Bride pie and bride cake are linked by a tradition of charms and trinkets being baked into the middle of the dish. Bride pie sometimes contained a ring, the recipient of which was thought to be the next in line for marriage. Bride cakes, meanwhile, traditionally contained a number of different trinkets, and each had a special significance. This tradition was still alive and well by the time of the marriage of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, whose wedding cake – a nine-foot-tall fruit cake – contained a trove of valuables. According to Hello!, the treasures were tucked away in the bottom tier. As per custom, a series of unique silver pieces were used, including a coin, a bell, a button, a thimble, a horseshoe, and a boot.
In the British tradition, the charms stand for a variety of things. As detailed in Gastronomica, the thimble and button symbolize, respectively, permanent spinster and bachelorhood. The symbols of the horseshoe and the bell, meanwhile, have been part of the British cake decorating since at least the 19th century (they made an appearance, notably, in the wedding cake of Prince Leopold). They portend, per Southern Living, good luck and the prospect of marriage. The boot, for its part, foretells travel. The meanings of the other items are more straightforward, with the silver coin betokening wealth and good luck and the ring indicating, again, marriage.