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Why DO we traditionally save the top tier of the wedding cake?

Written by Katie Byrne, published 6th may 2017

It’s one of the most classic wedding traditions, which many couples follow without giving it a second thought - so why, exactly, do newlyweds preserve the top tier of their wedding cake?

Traditionally speaking, the top tier is whisked away for the happy couple to keep, with it theoretically being served at the christening of their first child. Why? It was believed a newly-wed woman would give birth to said baby within a year of marrying - and instead of forking out for another celebratory cake for the christening, the couple would instead freeze the top tier and serve that up instead.

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Multi-tiered wedding cakes have been en vogue for around two centuries; one of the most iconic multi-tier creations is, arguably, that picked by Queen Elizabeth II for her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip.

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Each tier of the astonishingly intricate bake had its own important part to play: one was served to wedding guests, one was sliced up and sent to lucky recipients across the globe, whilst the other was saved for the christening of the couple’s first child - in the case of the royal newlyweds, that was precisely a year later, when Prince Charles was born in November 1948.

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A modern twist on the classic tradition? Couples are still saving that top-tier - fruit cakes preserve particularly well, by the way - but instead of tucking into it at the christening, they’re enjoying it as dessert on their first wedding anniversary. Delicious!

Image: Babb Photo

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