An anonymous bride on Reddit has alleged a cake-smashing incident ruined her wedding, and her post has led social media users and etiquette experts to debate if the tradition can be harmful.
The bride, who claims to be 27, turned to the “AITAH” subreddit where users of the app can vote on who’s to blame in a civil dispute.
The bride asked if she was wrong for abruptly leaving her wedding after her husband smashed cake in her face in front of all of their guests.
She wrote that she knew her husband found “cake smashing videos” funny and asked him to not do that to her because she’s not fond of the tradition.
She also wrote that her family “does the cake smashing thing,” and at the age of 17, she suffered a cut on her forehead with “substantial bleeding” when her mother shoved her face into her birthday cake. A cake decoration reportedly caused the cut, she claimed.
“I told him if he ever did something like that to me I’d leave him,” the bride wrote regarding her husband. “He started laughing but I was being for real.”
The bride wrote that she felt that their wedding day had gone perfectly, but it was ruined when her husband scooped “a huge chunk” of wedding cake and smashed it onto her face. She claims she left the venue right away despite her husband’s and family’s attempts to get her to stay.
“This was supposed to be the happiest day of our lives and he embarrassed me in front of everyone for some prank that he knew I hated,” the bride wrote. “Not only that, he ruined a 500 dollar cake. He ruined my makeup, my hair and the top of my dress. The cake got all over.”
The bride asked Reddit users if her departure was an overreaction, but many seem to think she was in the right for leaving, according to the post’s 12,500 comments and 31,200 upvotes.
“I think stunts like that are annulment-worthy, but that’s just me,” one Reddit user wrote.
“This isn’t just a cake or a prank, this is flat out disrespect,” another user wrote.
“He had one job and it was don’t smash a cake in his fiancée’s face,” another commenter added.
Dissenting commenters were largely downvoted, but some voiced that they think the bride shouldn’t have left the wedding venue.
“If all it takes is one cake to the face I don’t want to be there when things actually get tough,” one Reddit user wrote.
“Why is everyone who comes here incapable of being a good sport,” another user asked. “Blew up your life because you couldn’t smash some cake back on his face?”
“Yeah [Original Poster] is over dramatic. Laugh it off talk and talk about it after the wedding,” another user wrote.
Wedding cake smashing: Experts weigh in
Jodi Smith, an etiquette expert and coach at Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting in Marblehead, Massachusetts, told Fox News Digital that engaged couples should have “many preemptive conversations” about logistics and preferences before the big day.
“How to cut and feed the cake to each other is absolutely one of them,” she said.
If both parties agree to smash cake onto each other’s faces, they can incorporate the tradition without issue because they have consented to do so as a couple, according to Smith.
People who try to surprise a partner with a cake smash put themselves at risk of upsetting their significant other and causing harm to their relationship, Smith warned.
“One’s wedding day should not be the time to ‘toughen’ up one’s brand-new spouse,” she continued. “For most couples, trying to humiliate one another in an attempt to go viral on the one day they are supposed to be declaring their love in front of their friends and family is a giant red flag.”
Smith warned that public and purposeful humiliation can be emotionally “devastating” to the recipient and contribute to a loss of trust.
Soiled wedding attire, accidental slips and falls and potential injury could happen when someone smashes cake onto another person’s face or pushes another person’s face into a cake, she noted.
“Rebuilding trust takes time,” said Smith.
If a partner has upset their significant other with a cake smash, Smith said the offender should “do some serious self-reflection” and sincerely apologize.
“Then, the victim can, with time, decide what needs to happen next,” she said. “For a public offense, a public apology might be appropriate. Rebuilding trust takes many small and genuinely respectful acts and behaviors before the damage can be repaired.”
How common is wedding cake smashing?
Zoe Burke, of London, England, the leading wedding expert and editor at Hitched, an online wedding planning resource under The Knot Worldwide, told Fox News Digital that simple cake cutting ceremonies are more popular than cake smashing.
She noted that the act of smashing wedding cakes onto spouses’ faces might be a declining because the “average cost of a wedding” has been “increasing year-on-year” with wedding cakes costing anywhere from $500 to $930 or more.
“[Cake smashing] might be something we start to see less of as couples look to really revel in their spend rather than smash it away,” said Burke.
At the same time, Burke has seen a rise in wedding day pranking as couples and wedding guests attempt to go viral on social media.
“If there were no cameras ready to capture things like the cake smash or trends with a similar theme, I believe they’d happen a lot less at weddings,” she said.
Burke said “a consensual cake smash” would be best for your guests to witness as opposed to an uncomfortable moment where the bride or groom gets upset, or even hurt as a result of the prank.
How did cake smashing become a tradition?
The origins of how smashing cake onto a spouse’s face became a wedding tradition aren’t clear or certain.
Many credit the Ancient Romans for the practice based on a longstanding rumor that claims newly-wedding couples used cake to reflect gender roles.
“In ancient Rome, crumbling a cake over the head of the bride by her husband was a way to enforce his dominance,” said Burke, in reference to the myth.
Other sources suggest that cake crumbling, which could have evolved into cake smashing, was done to symbolize and ensure fertility.
Some folklorists also cite Medieval England as a possible source of inspiration for cake smashing.
“In medieval England it was tradition for the newlyweds to kiss for the first time over a pile of sweet buns,” said Burke, who noted that many believe couples who kissed over a bun plate were guaranteed a fruitful future of wealth and happiness.
Similarly, feeding wedding cake to a spouse during a cake cutting ceremony is a tradition that has been viewed as a solid start to a marriage.
“Feeding your other half your wedding cake was a way to symbolize their commitment to one another, and show that they’re willing to provide for each other for the rest of their days,” said Burke. “A sweet – pun intended – thought.”