Cutting Your Wedding Cake
How to Gracefully Cut Your Wedding Cake at Your Reception
Like most fun wedding customs, the cake, too, has its own history in ceremony lore. Going back to Roman times, the groom would swat the bride over the head with a loaf of bread. While it sounds like something straight out of the Three Stooges, apparently it signified his dominance over his new wife. Charming as that may sound, it didn’t last. Later, buns were made for the happy couple; like most traditions, this one symbolized fertility.
Now, as everyone knows, the cake symbolizes the joy of your wedding. Etiquette dictates that the bride cuts the first piece, and feeds it to the groom. While this still symbolizes your first meal together, it doesn’t symbolize a food fight. Most brides and grooms have banished the idea of stuffing the other’s face, and politely give each other a bite. After the two of you are served, the cake is cut for the guests. (Note: If you’ve planned to have a sheet cake made, that should be pre-cut by the caterers and served once the two of you have gotten your piece.)
As for the dessert/cake dilemma, it’s up to you. Some people have dessert and cake, some only have cake. The good news is that either choice is fine. You can cut slices for people to take home, or simply leave the cake out on the table. Much of this will depend on the size of your cake and the size of your reception! Do not feel obliged, however, to give each guest a slice of cake on the way out the door.
You may also consider having a groom’s cake, which is usually a smaller concoction, and one that contrasts in style and color from the main cake—black frosting is popular. It’s generally served at the same time as the wedding cake, but without the pomp and circumstance. Groom’s cake slices are popular as favors too.
Having your cake and cutting it too.
The cake cutting is done after dinner, and before the bouquet/garter toss. If you are having a traditional dessert, you’ll want to make sure this course has been served as well. In general, the DJ or band leader will announce that the couple is cutting the cake, and tell guests to gather around. For those of you who want to opt for something slightly different, you can go for cupcakes instead (very trendy nowadays), carrot cake, even pies! Some couples forgo the tradition all together, but we say: Since you’ve already decided to take the plunge, go ahead and take the cake.
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