Wedding Cake Toppers and Wedding Traditions


Wedding cake toppers may seem excessive and add no practical value, yet decorations do serve a purpose: They foster imagination by encouraging couples to visualize possible futures within and beyond societal norms.

Cake ornaments act as materialized fantasies; whether symbolic, iconic, abstract, figurative, past- or future-facing. Take some time to explore what possibilities these cake embellishments create! Read on and discover some cases they open up.


Wedding cakes often serve as the first task a newly married couple completes as part of their newly wedded life together, symbolizing good luck and hope for a prosperous future. Couples sometimes give each other bites of cake to illustrate their commitment and love for one another, while others add unique charms such as horseshoes or four-leaf clover flowers for extra luck.

Some couples even customize their cake toppers for anniversary cakes by adding details like gray hair on the groom or a dark beard to the bride. These cosmetic changes reinforce an ongoing renegotiation of identity beyond initial physical appearances; additionally, some couples repurpose original cake toppers as decorations on wedding tables to signify age differences between themselves and each other.

While most wedding cake toppers portray white couples, other relationships may also be depicted. Usually, these depictions arise as a result of popular culture or political activism – for instance, a 1995 lithograph depicting a gay couple cutting their wedding cake is one such instance; originally intended as an advertisement for safe sex and AIDS prevention measures but later reused for decoration purposes as a wedding cake topper.

While some cake toppers reflect stereotypical and eye-rollingly sexist tropes – for example, an overbearing bride pressuring an unwilling groom into marriage – others offer hope of alternative futures. A Kewpie topper from 1925/1940 depicting a couple wearing cotton and lace dresses is homemade but open for storytelling interpretation by interpretive play or storytelling alone.

While these figures may be symbolic and iconographic, they also serve to represent dreams shared among individuals and communities when looking toward the future. Their symbolic shapes refract hopes and wishes rooted in historical customary tokens as well as modern ceremonies. Their whimsical form further fosters imagination. Whether the wedding cake topper symbolizes eternal constancy or is an abstract and iconic representation of the bride and groom, its presence serves to spark creative minds’ creative juices.


Wedding cake toppers may seem decorative and frilly, yet are so far removed from academic scrutiny that it is hard to know whether there has ever been any formal study conducted on them. Their use of unstable materials such as gum paste, wax, Marzipan, celluloid, and chalk ware, their gendered associations, mass-production nature, and mass-produced commodities may discourage Serious Scholars of Fine Art from undertaking in-depth analyses of them.

Cake ornaments might seem trivial and frivolous at first glance; however, considering their symbolic and historical meaning can bring great insight. Mainly, those used on wedding cakes serve to mediate various forms of fantasy, both similar and dissimilar from expected matrimonial imagery.

Cake ornaments’ toylike qualities heighten their already inherent capacity for fantasy and desire, unlike more formal and static models of historical figures. Instead, these cake ornaments encourage playfulness and active imagination – reinvigorating their depictions of social and property relationships even further.

Wedding cake toppers’ ability to spark fantasy and desire also makes them ideal markers of contentious histories. One notable wedding cake topper commemorating Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler’s marriage in 1780 was one of the first public acknowledgments of their marriage as a political partnership is one such wedding cake topper.

In this case, two groom figurines adorning a cake both coincide with traditional matrimonial symbolism while diverging from it at the same time. Their juxtaposition suggests both an unexpected yet complementary relationship; their divergence results from them representing marriage between men, while traditional symbolism for wedding cakes centers on brides and their respective partners.

Wedding toppers produced through industrial manufacturing processes may serve as a symbolic representation of globalization and consumer society; thus, their history is tied inextricably to globalization’s rise as well as its introduction of new models of relationships.


Weddings are filled with traditions, from tossing the bouquet to sharing your first dance, all of which represent prosperity and luck for newlyweds. Some customs may be for fun, while others can have more profound significance.

Back in the day, single people would put a slice of groom’s cake under their pillow each night in hopes that it would bring them luck in finding love that night. Today, couples still celebrate this tradition by cutting and sharing bites of the groom’s cake as part of their love and unity celebrations.

One popular custom is including charms in your cake for guests to discover as part of the surprise element. Treats might consist of gold or silver rings representing forthcoming engagements, highchairs symbolizing children, flowers representing blooming love, clover or horseshoes for good luck, phone numbers for future communication purposes, an anchor representing adventure, money bags for wealth accumulation or picture frames as a sweet gesture for future memories.

As part of their first anniversary celebrations, many couples choose to reserve the top tier of their cake with mousse layers or fresh fruit to mark this special event and remember it in style. This can serve as a great reminder of all that took place on that memorable day!

Although some customs may be messy, they’re also fun and an incredible way to share in the celebration with loved ones. No matter whether it’s a superb 5-tiered cake or something smaller and more straightforward – what matters is feeling joyous during this special momentous occasion.

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Wedding cake traditions can add an exciting and memorable element to the overall celebration, provide photo opportunities, and honor family members who cannot attend your special day. Here are a few popular cake-related traditions you should consider including in your event.

Many couples opt to include gold or silver charms baked into their cake as an attractive and whimsical gesture, giving each guest who cuts into it a bit of extra luck! Charms such as hearts for true love, clover or horseshoe charms to symbolize good fortune, rings for engagement announcements, highchairs for children, or an engagement ring can be hidden either within frosting or underneath layers for guests pulling their ribbon corresponding with one charm they’ll receive their slice!

One adorable tradition at weddings is placing a figurine of the bride and groom on top of your cake as part of its decoration. This tradition symbolizes how two people begin a new chapter together – creating an adorable memory for your photographer! It’s also a sweet and memorable way of showing affection between couples, as it creates beautiful photo opportunities!

Wedding cakes were often associated with superstitions in the past. For instance, in ancient Rome, brides were fed barley cake as an act of fertility and masculine dominance; newlyweds in Yorkshire kissed over a pile of buns to signify wealth; single people would place pieces under their pillows as hope that one might awaken from dreams about future spouses; 17th-century single people even put pieces of cake beneath them so as to dream about future love interests; some modern couples now give miniature replicas as wedding reception favors for an added personal touch; more modern couples give small models or charms as wedding reception favors so as to provide even greater personalization for guests at their event!

After cutting their cake, many couples like to share a slice between themselves and serve it to one another as an intimate symbol of their commitment and to remind each other to show love and respect always. It can also serve as an excellent alternative to bouquet tossing!