Wedding cakes are not just dessert to be served to guests during reception. The wedding cake is cut together by the couple during the wedding reception. Then the husband and wife exchange bites of the cake. This is the first act the couple does together as husband and wife.
The sweet wedding cake symbolizes caring and nurturance between the couple. Wedding cakes are also usually white, to symbolize purity. In ancient Rome, the wedding cake is a loaf of bread. This cake is broken over the bride's head. The guests would then scramble for the crumbs.
There are also numerous superstitions about good luck for those who can bring home the crumbs of the wedding cake. Putting crumbs of a wedding cake under one's pillow will make a guest dream of the future spouse. Crumbs are also believed to enhance fertility.
Wedding cakes nowadays have a variety of designs, layers and flavors. Besides choosing a cake in one's favorite flavor, couples also have to choose the cake according to practical reasons.
Fruit cakes stand up better because of the volume added by the fruit. Fruit cakes are especially great for multi-layered tiers as it can hold the weight of the tiers.
Chocolate cakes can present a problem. Couples are expected to exchange bites of the cake and smile for the photographer right after. Brown smears on the teeth or face will not be flattering on pictures.
Fondant cakes also hold up better, even during warm weather.
Three-tiered cakes can be practical. Bottom layer can be eaten at the reception, middle layer can be distributed for give-aways, and the top layer can be saved and frozen for the next big occasion, such as the first wedding anniversary or the baptism of the couple's first child.
Weddings are traditionally held in places of worship. Churches, chapels and temples are usual venues to get married. Often a wedding venue is chosen because of its significance to the bride or groom. It could be a church where one attended growing up, etc. Or a parish church officiated by a favorite priest. Some couples pick a place of worship because of its excellent artistic or historical attributes.
Some couples choose to get married where marriage licenses are easier to acquire, such as Las Vegas or a country with easy application process. Some couples choose to get married in their homes.
Other couples are more adventurous and pick an assortment of venues to exchange their "I Dos". Some want to hold their wedding outdoors. A pretty garden, the sea, a public park are beautiful places that will make a wedding memorable. Other couples go all out with their creativity to make their wedding unique. Sometimes, a hobby or interest will naturally dictate what wedding location is most ideal for a couple. Some couples have gotten married airborne, under the sea or up the mountains.
There is no limit to where a wedding can be held. As long as a place is special for both the bride and groom, any place is the perfect place to hold a wedding.
Wedding Order of Events:
Wedding Rehearsal Dinner
Reception Line in church
Grand Entrance of Wedding Party
Cutting of Cake (sometimes this is done after the dance, since some people believe when the cake is cut the reception is over).
Throwing of the Garter
Throwing the bouquet
Father Daughter Dance
The rehearsal dinner is given as a thanksgiving meal to the entourage who have come to practice the wedding march. This is done very near to the wedding date. It is often sponsored by the groom's family.
Other American Wedding Customs
Gift registration. Couples today can window shop around favorite specialty stores and sign up with the bridal registry. In the registry, they can specify what they need or want. The stores where the couple is registered can be announced during the engagement, or written in the wedding invitation. This way, well-wishers can check out from the store most convenient to buy from and decide on a gift that will surely be used and liked by the couple.
Bridal Shower and Groom's Stag Party. These parties are organized by the maid of honor for the bride, and the Best Man for the groom. It is also done days before the wedding, sometimes the day before. The ladies and gentlemen enjoy the night with activities they consider enjoyable. It is the party that signifies farewell to the bride's and groom's carefree, single life.
While once believed to be totally true by those given in to superstition, the custom is just an act of fun and tradition these days, as no one really believes this anymore. The same is true with the garter thrown by the groom to all of the single men hoping to catch the keepsake.
It seems that American wedding customs have deep-seeded beginnings in superstition. Nowadays, couples use these Wedding traditions and customs for entertainment and for the sake of tradition. The truth is, the couple has all the power they need to make their marriage last through the love that they have for each other. But, it never hurts to throw in a little luck just because it is so much fun.