding day would it take to ingrain it into cultural lure? Food for thought. I digress, the cutting of the cake is supposed to represent the first task the bride and groom perform together. Personally, I love a cake cutting, but isn't the first dance a better symbol for teamwork and togetherness? Heck, isn't throwing a wedding quite the joint venture?
Not to go all Augustus Gloop on ya, but saving cake for later isn't something that fills me with joy. Eating cake that's been in the freezer for a year, also not thrilling. Yet, somehow this is quite the tradition. Apparently, it started as a way to have a pretty tiered cake for the wedding and than use the top tier at the christening (roughly a year later, idealy). Waste not want not I suppose.
As for the mini-mes they are a relatively new edition to the wacky cake traditions party. They became popular in the 1920's which seems fitting for some reason. I can't find any big reason behind making tiny versions of the bride and groom stand on top of a cake, but apparently departments stores helped popularize the idea. I think we should stand a mini version of ourselves on all of our deserts to keep other people from eating them.
I promise to write about our actual wedding cake design soon, but for now I hope your were at least as entertained by all this silliness as I was.