10 Strange Wedding Traditions


1
Freezing the Top Tier of the Wedding Cake
Serve year-old cake to celebrate a christening? You bet. © JeffMcSweeney/iStockphoto.com

It used to be that newly married couples were expected to have their first baby before their first anniversary, and as a result of that, weddings and christenings were much more tightly linked to each other than they are today -- and, as it turned out, both occasions called for cake. During the 1800s when multi-tiered wedding cakes became fashionable, brides began saving the leftover top tier of the wedding cake to be used for the christening instead of buying a separate cake -- to be defrosted in what many a 19th-century bride hoped would be about a year. Today, couples freeze wedding cake for sentiment.

There's more to freezing the top tier of your wedding cake than a zip-top bag or food storage container -- or, we can barely imagine, in a cardboard box. The better prepped, the less chance your cake will suffer freezer burn. For example, before wrapping your cake, some recommend giving it a little time to chill uncovered in the freezer -- this is to help firm up the cake and frosting before you wrap it for storage. Wrap it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and zip-top freezer bags (and if you gently squeeze the air out of the bag before storing it will help reduce the number of cake-ruining ice crystals that form). When the time comes, thaw your cake slowly in the refrigerator before eating.

Despite your best efforts, year-old frozen cake can lack a certain freshness, no matter how much care you give it beforehand, and modern couples have been known to celebrate the tradition with a freshly-baked -- and top tier-sized -- version of their wedding cake.

Author's Note: 10 Strange Wedding Traditions

Before researching and writing this article I had never considered how many of our wedding traditions come out of superstitions and the desire to keep evil spirits from ruining the day; and I'd never head of charivari, which sounds like a truly rotten way to spend your wedding night -- way worse than those jangly cans tied to the back of the newlyweds' getaway car.

Related Articles

More Great Links

Sources

  • Allen, Kelsie. "The Surprising Truths Behind Common Wedding Superstitions." Bridal Guide. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/wedding-ceremony-traditions/wedding-superstitions?page=0,0
  • Czajka, Christopher W. "Frontier Life: How the West was fun: Recreation and leisure time on the frontier." PBS. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/frontierlife/essay9_3.html
  • Deutsch, Gail. "20 From '20/20': 20 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs." ABC News. Jan. 16, 2013. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://abcnews.go.com/Business/20-2020-20-ways-cut-wedding-costs/story?id=18224623
  • Editors of Martha Stewart Weddings. "11 wedding superstitions and traditions explained." CNN. Sept. 6, 2013. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/06/living/matrimony-superstitions/
  • Flock, Elizabeth. "Queen Victoria was the first to get married in white." The Washington Post. April 29, 2011. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/royal-wedding-watch/post/queen-victoria-was-the-first-to-get-married-in-white/2011/04/29/AFIYPmDF_blog.html
  • Gordon, Carey. "Are You A Control Freak Bride? It's Time To Break The Rules." The Huffington Post. March 14, 2012. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carey-gordon/are-you-a-control-freak-b_b_1343437.html
  • Grabenstetter, Jenn. "The Bizarre Origins of 8 Wedding Traditions." Mental Floss. June 23, 2008. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://mentalfloss.com/article/18915/bizarre-origins-8-wedding-traditions
  • Hall, Michell; and Lizzie Jury. "I do ... cost a lot: Weddings by the numbers." CNN. Aug. 9, 2013. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/09/living/matrimony-by-the-numbers
  • In Love with Weddings. "Save the Cake -- Freezing Your Wedding Cake." Aug. 6, 2009. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.inlovewithweddings.com/save-the-cake/
  • Kirkova, Deni. "Would you wreck your wedding gown for a photo shoot? Trash The Dress trend hits the UK." Mail Online. Aug. 2, 2013. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2383220/TrashThe-Dress-Photography-trend-brides-wrecking-wedding-gowns-love-arrives-UK.html
  • Money Allocator. "11 Tips on cutting wedding cost." (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.moneyallocator.com/articles/wedding_expenses.asp
  • O'Rourke, Meghan. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Worst Friend." Slate. June 11, 2007. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/weddings/2007/06/diamonds_are_a_girls_worst_friend.html
  • The Wedding Report. "United States Complete Market Report: 2012 Wedding Statistics Summary for United States." (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.theweddingreport.com/wmdb/index.cfm?action=db.viewdetail&t=s&lc=00&setloc=y
  • The Wedding Report -- Cost of Wedding. "Wedding budget vs Real Wedding Cost." (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.costofwedding.com/
  • Trex, Ethan. "Why Engagement Rings Are Made With Diamonds." Mental Floss. Dec. 14, 2010. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://mentalfloss.com/article/26619/why-engagement-rings-are-made-diamonds
  • Weddings by Wells. "Charivari." (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.weddingsbywells.com/charivari/
  • Wilton. "Storing The Top Tier Of Wedding Cake." (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.wilton.com/cakes/displaying-cakes/storing-top-tier-wedding-cake.cfm
  • XO Group. "2011 Engagement & Jewelry Statistics Released By TheKnot.com & WeddingChannel.com." Aug. 30, 2011. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://www.xogroupinc.com/press-releases-home/2011-press-releases/2011-08-30-2011-engagement-and-jewelry-statistics-released.aspx
  • Zerzan, Rebecca. "5 Beloved Traditions Invented to Make You Buy Stuff." Mental Floss. (Sept. 8, 2013) http://blogs.static.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/21211.html

UP NEXT

10 Ways Americans and Europeans Differ

10 Ways Americans and Europeans Differ

HowStuffWorks looks at come of the cultural differences between Europe and America, like ice consumption, metric system and portion sizes.


More to Explore