April 14, 2011
The past few weeks I went to two bridal shows. There were plenty of vendors to see and of course, lots of wedding cake to sample. So I thought that I would post a few wedding cake images from recent weddings that I have been photographing. It is a gratuitous sugar rush and there is even a few chocolate cakes in the mix.
So a little history on the wedding cake. It has to be the most recognized symbol of the wedding day feast. The cutting of the cake and the sharing of it with guests is always a high point of the occasion. When everyone eats together a bond is formed. Food has always been a form of social and familial glue. The serving of a special food to guests says that they are welcomed and appreciated. The cake also serves as a symbol of fertility and plenty. The cake of today evolved from the pile of small hard biscuits that were served during the ancient Greek weddings. The biscuits were seasoned with honey and sesame seeds. The honey symbolized sweetness and the sesame seeds represented the bitterness of life. The idea of the normal ups and downs of anyone's life which is reflected in the 'for better or worse' of the wedding vows. There are also associations with good harvest because the biscuits, and later the cakes, were made from wheat. Small pieces of these biscuits were crumpled over the bride's head for good fortune and success in bearing children. This may have evolved into the throwing of rice at weddings. Later this ritual involved into the production of many small cakes. During the seventeenth century the idea of producing one cake from the many small cakes came into being. White, sugar frosting was used to stick the small cakes into a larger creation. Breakthroughs in baking technology in the 1800's made possible the production of light, airy cakes, like we see today. As with the wedding dress, see 'It's All About the Dress', Queen Victoria had a type of wedding cake that represents those that we see today. But her cake was a little over the top with a weight of 300 pounds and a nine foot diameter. It was decorated with marzipan and had gold 'love' charms inside. Now that is a cake for all of you competitive brides out there. Just about every culture has their take on the wedding cake or the serving of something sweet at the marriage ceremony. Sharing sweets brings happiness to guests and this tradition continues today with all types and shapes of cakes being made.
Houston Fine Art Wedding Photographer
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