In many Western weddings today, brides and grooms cut their cake and feed each other a bite of it. At Christian weddings, the tradition symbolizes the pact or agreement the couple have made. Before they cut the cake, they cut a deal with each other, you could say. You know, "'til death do us part." At other weddings, the cake's purpose is more related to aesthetic than anything else. Just as the cake's meaning differs, cakes themselves are becoming increasingly innovative and unconventional. The same is true about the activities in which we partake around them. Many of those aforementioned Christian couples don't feel at fault if they do not use the cake as another symbol of their love for each other. On the other hand, regardless of their faith, plenty of brides still choose the traditional white, iced wedding cake and feel an importance in doing so. Traditions are alive and well but how did the wedding cake tradition begin? The earliest variant of the tradition might have occurred in ancient Rome. A loaf of bread was broken over the bride's head in order to bring the couple good fortune. Fast forward several centuries, to Medieval England. Also to give the couple good luck, pies (of meat) were made and then stacked, one on top of another, as high as they could be stacked. The bride and groom then attempted to kiss above the pies while stretching their necks forward. If they were successful, they would also be successful in life, or so the tradition says. That tradition then morphed into several similar traditions involving pies and various superstitions were conceived. One such belief was that the bride would have terrible luck if she baked her own cake. Another involved two fruitcakes, one for the bride and one for the groom. The groom's cake was cut into small squares and put into boxes for guests, who would put the squares under their pillow at bedtime after the wedding. For good luck, I suppose. The modern tradition of multi-tier wedding cakes covered in white icing, like many other traditions, is said to have come from English royalty in the 17th century. By that time, sweet cakes resembling those which are common today had become popular. Pure, white sugar was used in cake icing by families who could afford it. It was a status indicator. Then, in 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert. Their cake was 9 feet in circumference and featured a sculpture of "Britannia" on the second tier. Victorian Englishmen had begun promoting the idea that the color white represents purity and virginal qualities. The white icing on wedding cakes has been called "royal icing" ever since, according to a great article by Carol Wilson. The upper class of the 18th century may have invented a beautiful cake, but the Victorian times are long gone. So, how important is a traditional cake to you, today? Wait! Let's go over some statistics before you attempt to answer that. In 2013, the average cost of a wedding cake was around $600, and the average cost of an entire wedding was almost $30,000. Spend your money how you wish, but cake is usually made of flower, sugar and eggs. OK, I'll give credit to the artists who turn those ingredients into something beautiful but, personally, I would choose a delicious cake over a beautiful one. Here are some more statistics. According to Oz Cakes, 25% of wedding guests don't eat any cake when they attend weddings. I've heard of tiers of cakes being nothing but shoe boxes covered in fondant. What's more, oftentimes the bride and groom can't find time to think about the cake and, subsequently, decide to leave it to their planner. Before you take the conventional route, you can ask yourself questions like "Do I know anyone who can bake?" and "Do I really need the cake to be a towering structure?". Another good one to ponder is "Do I want to have fun with it or stick to tradition?" If you're considering an unconventional path, just remember this: Most of your guests would enjoy a cake that showcases your personality or is humorous, or both, right? Who loves burgers?! That's a cake, yes.[/caption] Alternative wedding cakes aren't just for the quirky among us, though. Glamour magazine shows that doing something different at your wedding is posh. In its list of alternatives to the traditional cake, you'll find donuts, retro pies and even waffles. Mollie Hawkins, an experienced wedding photographer suggests having a sense of humor and trying not to worry too much about being perfect. She thinks the couples that get messy (get cake on each others' faces, intentionally or not) and laugh about it are much more photogenic than those that get upset when a bit of icing gets stuck to the bride's lipstick. She's also not the only one who appreciates the more creative cakes out there. The ones that look like Stormtrooper helmets or stacks of books. Not just style but also color is changing. Bold colors are now commonplace, replacing white. Metallics, pastels, you name it, there has been a cake in it. Making an old-fashioned cake is an option too. Croquembouches and fruitcakes are experiencing a resurgence at the moment. What if you don't want to serve any food at your wedding? Yes, there are a few mentions of that on the world wide web. People have planned weddings with no food at all, indeed. I'm not surprised. What's the verdict on it? Well, there is lots of concern but we can learn one thing if nothing else. Try to please your guests. If you plan not to serve food, try not to let your guests get hungry. Make it a short wedding or provide some killer entertainment that will keep their minds off of their stomachs. Whether you modify tradition a little bit or completely disregard the ways of the past, be thoughtful and consider your guests. After all, a wedding is a celebration. Make your guests happy and allow them to make you happy. Are you about to start planning your wedding? Have a look at our wedding planning site ratings.