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Love is Sweet: Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Cake Cutting

For brides-to-be who aren’t in the know, the wedding cake cutting can seem really intimidating. After all, are you supposed to cut the whole thing? Do you take each tier apart? Do you jab your knife as far in as it can go?

The answer to each is no. Here’s everything you need to know for the wedding cake cutting, so you know exactly what to expect, broken down step-by-step.

1. The MC Announces Your Cake Cutting

The cake cutting is usually one of the first things to happen in the reception program after the break for dinner. It should happen early on so that the catering staff or hotel kitchen can cut the cake and serve it for dessert just as your guests are finishing up dinner.

The MC will announce to your guests that you will perform the cake-cutting, and the DJ will begin playing the song you’ve selected to accompany. This is usually a playful, upbeat song with references to sweetness, sweet love or sugar. However, you can choose any song you like!

2. Get Ready For Pictures

Your coordinator or the hotel staff will have doublechecked that the knife and server are on the cake table. For the best cake cutting pictures, the groom will stand to the left of the bride. You both will want to “cheat out” so you are still visible. Stand to the side of the cake table, but not completely behind it! The bride will hold the cake knife in her left hand, and the groom will put his left hand over hers to help guide.

3. Making the First Cut

Your ceremonial first slice of the cake will come from the bottom tier of your cake. However, it is very important to note that you do not stick the knife far into the bottom tier. This may cause the cake to collapse! Instead, you make three cuts to the bottom tier, just along the lip.

Your first and second cuts will be on the bottom tier, cutting from the edge to the base of the second tier. You don’t have to space these two cuts very far apart, just enough for a good-sized portion of cake. For your third cut, you will turn the knife point down and cut the slice you’ve made away from the cake. The three cuts should look like a rectangle along the bottom tier, with no part going underneath the second tier.  Check out this visual from Aisle Planner to see what we mean.

wedding cake cutting

4. Serve the Cake

Next, you’ll pick up your pie server and place the slice of wedding cake onto a cake plate. You should doublecheck that there are two forks and a plate on the table before beginning the wedding cake cutting ceremony. Your wedding planner or the hotel banquet captain will also doublecheck for you.

Traditionally the groom feeds the bride a bite of cake first before she returns the favor. This has symbolism around the idea of the groom providing for his bride. You can do this part however you like. Even though most guests call for the groom to smash a bit of cake into the bride’s mouth, you don’t need to do this, and some brides get really irritated. Communicate between yourselves to know what you’re comfortable with before you begin the ceremony. However, if your groom does take some liberties with the cake feeding, the bride has a chance to get him back next!

5. Let the Catering Team Take Over the Wedding Cake Cutting

At this point, you’re done with the cake cutting and can move onto the next portion of the reception program. At this time, the banquet staff or the catering team will discreetly remove the cake to a prep area, where they will disassemble it and cut slices for your wedding guests.