The History of Vintage Wedding Cake Toppers

Learn the origin story of these cute figurines.

pie wedding topper
Photo: Katherine Rose & Luke Griffin of Max and Friends

The bride and groom (in figurine form!) stand arm in arm, ready to stride right off the cake and into their new life together-such is the symbolism of the vintage wedding cake topper. These little dolls, often created in the couples' likeness, have appeared on the uppermost tiers of wedding cakes for centuries.

As for the history behind this confection accent? The tradition reached its height in the Victorian era, with cupid-adorned follies and other elaborate creations that capped the desserts at royal weddings. Today, since the wedding cakes of modernity are often minimal in design, these fanciful toppers often feel out of place-at the very least, they can be hard to find. But if the tradition is one you want to partake in, you can always dream one up yourself.

You may not have to start from scratch: Give a vintage bride and groom topper a new base and call it your own. Or take a look through all of the wedding cake toppers we've rounded up over the years. While some are obviously more contemporary than others, these little figurines definitely haven't faded from the wedding scene. And for good reason. In addition to making for a lively top-tier, they serve as a welcome big-day keepsake. Long after the wedding, when the cake itself is just a yummy memory, you'll still have your topper to remind you of your nuptials' sweet romance.

Of course, the very best vintage-inspired wedding cake topper is one that looks like you. Enlist the help of a local craftsmaker, or even an Etsy retailer, who can help you create a figurine set that captures both general traits and wedding-day attire.There are other ways to make your topper your own-the piece becomes uniquely yours when embellished. We've seen molded clay iterations with intricate, sugar-spun frameworks that feel distinctly old-world. If you're more invested in findng a topper that's actually an antique, instead of a replica, make a visit to your local flea markets or scour online auctions-they're typically easy to find.

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