Cakes have always been a characteristic of wedding celebrations, although in times past they were not always eaten. Originally made of wheat, a sign of fertility and prosperity, they would have been thrown at the bride!
Around 100B.C. The Romans started baking wheat and salt into little cakes to be eaten, even though some would have been crumbled over the head of the bride as a sign of good fortune. The ancient Greeks used a sweeter mixture of wheat and honey, however all these’cakes’ could have been more like a biscuit rather than a soft cake. In medieval England flour based sweet foods were included in several celebration feasts.
In some areas it was customary to place the cakes in a heap. A tall stack of cakes has been an indication of wealth. This was a type of mince pie, made with sweet breads or a savoury mutton pie and interior would have been put a ring. Custom says that the lady who found the ring would be alongside wed..
The rich fruitcake, with marzipan and white icing, being a symbol of fertility, started to become popular by the 18th century. At the middle of the 19th century it became customary to send some of cake to individuals who could not attend the wedding. Hence it became necessary to make bigger cakes with more tiers. The tiers gradually becoming separated by columns. Though this style of white tiered cake is now traditional in many countries, in different cultures wedding cakes are created from many different different ingredients and shapes and are often more colourful.