Superstitions surround the wedding cake and its role in the beginning of married life, says Carol Wilson on Gastonomica.com. From wheat cakes broken over a bride's head in ancient Rome to today's multi-tiered confections draped in white frosting, wedding cakes have long symbolized luck and happiness for newlyweds. The ritual of the bride and groom sharing cake together originated to ensure a harmonious married life, and eating cake on the first wedding anniversary is an extension of that reminder.
A Taste for Happiness
Wilson cites wedding lore that attributes post-wedding cake eating as a way to guard a husband's fidelity, while Patricia Telesco, in her book, "A Little Book of Love Magic," tells the legend of eating a piece of the original wedding cake one year later for continued happiness. In addition to associating wedded bliss with wedding cake, the tradition of saving the top cake tier as an anniversary cake evolved from an English practice of celebrating the first child's christening by serving cake. Couples found christening celebrations ideal for finishing leftover wedding cake, which, until the 19th century, consisted of easily preserved fruitcake. As couples delayed childbirth beyond their first anniversary, they kept the cake-saving custom as a way to commemorate their marriage.