It’s be-ribboned wedding cake charms, the only tool necessary for a good old fashioned cake charm pull! The practice of pulling tiny silver charms out of cake apparently began as one of those old Victorian wedding traditions that is alternately described as a lighthearted game and a ritual that would literally predict who would become an old maid. The cake charm you pulled from within or underneath the wedding cake might predict any of the following or any number of other good and not-so-good fortunes, for example:
Ring: Upcoming marriage
Dove: Peaceful life
Heart: New love
Kite: Fun and leisurely life
Captain’s wheel: Confidence in all things
Fleur-de-Lis: Love will blossom, prosperity
Four leaf clover: Lucky in life
Anchor: Adventure awaits (alternative: stability)
Red bean: Good luck
Star: Wish comes true
Hot air balloon: A life of travel and adventure
Butterfly: Eternal beauty
Wreath: Contented life
Peacock: Pridefulness (alternative: beauty)
Rocking chair: Long life
Of course, you can ascribe any meaning you like to your wedding cake charms, making them up for each charm you find, and you might even use non-traditional charms that you find individually on eBay or Etsy. You can also configure your cake charm pull however you like. It’s most common to see the bridesmaids pull the charms (whether at a bridesmaids luncheon or at the wedding itself, just before the cake cutting), and sometimes the bride will have created specific fortunes for each charm that are read out over the mic.
At some weddings, it’s not only the bridesmaids, but also the wedding guests who participate in the cake charm pull!
It’s important to note that the wedding cake charms aren’t baked into the cake itself, but rather stashed in the icing by a cake designer who hopefully appreciates the bride’s desire to incorporate add-ons into the cake. Quick how-to: Ice the wedding cake except for the edging, stick cake charms into the icing between cake layers or underneath the very bottom of the cake making sure that you have equal dispersal of charms all around, and then apply decorative icing along the edges that hides the hole you made when you smooshed in the cake charm. Easy-peasy.
Or, if you and your cake designer would rather mar the wedding cake – though I don’t see why not, since it’s just going to get eaten in the end – or you’re using rolled fondant, you can place your cake on a sheet of cling wrap and have the charms just underneath that so they slide out easily without changing the basic structure of the cake itself.
From what I’ve read, the tradition of the cake charm pull is alive and well in the southern United States, and may be slowly inching its way northward. Has anyone seen a cake charm pull lately? Tell us about it!