WEDDING CAKES have been a tradition in one form or another for many centuries. These traditions vary a great deal, often influenced by long held religious traditions or passing cultural trends.

Centuries ago most cakes weren’t sweet, and were more akin to bread, often from barley. The bread was traditionally broken over the brides head as a symbol of fertility and good luck. As recently as the 18th century there was often a pie instead of a cake; traditions apparently evolved differently in some parts of the world.

White has been a symbol of purity, at least in the West, for many centuries, but it was Queen Victoria who popularised white dresses and cakes. There are records of white iced wedding cakes before this, however; she may have reintroduced an old tradition.

Royal icing was also from Queen Victoria’s cake. This type of icing later became popular as it was strong enough to hold the weight several layers of cake and a cake decoration.

In some places, in lieu of throwing a bouquet, the bridesmaids would pull a ribbon out of the cake. Whoever pulled the ribbon with a charm would be the next to marry.

Today we sometimes see a cake for the groom, and tend to think of it as a new trend. But this actually dates back to at least the 17th century in Britain, and has remained a regular tradition in the southern states of the USA.  It tended to be different to the ‘bride’s cake’, often being a stronger flavour, though it was also meant to symbolise fertility.

If a bridesmaid put a piece of the wedding cake under a pillow it was thought to give her dreams about her future husband.

Keeping a piece of the cake, often the smallest tier, till the first anniversary was though to bring good luck. Older cakes, they predate refrigeration, we often fruitcakes with strong alcohol content as this allowed them to keep for much longer.

By contrast to many other traditions the cake topper is fairly recent. It is basically the only part of the cake that can be kept.

Wedding Cakes Sydney

Traditions are often there because they were a good idea. But don’t let any ideas for the past hold you back. Talk to Sweet Olivia about the cake you always wanted, traditional, iconoclastic or your own unique combination of both.

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