So when it comes to wedding cake traditions, I can't seem to find one credible-looking source that offers a comprehensive history. I find this highly irritating, seeing as how I'm very much a one-stop shopper when it comes to research.
I know. SO un-librarian of me. I blame library school and its incessant + impossible (okay impossible as in impossible to do while watching House Hunters. Still.) research assignments that made call centers and flipping burgers look appealing.
Of course, I'll spend all day helping patrons find what they need. But when it comes to my own pursuits, I have far less patience. Although all this might just be this week talking. This week has been hormonal hell.
A few bits and pieces concerning wedding cakes (that may or may not be legit):
In ancient Rome, marriages were sealed when the groom smashed a barley cake over the bride’s head. --Food & Think
It is believed that this symbolized the breaking of the hymen and the dominance of the groom over the bride. --Hofers.com)
In medieval England, newlyweds smooched over a pile of buns, supposedly ensuring a prosperous future. Unmarried guests sometimes took home a little piece of cake to tuck under their pillow. -- Food & Think
One early British recipe for “Bride’s Pye” mixed cockscombs, lamb testicles, sweetbreads, oysters and (mercifully) plenty of spices. Another version called for boiled calf’s feet. -- Food & Think
In the 17th century "bride's pie" became popular, which varied from sweet breads to mince pies or even mutton pie. Within it was a glass ring which was used in a similar way to the bouquet today: whichever woman found it was meant to become the next bride. For those less affluent families, this pie might have formed the centerpiece. (Uhhh yes. That would be us. The cupcakes will be the centerpieces. And here I thought I was being all avant-garde...) --The Telegraph
With more modern cakes, the bride and groom cut the first slice together, and feed it to each other. This symbolizes the commitment to provide for each other that the bride and groom have undertaken. --Hofers
The Groom's Cake is a tradition that was prevalent in early American ceremonies, but seems to have fallen from favor in most contemporary weddings. The groom's cake was usually dark (e.g., chocolate) to contrast with the bride's cake. The groom's cake appeared at the reception along with the wedding cake. The origin of this tradition is unclear. Some believe it was to be served by the groom, with a glass of wine, to the bridesmaids. Others believe it was to be saved and subsequently shared with friends after the honeymoon. The tradition seems to have survived primarily in the South. --Hudson Valley Weddings
The tradition of saving the top tier of the wedding cake has its roots in the late 19th century when grand cakes were baked for the occasion of the christening of a child. It was expected that the a christening would occur soon after the wedding ceremony, so the two ceremonies were often linked, as were the cakes. -- Hofers
So. In all my hasty Google-ing, I didn't find one source that could explain how or why smashing the cake in each other's faces became a semi-common practice at modern weddings. Those that mention it, all seem to point back to the breaking barley tradition. Like maybe this is a new version of that, in which the couples duke it out to determine who will have the dominance in the relationship...or to show that they are equally abusive. My guess is it started as a joke with one fun-loving couple and other couples copied until it's become kind of cliché.
In any case, I can't say today whether or not Ron and I will be totally immature or keep it classy when it comes to our cake cutting. I think it will be a game time decision, largely dependent on how much I spent on my make-up and how many drinks we've had prior to that segment of the evening.
However, I will take your votes into consideration. So if you feel strongly either way, let me know! Sometime today, tomorrow, or during the next 17+ months.