The wedding cake has always been important to the marriage celebration. In ancient Roman times, bread was broken above the head of the bride, signifying good luck for the couple. As time passed, different foods replaced bread and were stacked, the happy couple expected to lean over it and kiss before dismantling and serving. The contents evolved into buns and small cakes or pastries, sometimes even meat pies which were eaten as part of the meal. But the symbolism has pretty much remained the same, that of fertility and good fortune, as the newlyweds ceremoniously cut the cake and share with each other prior to their guests.
Contemporary cakes are often not even edible but merely disguised cardboard or styrofoam, elaborately decorated, then whisked away to the kitchen where a simple sheet cake is cut and served to the unsuspecting guests. Traditionally the top layer, often called the groom’s cake, is saved and consumed at a later date, or may be separate entirely. At some weddings, the cake consists of tiered cupcakes for easy serving, or displayed on an elaborate “sweet table” of desserts where