Unique Wedding Cake Traditions from Around the World – Part 1

Most societies and cultures throughout the ages have had some version of a wedding ceremony. As the union of two people is a celebration, special foods were prepared for the occasion.

Ancient Romans for example, had a tradition of breaking bread on the bride’s head symbolizing good fortune and fertility.

A lot has changed since then, but weddings continue to be a time-honoured celebration. Numerous countries have their version of a wedding cake or an equivalent to mark the occasion. Here are a few of our favourite traditions from around the world:-

Southern United States – One of the most important traditions of the Southern United States, Weddings cake pulls are the sterling silver charms placed inside the wedding cake with attached ribbons. Bridesmaids are supposed to gather around the cake, pull out the ribbon to receive a good luck charm representing travel, children or marriage.

Each charm holds a different meaning:-

  • Fleur De Lis – New beginning or rebirth
  • Rocking Chair – Long life ahead
  • Chili Pepper – Red hot romance
  • Ring – Next to marry
  • Money Bag – Financial Security
  • Heart – Your love is true (this happens to be our favorite one) etc.

Korean – Many traditional Korean wedding cakes are out of rice. This is because many Koreans prefer a less sweet cake, over the sugar-loaded Western-styled cakes.

 Called “Dok”, the cake resembles a tiered sponge cake. It’s made from ground steamed rice and covered in red bean powder. Non-dairy whipped cream covers its surface. The cake’s rice represents the meals the couple will share throughout their upcoming married lives. Korean Liquor is then added to this dish, made with sauce, like sake in two cups symbolizing the union of two souls.

Irish – Traditional Irish weddings serve a fruitcake that’s made from honey, soaked with Irish whiskey, and then frosted with a sweet white glaze. The top layer of the cake has four-leaf clovers or sham rocks symbolizing good luck.

PolishTraditionally in Poland, a newly-wed couple coming back from church is greeted with wine, salt and bread. The bread represents the wish for the couple to never go hungry. Salt represents difficult times, giving them the ability to cope with what comes their way, and wine represents good spirits and health. The bread has the same importance as a wedding cake.

UkranianKorovai is what couples share in Ukraine instead of a cake. It’s large round braided bread, baked with numerous figurines and symbols. It’s given to the groom and the bride like a blessing. These symbolic motifs represent eternity, and joining of families. Couples customarily consume only a few pieces during the wedding, and the rest is eaten in weeks after.