Cake pulls or charms is a tradition that is found in the South, most prevalently around New Orleans. The idea is simple- after the cake is baked, a number of “charms” are inserted into the cake, leaving an attached ribbon trailing out. At the wedding reception, the bride gathers her bridesmaids or other special friends around the cake and each takes a ribbon and pulls out the charm. Each charm has a meaning that will predict that woman’s future. Sometimes if a bride wants a particular person to pull a specific charm, it will be marked in some way. Often, the bride will give her bridesmaids charm bracelets as their “bridesmaid gift” so they can put the charm on the bracelet.
Some examples of charms and their meanings:
- Baby bottle/high chair: next to have a baby
- Four leaf clover/horseshoe: good luck
- Airplane/Eiffel Tower: future travel
- Heart: love
- Rocking Chair: long life
- Thimble/button: Spinsterhood (!!!!!)
- Ring/bells: next to get married
- Butterfly: eternal beauty
This can be a really fun and beautiful tradition, but of course has some pitfalls:
- Do not under any circumstances give someone a charm that says they will be an old maid, WTF, that’s just mean.
- Try to be sensitive about other problems- like a baby charm to someone who is infertile or is staunchly child-free
- Leaving people out- try to stick to only bridesmaids lest you hurt someone’s feelings who feels like she is a close enough friend that she should be up there (unless you can get ALL your girlfriends involved- that’s great too!)
- Make sure they are all out before the cake is served so no one chokes on one!