Wedding cake pulls and charms are a lovely Victorian tradition, and now the height of fashion once again. Tiny silver good luck charms, attached to delicate satin ribbons are placed between tiers of the wedding cake. During the reception, the bridesmaids pull the ribbons and charms out of the cake. This little ceremony was called ‘the cake pull’ and it was said the charm the bridesmaid took would fortell her future. The bridesmaids get to keep their charm to attach to a charm bracelet as a lovely keepsake of the day.
Image courtesy of WeddingBells.ca
Today it’s not just the bridesmaids who will join in the tradition. It’s lovely to ask all children present at the wedding to gather round the cake with the bridesmaids. Have the ribbons all fanned out, and before the cake is cut, they all pull the ribbons out and treasure their new little good luck charms. Flower girls and bridesmaids could be given a charm bracelet as their gift from the bride and groom on the day, their new little good luck charm can be added to this.
Image courtesy of Kelly Lynn Designs.com
Charms range in style and meaning but often include an anchor to represent a life of stability, a cross to symbolise a life filled with peace, a heart for new love, a flower for a present love that will bloom, a star for a wish that will come true and a butterfly for eternal beauty.
You don’t have to have different charms, you could match them to your theme and have all hearts or stars or even shells for a beach wedding or birds for a love bird theme. Tiny snowflakes are perfect for a winter wedding and will look wonderful being pulled on satin ribbons from a snow-white iced cake.
The charms can either be visible on the very ends of each ribbon for a stylish silver sparkle to your cake or, to make it all more interesting, they can either be covered by the cake so only the ribbon is visible until the charm is pulled out or they can be covered by tiny paper envelopes addressed with the names of who should pull which one.
Adding cake pulls and charms to your wedding cake
Whether you’re having your wedding cake professionally made or baking it yourself, you or your cake maker will need to know how and when to insert the cake pulls:
Bake the cake layers and then ice the cake all over except for the edging as this will be added after the charms and ribbons are inserted.
Place the charms between the cake layers or between the bottom layer and the cake tray, being sure you insert the charms all around the cake so that the ribbons fan out around the whole of the cake.
Finally, add the rest of the icing around the edges of the cake and it’s all ready for the cake pull and another special photo opportunity before the cutting of the cake.
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Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.