The Cake Pull Tradition

What is a cake pull? The cake pull is a Southern tradition, most popular in Louisiana, that could be an excellent alternative to the bouquet toss (which I personally loathe) or a way to share a special moment with your bridesmaids at the wedding. Since I’ve never personally participated in a cake pull, I went to my cousin Dawn, a Louisianan and veteran cake puller (she’s been in 9) for information on this Southern tradition. “What I love about the cake pull is that it is a way to include more female friends without having 20 girls in your wedding party,” she says. “As I get older, participating in one more ‘single girls’ activity at weddings can be slightly awkward, but this is much less humiliating than the bouquet toss. I plan to include one at my wedding!” Here’s a breakdown on what a cake pull is and how to incorporate one at your wedding or bridal shower.

What is a cake pull? Find out how to incorporate this Southern tradition into your wedding.

The Cake Pull Tradition
There seem to be a few variations on the tradition. In one, unmarried female friends are invited to participate and in the other only the bridesmaids partake. In either version, a set of charms is placed under a layer of the cake and each girl pulls one, though in the bridesmaid version the “next to be married” charm must be removed if one or more of your maids is already hitched. While the cake pull most often takes place at the wedding reception, some will argue it should actually be done at the bridesmaid luncheon or even at the shower.

How To Do It Yourself
Ok, let’s talk logistics. The cake pulls are typically given to the baker the week of the wedding and then placed when assembling the cake at the reception site. Dawn has placed them herself when organizing a pull for a friend, and advises you to have extra icing on hand to pipe around the base of the cake once the pulls are placed. A ribbon is tied to each charm (or if you want to get creative, you can attach them to charm bracelets). You can find a vendors on Etsy selling cake pulls, but you can also make your own by picking up charms and ribbon at a local craft store.

Common Charms and Their Meanings
Each charm has a different meaning and tells you something about what’s to come in your life. Common charms might include a camera or the Eiffel tower (a life of travel), a flip-flop (a life full of relaxing fun), a cross (a life full of faith), a heart (a life full of love), a ring (the next to be married) and a pacifier or baby carriage (the next to have a baby). There are even Louisiana-themed cake pulls, like a crawfish for a life of good fortune or a Mardi Gras mask for the life of the party. The bride can select which charms she wants to incorporate, or even assign special meaning to personal charms. You could attach a folded card to the end of the pull with a quote to reveal the meaning of the charm—just make sure no one peeks before the pull!

Image courtesy of Katie H Photography.

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