Cut (or Kill) the Cake
Since ancient Rome, the wedding cake has been a central part of wedding celebrations. The cake, and all the ceremony that goes along with it, is associated with prosperity, fertility, fidelity and happiness for the couple as well as the wedding guests.
The first wedding cake wasn’t really cake at all, but a dense loaf made of grain. Instead of cutting into it, the cake was broken over the bride’s head and then the newlyweds ate the crumbs together.
During the seventeenth century, cakes evolved into the Bride Pie. This type of pie had to be cut instead of broken by hand. By the nineteenth century, the Bride’s Pie had been replaced by what has been come to known as a traditional wedding cake: a white, multi-tiered cake with ornate decoration. With the traditional wedding cake was born the tradition of a specialized cake server for the couple to use on their wedding day.
The modern cake cutting tradition calls for the bride to hold the knife and the groom to place his hand on top of hers, and together they cut a small piece of cake from the bottom tier. This is the first task they do together as a married couple. They then share the cake, feeding each other, as a symbol of their commitment and love.
Brides and grooms today are looking to put their own twist on the cake cutting tradition. Many couples choose a song to cut the cake to, something that reflects their personalities. Popular choices include How Sweet It Is by James Taylor and Sugar, Sugar by The Archies.
More adventurous couples are opting to “kill the cake.” Instead of cutting a small slice from the bottom, the bride puts the cake knife through the top layer.
Another more personal twist on the tradition is after the bride and groom cut their own piece of cake, they then cut a few more slices and serve them to their parents as a gesture of gratitude.
Many couples are opting to forgo the traditional wedding cake in lieu of different cake-like desserts such as cupcakes or cake pops. Instead of cutting the cake together, the couple will share a cupcake or cake pop toast, where they thank their guests, eat their dessert and share a kiss.
By Gretchen Culver
Rocket Science Weddings & Events