Beginning in early Roman times, the cake has been a special part of the wedding celebration. A thin loaf was broken over the bride's head at the close of the ceremony to symbolize fertility. The wheat from which it was made, symbolized fertility and the guests eagerly picked up the crumbs as good luck charms.
The wedding cake, to be shared by the newlyweds and their guests, signifies the "breaking of the kinship." The brides knife signifies that the new wife is ready to accept the responsibilities of her role as keeper of her own household.
The bride and groom make the first cut of the wedding cake to signify sharing their life together. Every guest then eats at least a crumb of the cake to ensure good luck. And if a single woman sleeps with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband.
(As reported in a February, 1840 edition of The London Times, Queen Victoria's wedding cake was more than nine feet in circumference. A second tier arose from this "plateau," supported by two pedestals. On the second tier was a sculpture of the mythical heroine Britannia gazing upon the royal pair frozen at the moment of their exchanging vows. At their feet were two turtle doves (symbolizing purity and innocence) and a dog (representing faithful attachment). Completing the scene were various sculpted Cupids, one of them writing the date of the wedding with a stylus on a tablet)