Cake Cutting 101

Although you may think this is an odd blog topic, we’ve found only 10% of my couples have confidence in what they’re supposed to do for a cake cutting.

The “cake cutting” is a tradition that we see at most weddings. We’ve had a few this year that have opted out because it “wasn’t their style” and they did not want the spot light on them. We don’t think there is anything wrong with skipping it all together, but if you do want to carry on this tasty tradition we want to fill you in on some tips.

The process

The newlyweds are asked to make their way to the cake table. This cake table is typically in front of the head table (or wherever the couple is sitting) on the dance floor. Both the bride and groom hold their hand on the knife and slice the bottom layer of the cake together, cutting out a small sliver. Next both people put their hands on a cake server and wiggle the slice of cake onto a plate. Both people put a piece of cake on their forks and feed to each other. This is when you can smash the cake in their face, or be polite and feed it to them normal – pick your poison! We’ve also seen the couple wrap their arms around each other and feed themselves. If you feel more comfortable with that, then by all means. The napkin on the table should be there to help clean the cake off of one another’s face if they need it.

What do you need on a cake cutting table?
  1. The cake!
  2. Cake cutter
  3. Cake server
  4. 2 forks
  5. 1 plate
  6. 1-2 cloth napkins
When should you do your cake cutting?

There are two appropriate times that we think you can cut your cake. Our favorite option is to cut your cake right after your salads/first courses are served. The happy couple is served first which typically means they finish their salads first as well. While all the other guests in the room are eating, it’s a fun time to do your cake cutting because it’s “entertainment” for the guests.

The other time we feel it’s appropriate is right when you walk in the room. You will be directly in the spot light because it’s right after introductions but there are two downsides. The first downside is some guests don’t sit down when the cake cutting starts so all the guests in the back cannot see. The second is it delays food service a few minutes. Lets face it, all your guests want to do is sit down and chow down!

Tell us about a “fake cake” and how do you cut it?

The inside of a fake cake consists of foam except for one slice of real cake on the bottom layer. When you see a jaw-dropping 5 tier extravagant cake that stands before you, chances are it’s not real. The weight of each cake layer could collapse the cake unless if it has risers in between each level (you could not tell from the outside). Fake cakes are also seen in many 2-3 layer cakes for a few reasons. The most common reason to have a fake cake is it saves money because sheet cake (pans of flat cake in the back) is less expensive. Depending on the style of cake you want, it can be easier to decorate foam vs. real cake. Also, the consistency of the cake slices given to guests is more consistent as sheet cake because they’re all the exact same slice/angle (see photo below). As you could imagine, cake from the bottom layer of a cake would be a slightly different size than the top layer. Finally, some caterers prefer sheet cake because they can cut it at anytime of the evening and do not have to wait for the regular cake (seen on a cake table) to be cut by the happy couple.

When you have a fake cake, it’s usually marked by two white pins on the bottom layer of the cake. These pins or markings signify the real cake is in between them. We’ve heard some funny stories about couples who cut into the foam which is a big mess and of course is not edible. We educate all of our clients before they head to the cake cutting table on exactly where they should cut to avoid this problem!

Here are some other helpful hints to have the best cake cutting possible!
  1. Pick a song to play in the background while cutting. Think of a cheerful song that is a play on words like “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor, or “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies.
  2. Opt to have your cake table on canisters (wheels). This allows an easy removal of the cake off of the dance floor. Cakes are heavy and the last thing you want is for it to fall right in front of your guests.
  3. If you want to add a little personality into your cake table, pick out a fun linen for it! It has such a small surface area that you can get away with a fun pattern of texture without it being over done.
  4. Add a cake stand! Whether it be a traditional stand with a pedestal, a wooden box, or something that matches your décor, adding height to your cake is the perfect final touch.
  5. Having a pin spot on your cake allows your guests to see your cake from afar, and in the dark if you’re getting married in the winter.
  6. Ask what size your cake table is. Some venues provide a guest size table which looks ridiculous with a small cake. It’s very inexpensive to rent in a 30-36” table (nice size for a cake), or you could use an alternative table within the venue (does not have to be round).
  7. Do you have multiple flavors in your cake? Think about what flavor you’re cutting into! Both the flavor and color of the cake matter.
  8. Grooms, think twice before you smash the cake in your lady’s face! 9/10 times they do not want to mess up their makeup.

Interesting alternatives to cake cuttings?

The word “tradition” is thrown around a lot, especially when talking about the typical things that take place during a wedding. Don’t feel that you need to cut a cake though if you’re not a cake person. That’s okay! Traditions do not have to be followed at all times. We’ve seen cup cake towers, “cheese” cakes (wheels of cheese stacked on top of each other, garnished in fruit), pizza tower (we are based in Chicago….), crepe cakes, and pies. Pretty much anything goes these days!

-Ohana Events

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