The Hows and Whys of Wedding Cake Toppers

By Sue Toliver

What do they call those little statues or figures that sit on top of a wedding cake? Do you know? They are called " Wedding Cake Toppers ", and they have become somewhat of a tradition in this world in which we live. There is an incredible variety of toppers on the consumer market today. Let's spend a little while learning the story of the "topper".

How about a formal description? Okay. A wedding cake topper is a small model or figurine that sits on top of a wedding cake. Often made of plastic, it normally depicts the couple getting married in their wedding attire. Normally, but these days there are many variations on the theme.

With the description out of the way, the history is next. We should mention right from the start that we don't have exact records of the first topper. We do know that they date back to at least 100 years ago. One tradition tells us that the daughter of a baker was getting married, and asked her dad to do something to make the occasion memorable. He thought and thought and, being a baker, decided he would bake a special wedding cake. On top of this cake he would put a little figure depicting his daughter and her future husband. He intended that it depict the love that they shared for each other, something that the whole world could see. On the day of the wedding he unveiled the cake, and his daughter was delighted. She was so delighted that the topper has been a tradition ever since (or so the story goes).

Is this story factual? Perhaps. Is it fictional? Perhaps. Does it foreshadow the prominence that the cake topper would have on not only the wedding cake but the big day? For sure. This humble baker probably had no idea what a revolution he had started. The wedding day would never be the same again...

When you think of the 1950's what do you think? Elvis and Rock & Roll right? Well wedding cake toppers were to become more popular than ever during this decade as those returning from the war started to settle down and raise families.

Into the modern age in which we live we see that toppers have continued in their popularity. They have "adjusted" with the times somewhat. For example, it is now possible to get wedding cake toppers depicting various ethnic races, and same sex toppers as well. A little cottage industry in humorous wedding toppers has taken off as well such as those depicting a bride holding her groom by the collar so that he can't flee the scene of the wedding. Another humorous topper shows the bride dragging her future husband back to the altar. Some toppers depict the hobbies that the bride and groom enjoy.

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