In our effort to give advice on unique wedding and reception-related subjects, we thought it might be helpful to both the wedding couple and their photographer to give some advice for cutting and feeding each other cake. The cake cutting (or pie cutting, or cupcake sharing, etc.) is a standard at any wedding reception. It is often a moment of uncertainty and intimidation for the couple getting married: where should the cake be placed? When/how do we cut it? (Stay tuned for a post on how to cut a wedding cake coming up soon!) Should we feed each other nicely or do an in-your-face-down-your-dress-and-up-your-nose smash? While we can't help you answer that particular question, we can give you 6 friendly tips on what to take into consideration for your cake cutting!
1.) Location, location, location!
Depending on your reception location, the size of the room, and how many guests you have, it's not always possible to have your cake table anywhere but in a corner or against a wall. But ask your venue contact if there's any way to have your cake closer to the middle of the room: maybe on the dance floor, then move it after the cake cutting for the caterers to slice up and distribute to guests? Envision your cake table in a corner. Think of how narrow the area will be: the corner/walls take up 2/3 of the perimeter of your cake table! The space that you do have will have to fit you and your new spouse against one wall with your photographer standing almost right next to you. This would make it difficult to properly frame the picture with the two of you and the cake. Then, when you turn toward each other to feed each other a bite, one of you will have your back to your photographer making it impossible to capture both of your facial expressions when you feed each other. Then there's your family members and friends who rush to see you cut and eat the cake: where will they be standing? Ultimately, the more room you allow yourselves for cutting the cake, the more room your photographer will have to move around or get in a perfect position.
The above photograph proves the exception to this advice. If there is a place your photographer can go to get creative, angled shots (like a balcony or staircase!) then consider your venue and reception exempt!
2.) Don't Cut the Top Layer
Maybe you are saving the top layer for your first anniversary. Maybe you're not. Either way, reaching up at that angle provides an awkward angle for your photographer. Nobody wants a picture of the underside of their arm or their armpit on their wedding day! Plus, the reaching leads to your hands blocking your face! So, stay safe and cut the lower layers of your cake.
3.) One Word: STAY
This one gets tricky when you're in the moment, but all we ask is that you do your best to STAY close to each other both when cutting the cake and feeding each other. And, STAY close to each other for the best 'first bite' picture. Often, a couple will inadvertently shift to one side or the other to feed each other cake. When this happens, the photographer is playing catch up and is forced to change their position: something that is difficult if there is a crowd of people gathered nearby for your cake cutting!
4.) Check in with your Photographer
I know, common sense, right? But, when you're in the moment, you may block out everything around you. We include this tip as a gentle reminder to take a few seconds to make sure your professional photographer is ready for you to cut the cake. This moment is a popular one for wedding guests, and you just want to ensure your photographer is as ready as you are, and in the perfect position! That said, do your best to tune into any direction your photographer may give you.
"Horror" story time! We were working a wedding with lots of guests (over 200). At this wedding, the cake cutting moment had us against a wall across the cake table from the bride and groom. Molly's doing an excellent job of making the best of a tight situation and directing the couple where to cut the cake and where to stand for their first bite. Just as they are putting the piece of cake on a plate, somebody's uncle yelled, "Hey you two! Look over here!" This loud directive led them to shift their bodies and BOTH of them inadvertently turned their backs to Molly for their first bite. Neither Molly or her second photographer anticipated this drastic of a shift and despite their best efforts and fast ninja moves, the shot of the first bite was missed.
Worst possible thing to happen on a wedding day? Nah. But missing the true emotion of the moment and having to pose the couple for a second "first bite" among all of the excitement and crowd movement wasn't easy.
5.) Aren't Sure What You're Doing? ASK!
We have literally seen hundreds of cake cuttings, so we've learned a thing or two and are happy to give you advice or directions when you're standing at the table. Depending on where your reception is, your venue contact or event planner is also nearby ready to lend a helping hand. We know you've cut cakes before at birthday parties, but cutting your wedding cake with two of you holding a knife isn't easy! So, please ask us if you need a few last minute pointers!
6.) Don't Stress: Enjoy the Moment!
With all of this advice, we don't mean to stress you out! It's a really sweet, happy tradition you are choosing to include in your wedding, so make sure to enjoy it! Funny story: I've (Rhonda) been working weddings for the better part of 6 years, and even I was a little nervous when I cut my cake at my wedding. I hadn't thought about the fact that we had ribbon around each layer which led to my husband and I cutting the cake twice because in the moment we couldn't figure out why the piece of cake wouldn't come out! Nobody noticed, and the cake was delicious, so all was well!
Little hiccups happen, but keeping a few extra things like this post in mind just ensures that your wedding photographs will be perfect!
First cut? Third cut? Who knows! Take it from me: ribbons are unexpectedly tricky! Did this advice help you think about where to place your cake table and plan for your cake cutting? Do you have any advice we missed?