7 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Your Wedding Cake

Number 1: Why white cakes?

Why are most wedding cakes white? As with most things wedding related, the color of the wedding cake is all about symbolism. Just like the dress, the white cake symbolizes the purity and virginity of the bride. So all those parents out there who get all worked up about their little girl wearing white to the wedding and then have no problem with a colorful explosion of a wedding cake…yeah… For our two cents, it’s either go all out with the tradition and symbolism or say to heck with it and have the wedding that you want. It is 2013, after all, right?

Number 2: Symbolism

Adding insult to injury, the venerable tradition of the wedding cake was not even what we currently think of as cake until the Victorian era. At its earliest beginnings in Ancient Rome, the wedding cake was a “cake” of grain that was broken over the bride’s or sometimes the couple’s head(s) as (yet another) fertility symbol and wish. Later it became a “bride’s pie,” which could be extremely elaborate, sometimes including live animals like birds, or even snakes!

Number 3: History

Not only did Queen Victoria, venerable style icon that she was, set the tone for many of our attitudes about marriage and life in general, she even helped popularize the wedding cake itself. Queen Victoria’s wedding included an extremely elaborate cake with pure white icing and royal figures made out of said icing. The type of icing used on Queen Victoria’s cake is what today is called Royal Icing, so called because it was first popularized by a queen. Although now less popular on wedding cakes, this confection is still used in a number of applications including cookies, gingerbread houses, and any other place where a pure white, hard icing is called for.





Number 4: Grooms Cake

On the other end of the symbolism spectrum is the now primarily southern tradition of the Groom’s Cake. This cake was usually fruitcake, and was a symbol of the groom’s fertility!



Number 5: The first cake known

The very earliest known sweet wedding cake was recorded in 1655 and was a type of cake called “banbury cake.” Banbury cake bears little resemblance to modern wedding cake, however. It is a flat, oval shaped, spiced pastry filled with currants and generally served with tea. To the modern palate that may sound distinctly uninspiring, but in a time when the ingredients for an actual cake were prohibitively expensive, something as fancy as Banbury cake would have been a real treat.

Number 6: Ingredients

As ingredients for what we now think of as cake became more available and less expensive, the go-to cake for wedding cake, or “bride’s cake” as it was then known, was a white pound cake. This cake would be covered in white frosting. All of which was, of course, fraught with symbolism.




Number 7: The infamous cake topper

The cake topper is actually a holdover from the 1950’s. Modern cake toppers range from the traditional to whimsical depictions of the couple to the abstract and are generally in keeping with the overall decorative theme of the reception, while traditionally they were representations of the bride and groom in formal attire and symbolized the togetherness of the couple.




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How to Handle the Mominator

How to Handle the Mominator: Getting Through the Planning and Execution of Your Wedding and Preserving Harmonious Relations With Your Mother In Law, Even If She’s A Momzilla.

It’s six months or six weeks or six days before your wedding and gradually you’re beginning to suspect, or perhaps suddenly you’re realizing, that your one true love has a major problem, and that problem is spelled M-O-M. What started as an invitation to a cake tasting or flower appointment out of politeness has become an expectation that she is to be not only included in every decision, but to have veto power over everything from color schemes to seating charts. Perhaps your future mother in law is footing all or part of the bill for your big day and as a result you feel limited in your ability to, or completely unable to, reign in the runaway train that is your control freak future mother in law.

Before you know what’s hit you she’s “suggesting” changes to everything from seating to flowers, colors to, yes, your dress. She wants to talk to you more about her role in the big day and her outfit than you and your beloved’s ceremony or the fabulous party you’re planning to throw or the awesome reception hall you’ve booked, DJ you’ve chosen or caterer you’re considering. You’re at your wits end with this lady, but if at all possible would really like the beginning of your happy life with your new spouse not to be the beginning of a world war with your mother in law.

Particularly if MIL is holding the purse strings, you’re going to be limited in your ability to absolutely put your foot down. Even if future MIL doesn’t have a financial stake in the wedding, keeping harmony in the budding family means keeping the peace between you and the MIL. This is a job for the Maid/Matron of Honor, or a trusted Bridesmaid. All of the “politely put your foot down and disinvite MIL from the appointments” suggestions in the world won’t help if you have a particularly persistent MIL or if MIL is footing the bill. What you need is a wing-woman. From now on you don’t deal with MIL on your own, particularly if you are close to snapping.

Call a meeting of your Maid/Matron of honor and your most trusted Bridesmaid(s) well before you next appointment or planned outing. Explain to them in polite but clear terms that you need your ladies to start taking on some tasks perhaps a bit early, and one of those tasks is to keep everyone in the party (not just MIL!) focused, positive and moving forward. Suggest that they distract folks or change the subject of conversation if people get too fixated on one topic or another. Work out a signal ahead of time for “change the subject, distract that person, get me out of here!!, etc.” If you have the type of Maid/Matron of honor or bridesmaid you can be completely honest with, then lay it on the line and simply tell her that MIL needs a handler to distract her when she starts to get on your last nerve. If that’s not the case, though, you can still work out some general wing-woman game signals before hand so your Maid/Matron of honor and bridesmaid(s) help keep not just your MIL, but your whole wedding party, in line and on task throughout each and every appointment, from cake tasting to dress shopping to favor making and even last minute DIY detail parties and wedding rehearsals.  In short, don’t be afraid to use your wedding party to give you the help you need to ensure that you are able to get through the planning and lead up to your wedding day as insulated from outside stressors, including a Momzilla mother in law, as possible.