History of a wedding cake
Weddings are filled with traditions and often times we dont even give a thought to why some things are done in a certain way. Wedding cake is one of those things that is expected at almost every wedding. Most people dont know that the idea of a wedding cake actually goes way back in history to Ancient Rome. It was not exactly the kind of contemporary cake you would have these days, but back then it was a piece of bread that was broken over the bride’s head. The ceremony was said to bring good luck for the newlyweds.
Fast forward two thousand years, and you will get something that resembles something more of a modern wedding cake. Prince Leopold had a wedding cake that was completely edible with layers of thick icing and thats where the more modern tradition of wedding cake comes from.
Symbolism and even superstition have always been attached to the cake, cutting and the whole ceremony around it. Traditionally the cake is white and symbolizes in most western cultures something that is innocent and pure. The bride and groom would cut the cake and distribute the pieces among the wedding guests, but first they would give each other a share to symbolize their union.
Types of wedding cakes
In medieval times the cakes were constructed from rolls and buns stacked over each other, but the modern cake is something completely different. A white wedding cake is still probably the most popular one, but there are a lot of exeptions to this rule. I always enjoy seeing a cake that somehow represents the couple and their personalities.
A traditional stack cake might look very ordinary to the outside, but inside you could have virtually any flavour you can imagine. Chocolate is very popular, but in Finland the stack cake is often filled with fresh strawberries, specially if it is a summer wedding. I would say that cakes with fruit fillings are more popular because chocolate is sometimes too “heavy” to be eaten if it happens to be a hot day. And yes, the summer can be hot in Finland in case you were wondering 🙂 In Singapore this would generally not pose a problem since most weddings are held at hotel ballrooms anyway with airconditioning.
I dont know from where exactly this idea of fake cakes in Singapore came from, but these days it is very common not to have a real cake at the reception. Probably one of the reasons is that hotels always include the fake cake into their packages, so it would require an extra effort to get a real cake. And of course real cakes are expensive as well, specially when you have to consider that you might have more than 200 guests at your wedding.
If you dont want to “go fake” all the way, one option is to have a smaller cake for cutting, and let the guests have their piece served from the kitchen. Obviously the cake for guests dont have to be as glamorous as the one for cutting. If you want to have a cake with very extravagant design, another option is to have a smaller real section for cutting, and the rest can be fake. If it is done properly, nobody would notice the difference.
I understand that real cakes are difficult to make and they are rather expensive, but if your budget permits, go for the real one. A wedding cake is a beautiful tradition and it really adds that “special something” to your wedding day. And make sure your actual day photographer captures the cake before it’s all gone 🙂