We’ve all seen it. A beaming bride and groom delicately cut the first slice of wedding cake, posing for photographers along the way before removing a small piece each, waving it in front of each others faces and then…SMASH! Wedding cake and frosting is falling in clumps off of the face of the bride, groom, or both and the guests either erupt in laughter, cheering, or sighs of disgust.
The smashing of the wedding cake is actually an age-old ritual that has positive origins. Dating back to Roman times, the smashing of the wedding cake was a way to shower well wishes and blessings on the happy couple. As the tradition started, the wedding cake wasn’t eaten by the bride and groom, but rather thrown at them. The reason? It was meant to symbolize fertility. Wheat is thought to represent fruitfulness and throwing the cake at the newlyweds was meant to ensure they would be fertile. Over time, the tradition changed and eating wedding cake became the norm. A hint of the ritual remains though, every time a new husband and wife decide to smash cake in one another’s faces.
The question for you is: to smash or not to smash? Is the ritual fun and cute or tacky and outdated? You’re the only person who can answer that. Smashing wedding cake in one another’s faces can be seen as playful, funny, and entertaining, but it can also come across as rude, disrespectful, and disgusting. It hinges a lot on you and your fiancé. What kind of couple are you? If you’re typically conservative, reserved, or classy, smashing wedding cake in one another’s faces might come off as uncharacteristic. Then again, your guests might get a big laugh out of it.
If, on the other hand, you’re known for your playfulness, spontaneity, or sense of humor, your guests might expect you and your new spouse to face off with the wedding cake. Ultimately, make a decision that you’re comfortable with and talk about it ahead of time. There’s nothing more awkward than when only one person smashes cake and the other person is left seething. Chat with your fiancé ahead of time and make a decision, or if you’re really trusting, let the moment lead you and do whatever feels natural. Just make sure you pack extra tissues, napkins, and makeup to clean yourself up afterwards.