Throwing cake in your face on your wedding day is an age-old tradition that some newlyweds do not hesitate to put into practice and share on social networks. A ‘farce’ that has caused a lot of ink to flow, because if it amuses some, others may feel ridiculed, even humiliated. What is known as the “wedding cake smash” has passed in a few years from an unavoidable custom to… reason for divorce.
On many videos posted on TikTok, we see more and more newlyweds – especially women – receiving their wedding cake in the face in the middle of the ceremony. Called the “wedding cake smash”, this crazy tradition is seen as a way to amuse the gallery during the wedding. And it went viral on social media, resulting in compilations of the most impressive cake smashes. Currently, the hashtag “wedding cake smash” has over 600 million views. Just that ! To understand its origin, we must go back to ancient Rome. Indeed, it was customary for brides to have a crumbled barley cake on their heads, to symbolize male dominance and future fertility. But today, its meaning has changed. From now on, the spouses spread out one like the other without embarrassment with good shares of cream cake, in front of the guests, as a joke. But maybe not for everyone.
A ground for divorce
A few days ago, in a video that went viral on TikTok, a surfer named loulouorange explained that she had broken off her engagement following this incident: “When he threw cake in my face and ruined my $1,600 bridal makeup but ended up saving me $50,000 in divorce fees (half my net worth) by showing how little he respected me for I can still claim an annulment”. She also specifies that she left the reception at that time and immediately filled out the divorce papers. In 2020, a bride confided in the columns of Dear Prudence Slate to have divorced a few days after her marriage following a “cake smash” during the reception.
For the young woman, her former husband broke the only rule she had imposed on him… which was not to practice this tradition during their marriage. Among the arguments for the divorce of the two concerned: an obvious sign of lack of respect for the spouse, as well as a form of gratuitous public humiliation. Seen as a simple joke, today this trend is synonymous for some with a marriage that will be shipwrecked.
A violent tradition?
On X, Internet users denounce the unhealthy side of the “wedding face cake smash”. Indeed, some see it as a way to humiliate the bride on the day when she is supposed to feel the most important. In a tweet accompanied by TikTok videos of “cake smash”, a netizen declares: “These men literally attack their wives just to throw cake in their face! I would absolutely divorce someone after that! You are not going to humiliate me at my wedding especially when I asked you NOT to do that!”.
these men are literally tackling their brides down just to throw cake in their face! I would absolutely divorce someone after that! You’re not going humiliate me on my wedding especially when I asked you NOT to do that! https://t.co/82GN6wDS9V pic.twitter.com/SoKRP2QKVK
— Lover girl 💗 (@Fiyasohollywood) August 12, 2023
Another internet user pointe also the violence of the gesture in some of the content: “My question is that all these videos seem violent to me, especially when they fall on the ground, why does nobody help these women? Why not tackle the groom to the ground for assaulting his wife”. Indeed, there are many videos where you can see husbands throwing the cake so violently in the face of the bride, that she pretends to collapse. Others show brides expressly asking not to practice this tradition before receiving a piece of cake in the face under the hilarious gaze of their spouse. Of course, some end up leaving the reception after feeling humiliated. Enough to raise oversized red flags for Internet users.
According to Dr Sydney Ceruto, interviewed by Glamor UK, “cake smashes” are “protest behavior”. She explains : “They are employed by individuals in an attempt to win back their partner’s love and attention. These behaviors can stem from feelings of insecurity, abandonment and a lack of self-esteem.. She continues that these behaviors have for “primary goal of seeking partner validation by engaging in unhealthy or negative behaviors”. She warns that “protest behaviors create a cycle of insecurity and resentment in the relationship, leading to a breakdown in communication and trust“.
A psychological assault
Dr Becky Spelman, psychologist and founder of Private Therapy Clinic, told Metro.Uk: “A thrown cake that occurs without mutual agreement or when a partner feels uncomfortable with the act could potentially highlight issues around control, disrespect, or disregard for boundaries.” Without prior knowledge of what is about to happen, someone may feel “caught off guard, embarrassed or even upset if he had different expectations or if the act goes against his personal preferences or values”.
Today, if the “cake smash” is practiced in most marriages, it is worth remembering the importance of doing it only if both spouses consent to it. Some Internet users also wish to show that this rite is not obligatory. Others prove on the contrary that the “cake smash” can be done gently. For example, in a video, a couple simply puts a little cream on the tip of their nose, thus avoiding any inconvenience.