When Should We Cut Our Wedding Cake?

cake cutting

Photo by Anna Shackleford

While picking your wedding menu may be tough, choosing what's for dessert is easy: Wedding cake! And what's not to love about a sweet confection that doubles as part of your décor — especially when often times it's one of the few things a bride remembers to eat on her wedding day. But if that first bite is going to be one of the first things you've eaten in hours, the question is: When should you cut your wedding cake? Here are a few ideas from our experts.

Traditionally, the wedding cake is cut as dinner comes to an end, but before the bride and groom head to the dance floor for their first dance. It's a great way to signify that the party is about to start, as well as notify older guests that they are welcome to head home if they aren't planning on staying through the end of the reception.

Of course, this timing isn't set in stone. If your reception will alternate between guests seated for courses of the meal and on the dance floor for short sets, you can cut the cake as the introduction to any of the dance sets. Going straight from your grand entrance to your first dance, before salads are out? You may want to finish your dance and head straight to the cake table. Cutting the cake early is also a great option if you're planning to have slices of cake plated and served to guests at their seats: The sooner you cut the cake, the sooner your catering staff can slice and plate it, which means they'll be able to bring it around to guests' tables before they've flooded the dance floor. As an added bonus, this means your photographer will be able to capture the moment without you needing to add an extra hour to their services, so you can more strategically schedule the time they'll be at your wedding.

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