A Fresh Look at an Old Tradition: Wedding Cake Pulls

We just love when our clients teach us something. Our clients, Jennifer and Steve, had the coolest tradition at their wedding. Jennifer is from New Orleans so we subtly incorporated her roots throughout the wedding {with a palette of muted Mardi Gras colors: butter, sage, and lavender, we adorned the aisle with a Fleur-de-Lis rose pattern, and used the Fleur-de-Lis throughout their wedding stationery}.

One tradition we were unaware of: having a “cake pull” ceremony before the bride and groom cut the cake. This tradition dates back to Victorian times and is especially popular in New Orleans.

What is a cake pull? The cake baker gently inserts Victorian charms {a vintage key, an alligator and other goodies} into the base of the cake. The bride calls up 10 of her nearest and dearest ladies and one by one they pull out one charm by the ribbon it’s attached to.

Each charm signifies something special and the bride announces what each lady will be granted. For example, an anchor means a steady and true relationship. A a picture frame means a lifetime of memories. An airplane means a lifetime of travel and adventure. One of the ladies pulled the key, which signifies comfort in a new home. What’s amazing: she just bought a new home!

We just love this Victorian tradition and hope it catches on! It’s something that anyone can incorporate into their big day. You can order special cake pulls yourself from this Victorian site.
Cheers {and stay tuned for more photos from Jenn + Steve’s wedding}!

Photos: Llanes Weddings for Valley & Co.
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  1. Annie @ MarryYouMe says

    Love this idea! I wanted to do it at my bridesmaid's luncheon but it was one of those last minute things that fell by the wayside :(

  2. Aleah + Nick Valley says

    Well you should start your own tradition and have them incorporated into your next birthday bash! :) A + N

  3. tami brown {at}FabulouslyWed says

    I know about the cake pull but haven't had a bride incorporate it. I LOVE THIS IDEA! I especially love that it is a small but thoughtful reminder of the wedding day and those wishes are such a sweet way to make the wedding fun and special for those involved! Great post! (Good idea using the muted Mardi Gras colors, as well!)

  4. The Loveliest Day says

    Oh, I LOVE this! I've heard about it before, but never seen it at a wedding. What a fun and special way of incorporating some of your closest friends/family!

  5. Aleah + Nick Valley says

    Thanks, all! We're so thrilled you're loving this idea – we hope to see many more brides incorporate the cake pull tradition! Tami – you are so right; this is such a special and sentimental {yet fun} idea!

  6. Rowell Events says

    Love this idea. Here in the South we use the charm pull in a cake at the bridesmaids' luncheon. Pretty neat, either way.

  7. jenny llanes says

    I love it!! It was so fun to listen to all of the meaning of the charms! All of the guests were really involved as well. so fun!

  8. Soon2BeMrs says

    I attended a wedding in Louisiana, the bride had the charms hidden under little sugar skulls (Gothic theme!!) on top of her cake! It was really awesome, the little skulls fell off so it was funny to see people try to catch them, but at least that way her cake did not get messed up!

  9. Sukey says

    I had heard of this tradition, but hadn’t seen one in action – thanks for giving me a glimpse! What a fun idea for the wedding or bridesmaids’ luncheon!

  10. Jen Kessler says

    What an great tradition! I have never heard of this either – the south is so good with all of those great traditions! We need more here in the NW. :)

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