Something Fun for Friday (and Your Cake Cutting!)

FYI: Yours truly wrote a couple of guest posts over at Wedding-Scoops! The first dealt with planning a wedding online, and the second was a primer on wedding etiquette. Check them out!

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
Thimble: Spinsterhood
Carrot: Fruitfulness
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!

4 Responses to “Something Fun for Friday (and Your Cake Cutting!)”

  1. Cassie says:

    I’ve never even heard of this tradition! But it sounds cute, and it would be a great idea in combination with, say, bridesmaids’ gifts of charm bracelets.

  2. My cousin had one of those at her wedding in 1997 in Logan, Utah! It was so much fun–I drew the captain’s wheel and love wearing it. My only regret is that she only did enough charms for her friends and the older cousins, and my younger sisters (15 and 17, not a whole lot younger than the 20-year-old bride) got left out. I felt terrible about telling them that it was only for those who’d gotten special invitations and I STILL feel terrible about it. Grown-up me would have let one of them take my place but 22-year-old me didn’t think about it. I regret it, and I told myself that if I had a cake charm pull, it would involve ALL the girls, little to big, even if I had to find a way to tuck 50 little charms under a cake. 🙂

    PS: Almost 13 years later, my cousin is still very happily married.

  3. abby says:

    in the little colonel: maid of honor, they bake the charms right into the cake, and there’s a rhyme to go with it:
    “‘Four tokens must the bridescake hold:
    A silver shilling and a ring of gold,
    A crystal charm good luck to symbol,
    And for the spinster’s hand a thimble.’
    the girls in the story call it an old tradition, and the book is copyright 1906 (