Choosing a wedding cake can be a difficult part of the wedding planning process, especially if both you and your groom have specific ideas about what you want and don’t want. He loves French vanilla – she loves chocolate. She wants towers of flowers and he wants something that isn’t so girly. When it all comes down to it, the most important part of the wedding cake is the moment he holds your hand in his and you cut it together, symbolizing the unity of your marriage. Of course feeding the cake to each other is always fun as well, but before you can get to this point you’re going to have to agree on a cake for your Massachusetts wedding reception.
Wedding Cake Traditions
There are a lot of wedding traditions and customs that have been handed down throughout the ages. Experts believe that the tradition of the wedding cake actually came from the Greeks, who used to break a loaf of bread over the heads of the bride and groom to symbolize fertility, weath and happiness. Sharing the first piece of cake is a Roman tradition that comes from the belief that eating it together creates an instant bond between the bride and groom. The sweetness of the cake is said to bring sweetness into the marriage and the wheat is symbolic, much like the Greek bread tradition, of fertility.
Modern wedding cakes are typically white. Again, this goes back to the symbolism of purity. The wedding cake toppers are a symbol of togetherness, with many couples choosing a topper that represents their personalities and commitment to one another. Pieces of the wedding cake served to guests are supposed to bring good luck. According to folklore, single women should sleep with a piece of wedding cake under their pillows to bring dreams of a future husband.
Couples will often save the top tier of the wedding cake to eat together on their first anniversary. This has been a custom throughout the Western world since the late 19th century. The idea is to go back to the day you cut the cake and remember how happy you were on that day as you reflect on your first year together. Hint: the cake is saved in the freezer to (hopefully) avoid sickeness from eating year-old cake.
Wedding Cake Ideas
There are tons ideas that can be incorporated into your classic wedding cakes. Traditionally a white cake with white frosting is served, however you can choose different cake flavors, fillings and frostings to suit your own tastes and preferences. If you and your groom can’t decide between chocolate and vanilla cake, consider creating a multi-tier cake with different flavors on each layer and a nice swirl for your top tier anniversary cake. If that won’t work with your design, consider including the groom’s favorite flavor in with groom’s cake ideas to ensure that he gets what he wants too.
The overall design of your cake should match either the colors or the theme of your wedding. A country-style wedding could include wedding cake ideas, such as frosting that looks like natural bark, topped with elements from nature or cowboy theme decorations. A Massachusetts wedding receception that is designed with the ocean in mind could include beautiful buttercream seashells, frosting tinted with blues and greens or even a lighthouse topper to pay hommage to the Cape.
While classic wedding cakes are generally three, four and five tiers high or more, you don’t need to stick with that tradition if you don’t want to. Speak with your baker or caterer about alternative ideas that can help to incorporate the theme of your wedding along with other wedding cake ideas that you might want to include. If available, ask to see photos of other alternative cakes they created for other clients.
Another tradition that is growing in popularity is the groom’s cake. Sometimes this cake can solve differences of opinion with regard to flavor and allows the groom to establish his masculinity in its design. Most groom’s cakes are a darker, richer flavor than the light and colorful wedding cake. Groom’s cake ideas for decorations can reflect the groom’s interests, such as a favorite sports team, hobbies or his profession. The cake is served alongside the classic wedding cakes as a second option for guests at your Massachusetts wedding reception.
A charm cake is a special cake that is served at a luncheon for the bridesmaids prior to the wedding. This tradition invites the members of the bride’s wedding party to pull a ribbon from the cake to reveal a charm that is tied to the end. The charms symbolize different hopes and dreams, such as true love (a heart), good luck (a coin or shamrock), good news (a telephone) or a new baby (pacifier).