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|Wedding cakes remain an essential part of the
celebration and there are as many traditions that go along with the cake
as there are cakes related to particular ethnic traditions. The bride
is never to bake her own wedding cake and any unmarried girls who attend
the wedding are to take home a piece of the wedding cake to put under their
pillows that night in order to dream of their future spouses. Today,
it is still customary for the bride and groom to take the top layer of
the cake home to freeze and eat together on their first anniversary.
The origin of some customs, particularly those of Western countries, are less well known, although practices associated with these customs are common knowledge. The Bible mentions confirming an engagement by the gift of a ring to the prospective bride as a pledge to honor their agreement. History shows that this tradition was carried on in ancient Greece and Rome. It is still customary in contemporary Western society for a new groom to present his prospective bride with a diamond ring as a token of love and a promise that marriage is in their future.
Early European marriage arrangements tended to be based upon economics rather than love and were usually negotiated by parents, being too serious a decision to be left to young people. In Britain, from Anglo-Saxon times until the mid-sixteenth century, the groom or his family actually purchased his wife from her family and gave money or property known as the wed to the bride's father. This process became known as the wedding. In eighteenth century France, it was customary to pay after signing the marriage
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