Wedding Traditions: The Groom’s Cake

The tradition of the groom’s cake at a wedding reception, still very popular in Birmingham,  dates back to at least the 1700’s in England.  Back then a grooms cake was a dark heavy fruit cake, often made with brandy, which acted as a preservative.  Traditionally the groom’s cake was a gift from the bride to her groom.  It was cut and given as a favor to departing guests.  One superstition states that if a single women took home a piece of the groom’s cake and placed it under her pillow, she would dream of her future husband.

This tradition is relatively uncommon in the US compared to other traditions and is primarily followed in the south although it seems to be picking up in other areas of the country.

The groom’s cake has evolved from a rather simple cake to, at times, a very elaborate cake that takes the shape of or is symbolic of one of the groom’s interests. Popular themes are: baseball fields, stadiums, animals, his favorite car, a symbol of his hobby; pretty much anything goes!

The groom’s cake can be virtually any type of cake and most certainly will contrast with the white cake traditionally called the Bride’s cake.  This cake also is sometimes eaten after the rehearsal dinner or offered at the wedding as a second dessert.

This cake is sometime ordered to the groom’s specifications, jointly decided upon or as is traditional, chosen by the bride and presented to the groom as in the past.  The groom’s cake is typically set up on its own table so as to not compete with the main wedding cake.  There is no set tradition on when or who is to cut the groom’s cake as there is with the bride’s cake.  Some references state it should be cut after the garter toss, others after the bride’s cake is cut, others at the groom’s dinner the night before the wedding.

Whatever way it occurs, no matter who orders this cake, this tradition is a fun way to honor the groom and highlight part of his personality at his and your wedding reception!

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