A Different type of Confetti:
Confetti has the same root as the word confectionery in Italian and was used to describe "sweetmeats," that is, grains and nuts coated in sugar were thrown over newly weds for the same Pagan reason. In recent years small pieces of colored paper have replaced sweetmeats, grains, and nuts as an inexpensive substitute but the use of the word confetti has remained.
Another Italian tradition includes a candy-covered almonds (confetti) tied in mesh bags to toss at the couple is based on the tradition of fertility. Instead of cake, ornamental bags or boxes were filled with the sugared almonds and sent to friends and guests to signify the marriage or the "union of bitter and sweet"
Health, Wealth, Long Life, Fertility & Happiness
The giving of almond favors is connected with the motto: "a gift of five almonds represents health, wealth, long life, fertility and happiness". Throwing confetti has been known as an ancient fertility rite. Handfuls of grain or nuts were traditionally thrown because they are "life giving" seeds. In some European countries, eggs were thrown instead.
Before the bride could enter her new home, an oatcake or “bannocks” (biscuit made of barley and oat flour) would be broken above the head of the couple and pieces of the cake were passed around to everyone. When this was done, the bride was carried over the threshold. The completion of the marriage ceremony culminated with the priest blessing the newly-weds, their new home and their marriage as well!
Ancient Romans ritual developed in which the wheat or barley cakes were broken or crumbled over the bride's head to bestow good luck and as a symbol of her fertility. As a further symbol of fertility, the couple was required to eat a portion of the crumbs, a custom known as "confarreation" (or eating together). After exhausting the supply of cakes, guests were presented with handfuls of "confetto" (a confetti-like mixture of nuts, dried fruits, and honeyed almonds, sort of an “ancient trail mix”).
The wedding cake was not always eaten by the bride. The wedding cake was originally thrown at her. This was one of the many fertility symbols integral to the marriage ceremony
Early Roman bakers, around 100BC began baking wedding wheat into small sweet cakes, to be eaten, not thrown. Wedding guests, however, loath to abandon the fun of pelting the couple with wheat confetti, so they often tossed the cakes.
Evolution and origins of the Wedding Cake:
Throughout the British Isles, it had become customary to pile the contributed scones, biscuits and other baked goods atop one another into an enormous heap. The higher the better, for height assured prosperity for the couple. The couple exchanged kisses over the mound; if they succeeded in not knocking the mound over they would receive a lifetime of prosperity.
The known tiered confection:
In the 1600's during the reign of King Charles II, a French chef visiting London observed the cake piling ceremony. Appalled by the haphazard manner in which the British stacked the baked goods, often to have them tumble, he conceived the idea that transformed the mountain of bland biscuits into an iced, multi-tiered cake sensation. British papers of the day are supposed to have deplored the French excess, but before the close of the century, British bakers were offering the very same magnificent creations
In the French contempt for all things British, the multi-layered opulent wedding cake was born.
The three-tier cake has been thought to be based on the unusual shape of the spire of “Saint Bride's Church in London”.
Cutting the Cake
Traditionally the newly-weds should make the first cut to signify sharing their life. Every guest would eat a crumb to ensure good luck.
If a single woman would sleep with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow, she would dream of her future husband.