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Cake Cutting Tradition

The wedding cake cutting is another very special event that the newlyweds take part in. The wedding cake has a long history, all the way back to the Roman Empire. Many practices, regarding the wedding cake, have come and gone over time.

During the early days, grooms would eat part of a special loaf of barley bread, baked for the wedding, and then break the remainder of it over the bride’s head. History suggests this symbolized breaking the bride’s virginal state and the groom’s subsequent domination over her. Guests would scramble to get pieces of the crumbs to take home for good luck and fertility. Fortunately, this prejudiced tradition did not survive over time.

In Medieval England, guests would stack small cakes in a large pile, and the bride and groom would try to kiss over the pile. If successful, it is a sign of their future fertility. A modern version of the wedding cake is to stack donuts or have a tiered display of cupcakes or other sweets, harkening back to the medieval pile of little cakes. Who knew?

Traditionally, it was actually the bride’s duty to slice the cake and serve it to the wedding guests. As the quantity of guests grew larger, the cakes did also, and they also became multi-tiered over time. Initially, the icing was made extremely thick and hard to support the tiers, and help was necessary to slice the cake. So, cake cutting became a joint effort between the bride and groom.

Part of the cake cutting tradition, that has survived, is for the bride and groom to feed one another from the first cut, demonstrating their mutual commitment to provide for one another. Naturally, feeding one another is frequently, by accident or purposefully, messy. It can be a tender or silly moment, depending on the couple.

Susan Todd writes about wedding dance songs that couples may want to play on their wedding day’s first dance and during the father-daughter and mother-son dances in a wedding. Aside from wedding song and dance reviews, her website also provides information related to the wedding day, including the wedding cake cutting tradition.


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