(Photo: Studio Foto Immagine)

In a wedding event there are a few moments, rituals or acts you ay find in other weddings as well – wheter the style, type of ceremony, or number of guests. The bride entrance on the ceremony location. The pronunciation of vows, even just symbolically. The exit as newlyweds, with the rise launch and a round of applause. Their entrance together on the reception venue. The first dance (with parents, too). And then, after the wedding lunch or dinner, the faomus cake cutting.

The cake-cutting: what does it mean for the newlyweds

Why is this moment so important? Of course there’s no obligation to have it in your wedding. But apart from the origin and the “traditional” meanings, it is quite important not only for aesthetic, but also for practical reasons.

First, it’s the peak of the party: after spending a few hours talking to each others during the reception, now guests can gather all togheter once more to celebrate the couple once more.

When I said it also as a practical value, I ment it helps to set the timing of the celebration. In fact, the cake cutting “closes” the reception and leads to what comes next, whether it’s an easy sweets-tasting or a full dancing party. Formally, it’s also the signal for guests that they can say goodbye, if they want to; and usually, the cake area is not far away from the flavors table.

Among all the wedding moments mentioned above, the cake cutting with toast is perhaps the one many brides await, and we should pay attention to it. Actually, setting a wedding cake cutting need a deep study during the organisational phase of the event, it should never be improvised. It’s a moment of relevance not only for the celebration, but also as a fundamental photo setting.

You shall have a lot of great wedding pictures – the ceremonial formal ones, the spontaneous snapshots from reception and party, and the posed pictures with your family and friends. During the cake cutting though, photographers and videomakers can get even more touching photos and videos: you two, surrounded by all your loved ones, in a scenographic frame specifically created for this moment, posed yet spontaneously talking, laughing, and looking at each other.

(Photo: Filippo Angius)

And how does it look if this “scenographic frame” is not carefully prepared? If nobody cares about how to coordinate all of its parts and details? …Instead of getting one of the best photos of your wedding, you are now looking at pictures full of flaws.

That’s why I like to pay attention to the cake cutting since the very beginning, and to show my couples several sketches to find together the best option for them. In my experience, there are three main thing you should be careful about when planning your cake cutting scenography. Let’s see.

The setup

That’s the “frame” behind the couple and everything that makes it unique. Gather your ideas and inspirations, and start to imagine your cake cutting area. Would you like an arch or a gazebo, embellished with curtains, flowers and greens? Would you rather have a small table, or a bigger one? Remember to consider not only the aesthetic, but also the position you’ll have when you’ll cut the cake: you want to avoid difficult movement, and have nice framings for photos. A smart setup will be appreciated from each and every angle. 

The cake cutting setup also includes lights and music: you can choose to have a playlist or a specific song for this moment and your wedding toast, if you’re not going to have a speech (or to avoid it!). The lighting is super important, especially for an evening wedding. Also, the area should be well illuminated to facilitate taking good pictures: it’s a good idea to have some strategic spots lighting in the nearby.

And somehow the wedding gown is a setup element, too: you don’t have to choose you wedding only for that moment, of course, but the opposite! Also, it’s important to know how voluminous the wedding dress is, in order to set the spaces and facilitate the bride’s movement around and behind the table where you’re cutting the cake.

(Photo: Ales e Ales)

The cake

Obviously, it’s the center of attention (together with the newlyweds). You can pick your favourite kind: multilayer, plain, modern. Or you can look for a professional cake designer who will completely personalize your wedding cake. Don’t just randomly choose your expert: always ask the pastry chef for pictures of his/her creations, to see how they look, and check if he/she is specialized in a particular kind of cake.

Anyway, your cake should be not only good-tasting, but also good-looking, because it’s going to be front row in all the pictures. I know it may sounds weird, but you can also use a fake cake for your shooting. There are many pros of this choice: it’s easy to maintain, especially during the warmer season, and you can put it outside. Yes, your guests will still have their dessert: you can have a second real cake served, and that doesn’t have to be spectacular – as long as it’s good!

Place and time

Having a beautiful setup and cake doesn’t help much, if the background is not well-finished! You should choose the area where you’ll have the most awaited moment of your wedding carefully. The chosen setup and framework should both valorize and be valorized by the surrounding. If you’re getting married during the day, be aware of backlight. If the cake cutting is going to be late in the evening avoid areas that are too dark, unless you can get a good illumination: in this case, the final effect might be really enchanting.

If you don’t have a wedding planner, I highly suggest you to agree in advance with venue and catering on where the cake cutting is going to be set. Also, if it’s taking place outside, plan a few site inspection to find a second option in case of rain or bad weather.

Now, let’s talk about the time of your wedding cake cutting. We already said that it’s a moment that somehow defines the rythm of the day, and represents some kind of signal for those guests who won’t be staying long. So it’s very important to select the right timing – and that’s something else you should previuously discuss with catering and venue. By fixing a certain time for your guests to gather in front of your wedding cake setting will help everybody to be prepared; but you should also considered unexpected events and delays, especially in a big wedding. It’s usually better not to let guest waiting too long (but don’t rush things!). If they spend too much time awaiting between the reception and the cake, they can easily get bored and tired; and those who live far away will feel uncomfortable in saying goodbye to the newlyweds without this last celebration… But if the cutting is not too late, desserts and sweets can also be served without rush.

If you have doubts and would like some specific suggestions, feel free to contact me, I’ll be glad to help!