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February 28, 2010

The Groom’s Cake: Where is the Bride’s Cake?

Groom's Cake - Coors Light

Example of Groom's Cake

Being from the North I have just recently learned of the groom’s cake. My first thought was where is the bride’s cake?  Why does he need his own cake? What is this all about?  I thought this was crazy! She shares the wedding cake and he needs his own cake.  This seemed to stink of what is mine is ours and what is yours is yours!  I had to get to the bottom of this to find out why so many couples today are choosing to have a separate groom’s cake for him.

If you’re wondering as I did where is the bride’s cake I am here to tell you where it is.  The case is solved; I found the bride’s cake.  The wedding cake is the bride’s cake!  I thought the wedding cake was just that… a cake for the wedding.  A dessert sometimes served at the wedding, and sometimes it is wrapped in napkins to be taken home. As I looked into this further I was pleasantly surprised.

Starting in the 17th century the term was the bride’s pie. This was usually a mince meat or mutton pie. By the 19th century the bride’s pie was replaced by the bride’s cake. The cakes were sweet confections; they were cakes as we know cakes today. The cakes were usually light colored cakes iced in white to symbolize purity.  During the Victorian period white became very popular in the wedding as the purity symbol.

Now that I knew where the bride’s cake was; I was satisfied that my fellow females were not being jipped.  I had to know more about the concept of the groom’s cake.  Where did it come from?

The groom’s cake originated in early America’s South.  During this period of time the groom’s cake was the wedding cake.  It was sliced and sent home with the guests. The bride’s cake was to be served at the wedding. In today’s weddings we have those cakes reversed. The bride’s cake is the wedding cake and the groom’s cake is a tribute to him and his interests.

Early groom’s cakes, like the early bride’s cakes, were also different with what they are today. Early groom’s cakes were made of fruit and could be covered in brandy and stored for long periods of time. Eventually they were made in dark colors such as chocolate to contrast the purity symbolism of the white bride’s cakes.

Today Groom’s cakes are in all colors and shapes. Most couples today are having them made to show case his hobbies or interests. Sports themes, giant beer mugs, anything he enjoys can be a groom’s cake.  These cakes are being used at the simplest to the most elaborate weddings. Some of the brides are surprising their groom with their own cake at the wedding reception.

Some couples are now using the groom’s cake as the rehearsal dinner cake.  This makes sense because the rehearsal dinner was traditionally known as the groom’s dinner. He was supposed to pay for it along with the flowers, alcohol and honeymoon.

I am no longer offended by the groom’s cake. I see the changing roles and titles of the bride’s and groom’s cakes just like the couples who are getting married today.  Couples have evolved in their roles why not the cake too! The groom’s cake can be a fun addition to the wedding…why not have one?

Robin Oliverio

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