Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When to Cut the Cake PLUS A Unique Cake Idea

Let’s talk about cake, man. Wendy, a reader (who happens to be my college roommate who’s getting married in Chicago in July) asked when the best time for the bride and groom to cut the wedding cake was. Who ever thinks about the right time to cut the cake? Usually an event coordinator just pulls you away from the photographer or whatever great aunt you happen to be talking to at the time. But my friend said she hired an all-girl company to DJ the event and these ladies claim that they know better than men how the flow of events at a wedding should, well, flow. Cool, right? I thought so. However, the bride was concerned with one aspect of their timing. The DJs suggested she cut the cake right away—like right after the first dance. Their reason: You’ve already got the crowd’s attention, so get all the interruptions out of the way then and let everyone party and dance all night long.

My friend and loyal Follow the Wife reader is skeptical. Do people really want to watch the bride and groom cut wedding cake when they are eating salad? Will they want to skip dinner and get right to dessert?

Here’s my answer: Wait to cut the cake. And here's why:

1. There’s already a lot going on at the beginning of a reception—from the wedding party intros to the toasts (some weddings have as many as five speeches) to the first dance. There’s so much going on that I think one more attraction will annoy guests.

2. I think the cake cutting is supposed to be more casual. Sure you may have a hard time getting the attention of everyone in the room, but the bride and groom are going to feel like the center of attention at that, and every other, part of the day. I promise.

3. My next, and extremely important, reason for why I think the cake should be cut later in the evening is because it’s meant to be kept on display. After the bride and her gown are revealed, cake is the second most important detail at a wedding that people want to look at. I mean, it’s not every day that we see giant, delicious looking stacks of cake. And wedding day desserts are getting more and more unique and they deserve to be on display for a decent portion of the night.

This leads me to Example A: Check out these marvelous cakes from Kelly and Dave's wedding in Fairfield, CT, photographed by Sassy Mouth Photography. That’s right, cakes. As in, more than one cake. Multiple cakes bring joy to my heart and my sweet tooth.

Here’s what the Marisa of Sassy Mouth had to say: The cakes were made by Sweet Cakes in Fairfield, CT.  Flavors included strawberry cake with fresh strawberry filling; lemon cake with lemon filling; and vanilla cake with oreo filling. Kelly's father scouted tag sales and secondhand stores for the different cake stands, cake cutters, and servers, to give the table an eclectic feel.

Note to budget brides: Serving multiple cakes can save some major green. Most bakeries sell tiered cakes by the slice, but a regular 10 or 12-inch cake will sell for $30 - $45. You may have to add a few dollars for decorations, but if you're serving anywhere near 200 guests it will likely end up being much cheaper.

When you put that much thought and work into your wedding cake, it deserves to be on display for a few hours. Don'tcha agree?

Tell me, lovely readers, when do you think the best time for a bride and groom to slice into their wedding cake is? Should Wendy go for it early, or hold her cake cutting ceremony later in the evening? And what do you think about this cake display from Sassy Mouth Photography?


  1. I LOVE these cakes... I love the bright, festive colors. It really makes them stand out! And I agree... if you cut it early, I am going to want to eat it... right then! Let it shine for a while.

    OMG. I so want one the cupcakes from your wedding right about now. They were SOOOOO amazingly delicious!

  2. During a client's wedding, the venue insisted the Bride & Groom cut the cake after the First Dance. I can say everyone seemed cool with it, nobody demanded cake right then & there or anything. BUT I was so sad that the beautiful cake was displayed & enjoyed for about 5 minutes as you mentioned. Whatever happens, it will be fine. Still, on the wedding day, while taking vendor recommendations for consideration, things should flow as the Bride & Groom choose.

  3. I attented a wedding this summer where the bride and groom cut the cake as soon as the first dance was over... I barely got to see the cake cutting (it happened across the room) and didn't get to see the cake at all! My date and I agreed that they should have waited until later in the night.