The tradition of the wedding cake actually dates back to Ancient Rome when a cake made from barley or wheat would be broken over the bride's head as a symbolic gesture of good fortune. In medieval England the tradition stemmed from a practice in which a tower of spiced buns would be placed between the couple and if the bride and groom could successfully reach for a kiss above the stack, they would experience a prosperous marriage.
Eventually the tradition evolved into making wedding cakes out of minced fruit as it symbolized prosperity and fertility, and sharing the cake with wedding guests was also believed to encourage fertility for the newlyweds.
A modern tradition that many couple still partake in is to preserve the first layer of the wedding cake by freezing it for one whole year, and sharing a slice on either the one year wedding anniversary or first child’s baptism. Although most flavours of cake can be preserved this way, modern tradition usually implies fruit cake is the ideal option for this marital ritual.
These days the wedding cake is usually cut at the wedding reception as a formality, and is then taken away to be cut up and served to guests after dinner. It is usually then packaged into small bags for guests to take home too.