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Sweet News – The Cake Cutting Ceremony

August 16, 2010

So what’s it all about?  Let’s take a trip thru history . . .

In Roman times, sweet breads were baked and broken over the bride’s head.  The belief was that the number of pieces the cake broke into signified the number of children the couple would have, and the broken bits served to guests became symbols of fertility.  Fast forward a couple of hundred years when wedding cakes became multi-tiered confections.  In the “olden days” the icing had to be very hard to provide the structure that held up the cake.  (Today, cake designers and bakers use an internal support system to provide structure to the cake.)  Since the cake was very hard (can you imagine?) the groom had to help the bride cut the cake, beginning the tradition of the joint cutting of the first slice.

Today, the cake cutting ceremony is a highly anticipated part of the wedding reception. It is a nostalgic moment that symbolizes the first time the newlyweds share food as husband and wife, and it also demonstrates their pledge to support and nourish one another.

We strongly encourage you to do the ceremonial first cut at the beginning of the reception.  Once you are announced as husband and wife and enter the room, it’s time for the first dance and cake cutting.  Yes, before dinner.   Why?

Because then your caterer can disassemble the cake, cut and plate it and serve it to your guests when they expect dessert – right after their meal.  Waiting until later in the evening when the older folks have left because they were tired,  the younger folks have left to get home to relieve babysitters and the fraternity brothers are in no shape to eat sweets only means that you’re going to have a lot of left over cake.  You bought a beautiful cake to be a focal point of your reception, but it’s food and it’s meant to be eaten, so serve it to your guests while they’re still there!

And a final note about cake smashing.  I don’t get it.  I really don’t.  Your new wife is wearing the most expensive dress she’s ever bought.  It’s probably white.  It’s likely that she’s had her hair and makeup professionally done.  You’re hosting a formal party.  (Even if it’s a casual backyard bar-be-que you’re still hosting a party with specific rules of etiquette.)  And you want to start a food fight?  You’re choosing to begin your married life with a disrespectful act?  What is this Animal House? Call me a fuddy-duddy I guess, but I just don’t get it.

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