Traditional Trivia: The Wedding Cake...

Welcome to our blog! In this space, we're going to share with you what we learn as we further down the path of officiation. I'm not sure if that is a real word, but it's entertaining to me, and that's the whole point of this blog: FUN!

We've learned a lot about different traditions in all aspects of weddings, and our purpose here is to share it with you. It seems every culture has some similar traditions, but many are unique to that culture. As we find them, we'll post about them under "Traditional Trivia". Other posts will have our perspective on different aspects of the ceremony, perhaps a few posts highlighting the vendors we've worked with, "What To Look For" type posts, maybe some information of our favorite venues and, generally, anything we feel will be relevant to you, the engaged couple, as you're making your way to that walk down the aisle. Please feel free to make a comment and let us know what you think! 

 

Also, as you're planning your wedding and you find yourself getting a little overwhelmed by all the details that need managing, we hope you'll use this page as a respite. A place to take a break, relax and maybe have an AHA! moment.

And so, if you will, let's get started with one of my favorites;

 

The Wedding Cake;

In medieval times, it was customary for guests of the wedding to bring a loaf of bread to the ceremony. Bread was a symbol of prosperity and it was given as a token. Imagine if you lived in a village of a hundred families and everyone was invited to the festivities. Can you imagine having to eat all those loaves of bread before they started growing mold??? 

As the guests arrives, there was usually a table just inside the church, house or building where the ceremony was taking place. As the guests entered, they would put their loaf of bread on the table. By the time all the guests arrived, the pile of bread could be quite high.

Over the centuries, this tradition evolved to a single cake, supplied by the bride and groom or their family. Yet, the tradition of the bread still remains; this is why wedding cakes are the most likely ones that have multi-tiers. Those tiers, as they grow smaller from bottom to top, actually represent the stack of loaves left by the guests!

So, the next time you attend a wedding, stay for the reception. Have a piece of the cake. You'll be toasting to the prosperity of the bride and groom!

 

  

The Gazebo at White Point Gardens.

 

Of all the places that we’ve officiated, one of my favorites is the Gazebo at White Point Gardens. This area is also referred to locally as Battery Park.

It’s on the waterfront at East Bay St., South of Broad, and is a beautiful park lined with stately, sprawling Live oaks, grassy areas, benches and statues throughout. Not to mention the line of short muzzle canons standing ready to defend the Holy City from Northern aggressors! Bordered by Murray Blvd., East Battery, East Bay and King St., it’s predominately a housing neighborhood full of mansions, a few B&B’s and gorgeous architecture. With Spanish moss dripping from the massive oaks, it’s a very picturesque venue to have a wedding, elopement or vow renewal. We’ve done all three there!!

As popular as it is for weddings, there are some things to keep in mind when planning your ceremony at White Point Garden;

  • Although there is usually no charge to use the gazebo, you DO have to get a permit from the city of Charleston. 30 minute slots are the most popular and, believe it or not, are usually enough time. To apply for a permit, go here à http://www.charleston-sc.gov/index.aspx?nid=362

  • To obtain a permit, 14 business days (3 weeks) is required. If you’re planning for the High Season, reserve your permit as far in advance as possible. It’s 1st come, 1st served!

  • In the event the city charges for the permit, please note that cash is not accepted. Check or credit/debit card only. This is ironic, as the marriage license is cash only, no credit cards or checks accepted!

  • In the Spring and Summer, it’s not uncommon to see wedding parties lined up for their turn. This was the site of our first ceremony as From This Day Forward. When we arrived early to set up, there was a wedding in progress. As we got our things together for the set-up, another wedding party took over. Our bride and groom arrived as this party was leaving. As we were getting set up, the officiant for the next wedding let me know their start time and would we be done by then? It was a simple ceremony and I was confident we’d be done with plenty of time to spare. We were. By the time we’d packed up the car to leave, yet another wedding was taking place. As it was an elopement, the timing wasn’t an issue. If you’re having a lot of guests and plan on taking pictures of family after the ceremony, you’ll need to be aware of the time.

  • Parking around the park and on the off streets is free. It can be tight, however. Arrive early to ensure close-in parking.

  • Space is limited in the gazebo to 25 people maximum, including the bride, groom and officiant.

  • There are NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS South of Broad! Tell your guests to plan accordingly. Broad St is about a mile away, so it’s not an easy walk, if you know what I mean.

  • Although very photographic, lighting can be tricky with shadows, backdrops and such. Make sure your photographer is familiar with the park.

  • No alcohol is allowed in the park (except for sacramental wine), no loud music is allowed, and food and drink are frowned upon. Please plan on cleaning up after yourself as the wedding party before you did and as the wedding party after you will appreciate!