One of the wedding traditions that have stood the test of time is the preservation of the top tier of a wedding cake. Couples save the top tier of their wedding cakes and eat it on their one-year anniversary. It may sound impractical, but we’re here to show you how to do it!
Before we get to the tips for preserving your wedding cake, perhaps a little background on the tradition is necessary. These days, saving your cake for a year is understood as an omen for good luck. But where does the tradition come from?
The story of cake preservation has two short parts. The first is that having a child in the first year of marriage was much more common in years gone by. For this reason, a couple would prefer to save a part of the wedding cake for the celebration of the birth of their child instead of getting a new cake.
The second part of its story goes back to the 19th century and follows the actions of Queen Elizabeth II (or Princess Elizabeth at the time). When the Princess married Prince Philip in 1947, they had a three-tier cake. Each tier had a designated purpose – the bottom tier was to be cut at the wedding, the middle was to be sent off as a gift, and the top tier was to be saved for a future occasion. The future occasion here was the presumed upcoming birth of a child.
Now, instead of saving it for the birth of the first child, the couple saves it for the first anniversary which is usually much closer in time to the wedding. The tradition seems to have stuck as a symbol of bringing the past into the present and of celebration.
So, how do you preserve your top tier? Here are a few tips:
– Decide on preserving it in advance
To ensure that the top tier doesn’t get cut on your wedding day, let your caterer know that you’ll be preserving it well before the ceremony. Deciding on preserving the cake early also helps you decide on fillings which may be longer lasting than others or decorations and designs that are able to withstand a year in the freezer.
– Remove ornaments and flowers (real or sugar)
When you wrap the cake, it needs to be airtight. The extra decorations will prevent the cake from being wrapped airtight.
– Chill the cake
As soon as you get a chance, pop the cake in the freezer. This allows the cake to harden and preserve the icing properly. Ensure that there are no soft bits around the cake before you take it out of the freezer.
– Double wrap it
First, wrap the cake with plastic. Push the plastic onto the cake so that there are no air bubbles. Then cover it again with foil. This ensures that nothing can get in. It also helps to ensure that other things in the freezer don’t pass their smells or tastes onto your cake.
Once the cake is tightly wrapped, label it (to ensure it doesn’t get mistaken for something else) and pop it in the freezer!
– Eat later
Once your first anniversary comes, you’ll defrost the cake. Take the cake out of the freezer the day before your anniversary and keep in the fridge overnight. Then take it out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for about 5 hours. Thereafter, it’ll be ready to eat!
Many couples want to participate in this tradition but, for whatever reason, prefer not to save the cake. If you don’t see yourself saving the cake, but still want the sentiment and symbolism that comes with this tradition on your first anniversary, chat to your caterer and let her know that in a year you’ll be ordering an identical top tier. You may end up receiving a special deal or a totally free top tier!