Wedding cake charms have been used by blushing brides for well over 100 years. The tradition of placing charms in pieces of wedding cake began in Britain during the Victorian era, and was a pleasure enjoyed by the upper class. That tradition migrated to the United States some time after the turn of the century. While it remains most prevalent in Southern States the tradition has spread through the US and wedding cake pulls, or often wedding shower pulls, are enjoyed by brides and bridesmaids now in every state.
In the traditional wedding cake charms, there was often a religious influence to the theme of the charms. A set of charms may contain a cross, for a life of peace, tranquility, and a close relationship to God, and a fleur de lis, (literally a stylized lily, with fleur meaning flower and lis meaning lily in French) for a life of prosperity and closeness with God. The charms were often made of sterling silver and were worn on a charm bracelet or close to the heart on a necklace.
Today the wedding cake charms are attached to a ribbon with a silver pull on the end and placed under the wedding, or often wedding shower, cake at intervals so that each charm is under one piece of the cake when it is cut. The bridesmaids may either "pull" the charms before the cake is cut, or the wedding shower cake may be cut first and the charm placed under the individual piece of cake. The fun begins as each bridesmaid reveals her charm and the meaning is read from an accompaniment card.
Brides today often want a certain updated version of this great tradition and turn to a more modern set of wedding cake pulls. While the mechanics of the tradition are the same, the silver charms are composed of a fun, playful set of items which blend with our modern-day activities. Modern charms are especially favored by young brides who often have young bridesmaids composing their wedding party.
The modern charms bring the tradition into the 21st century with meanings relevant to young people today. A set of modern shower cake charms may be composed of a silver nail polish bottle charm, representing fun nights out on the town, a corkscrew, representing a lifetime of celebration, and a sterling silver popsicle charm, for a life filled with sweet surprises. Modern wedding cake charms are an enjoyable, lighthearted way to experience a wonderful tradition.