Wedding University: Intro to Cake Cutting

The cake cutting seems so simple – I mean really, who can't pick up a knife and chop a cake? For many couples, though, cutting the wedding cake becomes a weird and somewhat stressful task. Most of us aren't accustomed to cutting our food as a team, and most of us have no idea where to start with a giant, foot-or-more-tall cake. Do you cut it at the top? At the bottom? How big should the slice be? Do you entwine your arms to feed each other? How do you know if it's okay to smash cake in the face of the person who just promised to love you forever? Every wedding is different, but here's how RedBird advises their couples to do their cake cutting.

To start things off right, the DJ or emcee should make an announcement about the cake cutting. It's a pretty big moment in the night, and some of your friends might be bummed to miss it. If you can, get them to give everyone a five minutes heads up before you head to the cake table.

When the moment arrives, head around to the BACK side of your cake table, with the cake between you and any guests who are watching the proceedings. Your guests want to see your faces as you feed each other that first bite. If you need to move the cake table away from a wall in order to get back there, ask the catering staff or your wedding coordinators to do it for you – your buddies love you and are well intentioned, but your vendors have more experience moving those big, heavy wedding cakes on those big, heavy, tablecloth-ed tables.

Do a quick check that you have a plate, napkin, cake knife, server, and two forks on the table. It's going to kill the energy in the room if you cut the cake, move to feed one another, then realize that you have to wait for the catering staff to bring you out a couple of forks. Also, if your cake features non-edible items that will impair your cutting (for example, satin ribbon around the bottom of the tier) take them off before you cut.

Once you have the equipment you need, scan to be sure the right people are in the room. Get visual confirmation that your mom is there. Ask taller folks to please move aside so that your little, tiny grandpa can get a look. Be sure that your photographer and cinematographer are close by, and that they're happy with the lighting. If it takes an extra minute to get everything under control, that's okay. You get one shot at this thing, and you don't have to rush it.

When you're ready to begin, the bride does the actual cutting. She picks up the knife with two hands, blade facing down, and positions it over the bottom tier. The knife tip should only be about 2-3 inches in from the edge of the cake, because the goal isn't to cut a giant slice of cake. You just need enough for a couple of bites to feed each other. She makes one cut straight down to the bottom of the tier, pulls out the knife, angles it, and cuts again. And there you have it – a little wedge of cake, just big enough for tasting.

She cuts, he helps. Nice job, guys.

She cuts, he helps. Nice job, guys.

And what is the groom doing during all this? Mostly supporting the bride's hands and looking great for the pictures. I tell my grooms to sidle up next to their new wife, slip one arm lovingly around her waist, and place their other hand on hers once she's got the knife ready to go. With your bodies positioned this way, you look like a team while still mostly facing forward toward your guests and your photographers. A groom's hand alongside or underneath the bride's means that the couples is still cutting the cake together, even if the bride is mostly in control of the knife.

If your wedding is of the two-groom or two-bride variety (or if the first method just feels weird to you) try it this way. Both spouses stand side-by-side, hip-to-hip, each with an arm around the other's waist. With their free hands, they pick up the knife together and make the cuts as explained above. The main thing is to work together and create a beautiful photo for the years to come.

And once the cake is cut? Eat it! You only want to feed each other a small bite, so don't load that fork up too heavy. You can take turns feeding one another, or you can go for it simultaneously. One word of advice – unless you've discussed it ahead of time or you are POSITIVE it's what they want, please do NOT smash cake in your spouse's face! Brides are often especially annoyed by this. If you're a dude marrying a woman, you may not understand how long it takes to get your wedding day makeup done or how expensive it can be. Go ahead and risk it if you want, but know that your wife will probably be more appreciative of you feeding her nicely and then leaning in for a kiss.

If this sounds like a lot to remember, consider hiring a wedding day coordinator to handle all the details. We can't do the cutting for you, but we can manage the associated aspects like making sure you have a napkin handy or waiting until your favorite aunt has made her way to the cake table before you start. And if you need a refresher on how to make those cuts, we'll discreetly whisper a quick reminder in your ear.