PROPER WEDDING CAKE CUTTING ETIQUETTE
CAKE CUTTING TIMING
Let’s start with when to cut the cake. You may not realize that the timing of your cake cutting actually plays an important role in your reception. In the past, the wedding cake cutting was the very last moment in the reception and was a nonverbal signal to guests that they were welcome to head home. However, weddings are very flexible now on when this moment takes place. While cutting your cake still signifies to most guests that the formalities of the wedding are over--especially for older guests--it does not mean it is the end of the celebration. Choose if you want this to be done during dinner, before or after the bouquet/garter toss, before grand exit, etc. Typically, brides and grooms today prefer to cut the cake toward the end of dinner, just before the music and dancing begin.
This guarantees that your photographer and videographer will capture the moment, as most do not stay until the very end. Also, it allows you both to freely enjoy the rest of the evening with friends and family without having to pause to take care of the formalities.
THE CUTTING PROCESS
Now, how to cut the cake. Even if you think you're a pro at cutting cakes and pastries in your everyday life or at birthday parties, you may still need some assistance for your wedding cake. To start, having two sets of hands on that cake knife can definitely be tricky. You don’t want your hands to look awkward in photos or place the knife altogether in the wrong spot. This is why your wedding cake baker will often recommend you cut from the bottom tier and have the groom place his hands over the brides. It’s also important to know the difference between the cake knife and the cake server. This may seem obvious, but they are roughly the same size, and both look like they can cut the cake. As a rule, the cake knife will always be the skinnier of the two, and the server should come to some kind of point at the end. When it comes to the actual type of cut, the neatest methods are either the box or wedge options. With the bride closest to the cake and the groom behind her, place both of your hands onto the knife, and cut about an inch into the cake and slice down cleanly. It can be a modest slice since you really only need two bites' worth. Feeding each other these pieces of cake is supposed to represent a symbol of commitment to provide for one another in your new shared life, but this is a personal choice. You can each take your pieces from that same plate with either two forks or your hands if you are going for the cute, messy approach. Once this part of the ritual is complete, you can then hand the cake over to the catering team to do the complete cutting and serving of the cake.
POSING FOR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
In most cases, a couple has never posed in front of a cake or attempted a posed cutting before, so here’s a few tips: Take your time and remember to smile throughout the process. It is not a race and you are not being timed. Slowly slice the cake and be mindful that you are having this moment captured. Trust your photographer and videographer. They have done this before, so they will guide you on where to stand and what to do. Have fun with it! This is your day, and while cake cutting is a symbolic ritual it does not mean it can’t be a fun moment for you as a couple. Remember, you can’t uncut the cake, so make it a moment to remember!