History Of Wedding Traditions: Saving the Top of the Wedding Cake

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Dubsdread Catering Event Specialist Peighton Ballant shares the history behind the wedding tradition of saving the top of the wedding cake.Peighton Ballant headshot

Like most traditions that are carried out during a wedding today, they originate from long ago and began for reasons you probably wouldn’t expect. This includes the more than 300-year-old tradition of saving the top of a wedding cake.

Saving the top tier of a wedding cake originated in Great Britain in the 18th century. During this time, the top of the cake, which was usually a fruit cake or chocolate cake because they lasted longer, was saved by the couple to share at the christening of their first child. Since it was expected to have a child within the first year of marriage for hundreds of years, it was a well honored tradition.  

Over time, we have seen the change in the tradition to its modern adaption of now saving the top layer for a couple’s one-year anniversary. This change has happened because more couples nowadays tend to wait longer than a year to have their first child after their wedding.  

This tradition is becoming less and less important, as many couples today opt for non-traditional celebratory desserts including cupcakes, cake pops, gelato, cookies, and even donuts to share with guests, with only a small cake for the couple to use during the cake cutting ceremony. Instead of keeping the cake top, many couples choose to have a small “replica” cake made for their anniversary using the same flavors and finishes rather than keeping the ceremonial cake top.  

If you do choose to save the top of your wedding cake for an entire year, here are a few tips to help you do so:

  • Remove all flowers or live greenery that may be sitting on top of your cake as décor
  • Wrap it airtight in plastic, and then place it inside a plastic bag (there’s no such thing as too much wrapping!)
  • Make sure your freezer doesn’t defrost
  • Don’t cut into the layer or tier that you intend to save

Just be sure it’s kept “food safe” with no contamination to really ruin that anniversary celebration. Just have fun really wrapping up that cake and enjoying it with your partner a year late, or even a month later if you just can’t wait. Don’t worry, we don’t judge!

When it’s time to plan your wedding and reception, our experienced team at Dubsdread Catering works with you every step of the process and will share our tips for making every part of your event special to you and your partner.

Peighton Ballant is an Event Specialist with the Dubsdread Catering Team and is currently working on her Event Management degree at UCF. Peighton enjoys working with prospective couples to discover what they are most interested in bringing to their special day, and how to make those ideas come to life. Contact her today at events@historicdubsdread.comWedding History Dubsdread top 3Wedding History Dubsdread top 2

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