Ever since the Ancient Romans broke bread over a bride's head to bring good fortune to the marriage, wedding breakfasts have traditionally featured a symbolic sweet. The Anglo Saxons borrowed this tradition but added a playful element, stacking up mini cakes and biscuits as high as possible over which a man and his new wife would share their first kiss. Rumour has it this ritual was the inspiration for the French croquembouche - the pyramid of caramel-sticky choux balls was the brainchild of a French pastry chef who witnessed this spectacle at a wedding in Medieval England.
Since then wedding cakes have taken on every conceivable shape and colour. Perfectly smooth, fuss-free marzipan creations of the 1910s gave way to the intricately-carved flowers and seashell shaping reminiscent of 1920s flapper dresses. Detailing became ever so quaint in the 1930s, while the 1940s saw the introduction of multiple tiers and bride and groom toppers. Crystals, bells and ribbons gave the 1950s wedding cake an indulgent, over-the-top appearance, while the Swinging Sixties saw columns soar between tiers.
Fast forward to the fluorescent eyeshadow and neon clothing days of the 1980s, and electric blue icing makes a striking appearance. The nineties take a more sober approach to colour, with gentle lilac flowers cascading down creamy tiers. The naughties welcomed in the advent of milk chocolate detailing, while the cake of 2016 sees anything go - rainbow cupcakes and swirling patterns are the choice of the modern bride and groom.
What's your ceremonial sugar fix of choice? Watch the video below for a slice of inspiration.