23/7/12 – Death and Marriage Go Hand in Hand
From previous internet searches, I discovered Mexican Day of the Dead wedding cakes, which feature vibrant and decorative illustrations of the skull. Further research has identified different styles that are used for wedding cakes that also feature a skeletal groomsman and bridesmaid at the top.
According to Antoni Cadafalch, the Mexican Day of the Dead associate death with marriage through skeletal figurines that are dressed as the bridesmaid and the groomsman. The Day of the Dead offer a humorous perspective of marriage, which also emphasises the fact that death is present within everyday life.
The skeletal figures become a parody of the traditional bridesmaid and groomsman that often sits on top of the wedding cake. The Day of the Dead wedding cakes are very vibrant and decorative compared to the traditional black and white wedding cakes.
Cadafalch also argues that the skeletal figurines are used as a parody, which mimic traditional wedding vows, “Till death do us part”. One could argue that the skeletal figures that are used for the wedding cake feature an ironic juxtaposition between life and death. The skeletal figures may question Western values or traditions in relation to death and marriage.
In Mexico, family members reconnect with departed spirits through the Day of the Dead Festival, which may also imply that there is no separation from the dead. The Day of the Dead wedding cakes feature colourful and decorative patterns, which invites one to question whether there is life beyond death.
I personally wouldn’t mind a skeleton wedding cake and it would be interesting to have a colourful or vibrant wedding ceremony. From my own personal preferences, I begin to wonder whether I would choose the wedding cakes for the actual style or whether I am simply transfixed with the image of the skull and the Day of the Dead celebration.
The skeletal figurines immediately captures my attention, although I am also fascinated by Mexico’s cultural and spiritual connection with the dead. There is a possibility that there are people who would disapprove the Day of the Dead cakes, although it would be great to see some other responses. Would you have a Day of the Dead cake for your wedding?
Cadafalch, Antoni. The Day of the Dead: El Dia De Los Muertos. London: Koreno Books, 2011 p. 7-12