Photo Credit: Long's Photography
Origin: To understand this tradition, you just have to think back to a familiar schoolyard rhyme: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage!” It used to be thought that once a wedding took place, a baby was going to come shortly after, so therefore the wedding and christening ceremonies were often linked, as were the respective cakes that were baked for each occasion. With fancy, elaborate, multi-tiered wedding cakes becoming a major trend in the 19th century, the christening cake began to take a back seat to the wedding cake. Since the top tier of the wedding cake was almost always left over, couples began to see the christening as the perfect opportunity to finish the cake. Couples could then logically rationalize the need for three tiers — the bottom for the reception, the middle for distributing, and the top for the christening.
Today: As the time between weddings and christenings widened, the two events became disassociated and the reason for saving the top tier changed. Now, couples enjoy saving the top layer of their wedding cake to eat on their first anniversary as a pleasant reminder of their special day. Sound icky to you? Because the cake does sometimes lose its flavor from being stuck in the freezer for so long, many couples opt to have the baker recreate the top of their wedding cake for their anniversary.
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