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July 19, 2017
Inside the Cake Smash Props HQ, we’re all thoroughly familiar with the idea of Cake Smash and the various re-incarnations which are currently sweeping the nation, but it’s easy to forget that outside our little world of gorgeous babies and toddler models, fabulous photographers and characterful props, the Cake Smash concept is a bit of a surprising one.
Essentially when it comes to a baby’s first birthday, the babe in question is usually a little too young to have requested a my-little-pony themed party, superhero disco or trip to the Adventure Barn. The solution for celebration generally involves simply gathering the family together for a piece of cake, a glass of fizz and a cuddle with the Birthday boy or girl. A chance to catch up, have some family time and take a tons of photos to help keep hold of the memories (without anybody falling out). In the US, this kind of event was elevated to new heights with the introduction of Smash the Cake (where the lucky toddler gets to really make the most of the Birthday Cake) and that’s what we’ve now learnt to love here in the UK too - because let’s face it, for babies and toddlers, cake is where it’s at.
Just add a beautiful cake, a gorgeous child and a camera and you’re halfway there. We’ve been lucky enough to have been sent loads of lovely photos from the photographers we supply our Cake Smash props and outfits to (you can see some of our favourites on our instagram feed). When it comes to Cake Smash session, sometimes the photographers take the shoot to the party venue or sometimes it’s just down to the family to get snapping. Whatever the scenario, it makes it extra special if your little model gets to wear something fun and fabulous for the occasion, and that’s where our Cake Smash outfits come into their own.
It’s generally thought that the tradition of the Cake Smash comes from a combination of a couple of other long honed similarly cake-focussed traditions. In Mexico there is a well established event called the Mordida in which, on a boy or girl’s first birthday, they get to take their first ever bite of cake (and no doubt experience their first sugar-rush to go with it). Mordida means bite in Spanish and the guests shout that (which to be fair, sounds a bit terrifying) whilst the baby blows out the candle and gets stuck into the cake. Needless to say, the baby gets covered in icing, everyone says ahhh, a memory is made and the baby is a cake fan forever after.
There is also the classic tradition of the sharing of the wedding cake which is thought to have an link to Cake Smash. Historically at a wedding a loaf of bread was split, the groom eating a bite and then sprinkling crumbs from the remainder over the bride’s head. Guests would grab the wayward crumbs and eat them for good luck too (though we’d prefer an extensive wedding buffet or a selection of vol-au-vents). Back then, the sharing of the loaf had less romantic connotations than spring to mind today when you see a newlywed couple cutting a cake. It was mainly meant to show the dutiful wife that she was now entirely under the groom’s thumb and he could do what he liked with her - but hopefully it was memorable nonetheless. Nowadays unsurprisingly Brides expect a little more equality and who wants their wedding hair doo sprinkled with crumbs?
There was also a phase where couples upheld the Roman tradition of throwing cake at each other at the wedding. The Roman’s felt this would ensure the bride’s fertility but in the US the idea was often that if the couple fed each other the cake lovingly, a good marriage was a sure thing. If however they threw the cake at each other, they’d be heading for a more rocky future and ultimately a messy divorce. Not such a popular tradition these days (possibly because of the fat price tag on most wedding dresses) but it definitely shows a nod towards the naughtiness and sense of fun that we see at Cake Smash sessions today.
There are plenty of spin-off ideas that are up and coming too, like Smash and Splash (where the baby gets to paddle in the tub after a Cake Smash session) or Paint Smash (which is a free-for-all art session). Even adults and pets are getting in on the act and we’ve created unique outfits for both because our Cake Smash outfits and props are perfect for adding an extra special finishing touch.
If you’re thinking of planning a Cake Smash photography shoot for your little one, or you are a photographer specialising in Cake Smash sessions, why not take a look at our props here. They’re all wipe clean or washable so it’s no problem if things get messy.
(Thanks to Kay Oliver Photography, Victoria Claydon Photography, Monkey Tails Photography and Bumblebee Photography for the fabulous pictures)
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