Photo: Courtesy of Ivory & Rose Cake Company
The wedding cake has been a centerpiece of nuptials since Roman times, when a thin wheat wafer was cracked over a bride's head to ensure fertility. Today, cake doesn't retain that full connotation, but it is way more than just a pretty dessert! It embodies several traditions and the act of cutting it has become a highlight of receptions. In order to retain those time-honored customs and do the right by the dessert, we gathered three wedding cake etiquette questions and answers!
When do we cut the cake?
You should do so just before dessert at a luncheon or dinner reception; just after guests have been greeted at a tea or cocktail reception.
What do we do with the rest of it?
After the ceremonial bride and groom cutting, the rest of the cake is cut by the catering staff (this is best done in the kitchen) then served to all guests. It's considered bad luck for a guest to leave the reception without tasting the cake! Then, custom dictates that the top tier be saved and eaten on the couple's first anniversary. The groom's cake can also be used for this purpose. A couple can ask the caterer to pack slices of any leftover wedding cake in small decorative boxes to send home with guests. Additionally, a charming old tradition says a piece of the bride's cake under a single person's pillow will lead to dreams of a future spouse.
What's a good way to preserve the top tier?
Wrap the cake carefully so it is airtight, and freeze. Or to ensure it will still be tasty, freeze it to share on your one-month anniversary and then re-create a miniature version of the original cake for your first anniversary.