There are plenty of ways to measure how the world has changed over the course of the last 100 years: technology, medicine, entertainment, fashion, the economy, global politics, etc. But could a century be encapsulated in something smaller and more tangible, preferably something edible? Try wedding cakes. Societal attitudes about marriage have certainly evolved over the last 100 years, as have laws regarding who can marry whom. It stands to reason, then, that wedding cakes should evolve also to suit the tenor of the times.
This idea is beautifully demonstrated in a video from Mode entitled “100 Years Of Wedding Cakes And Toppers.” Here, each decade from 1916 to the present day is represented by a cake that has been decorated in the style of a particular era. The video takes viewers, one cake at a time, “from the understated all-white elegance of the 1920s to the gaudy, sprawling creations of the 1980s” and beyond. Enjoy, perhaps with coffee.
In addition to all those cakes, the video also serves as a capsule history of the kind of music that is played at wedding receptions. Notice how the plaintive piano triplets of 1956 are replaced by the guitar-driven Merseybeat rock of 1966, which in turn is replaced by the throbbing disco sounds of 1976. The cakes themselves become more ostentatious as time passes, with plastic bride-and-groom figurines overtaking the old-school floral toppers circa 1936, at least in this video’s timeline. The 2016 cake may be the most dramatic of all, with its use of riotous colors rather than the traditional white. Whether this counts as evolution or devolution is a matter of individual taste. If there’s one thing the video proves, it’s that styles and fads may come and go, but cake is eternal.