How to Cut Your Wedding Cake

It's not always as simple as it looks.

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen Kissing at Wedding
Photo: Max Wanger

Cutting the very first slice of your wedding cake sounds so simple in theory, yet there are countless online videos devoted to teaching couples how to master the technique. What do you need to think about? How you stand, where to cut the cake, and who to feed first are all important elements of a successful cake cutting. Here's how to make this special moment a piece of cake-pun intended.


Cake table placement is key.

Before we get into the details of the cutting itself, there's some preparation that needs to be handled first. When you're planning the wedding, you'll want to discuss the placement of the cake table with your catering team and/or wedding planner. The cake table should be placed in a spot that offers a great photo backdrop from a few different angles. You might even want to select a patterned or sequined linen for this table, designating that it's a special spot.

Prepping for the cake cutting.

Your catering team will be sure you have all the props needed: a cake knife and server, cake plate, two forks, two napkins, and two champagne glasses filled with fresh champagne. You'll also want to have someone, either your planner or a friend, make sure the key family members are present to watch. No mother of the bride wants to miss this moment!

Step right up.

In polite society, the bride takes place slightly in front of the groom, both at a bit of an angle to face the crowd and not be blocked by the cake in photos. The groom will be holding the knife, with the bride's hand placed on top to help guide the cutting.

Where to make the cut.

When you're cutting a layered cake for a whole crowd, the best way to go about it is by removing all the layers prior to cutting. However, since the cutting of the first slice is a major photo op, you'll want to leave all the layers intact and cut a slice from the bottom layer instead. If you're using a dummy cake to cut into, the baker will usually fill a small slice of real cake into the faux-cake and will let you or your caterer know precisely where to cut in.

Holding the cake base for security, you'll make a slice on that base layer about two inches toward the center or just outside the above layer's placement. Cut about two inches over from there and then you'll cut two one-inch wedges, one for you and one for your groom. Once the first slice is on a plate, tradition is that the bride feeds a bite to the groom and the groom follows suit by feeding the bride a bite. Fair warning: If you don't want him smashing cake in your face, you should probably discuss this process prior to the wedding reception.

Wash it all down.

It's typical to follow that big bite of cake with a toast to each other and a sip of champagne. There's really no need for a big speech here unless that's how you've scheduled the night's agenda-just a simple "Cheers!" should finalize this big wedding reception moment. As the cake cutting is something a lot of guests will gather to watch, you may want to plan something right after since you'll have a captive audience. Maybe this is a good time to kick off your first dance, or pop outside for a fireworks show. Because, hey, cutting that wedding cake is a pretty spectacular moment after all!

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