Ensure your beautiful desserts looks as good as it tastes by following our expert-approved advice.

By Blythe Copeland
February 24, 2020
three tier wedding cake displayed on wood table

After all the time you spent designing your wedding cake, taste-testing flavors, and debating the perfect shade of periwinkle for the floral accents with your mom, the last thing you want is to ruin your sugar masterpiece by unintentionally exposing it to one of these common hazards, says Danielle Cribb of Sugar Sugar Cake Boutique in Florida.

Displaying it in a dangerous spot.

Of course you want your guests to have plenty of opportunity to ooh and ahh over your confectionary work of art, but not if it means risking your dessert before it's cut. If you're hosting an outdoor reception, says Cribb, "placing it in a spot where it's not too sunny or hot is ideal. This will cut back on any potential threats for the cake." At an indoor party, look for a spot in a low-traffic area; avoid putting your cake in the middle of the servers' path or right next to a doorway. "There are some venues where the couple loves the idea of having the cake right where guests walk in," says Cribb. "This is a great look and idea, but can definitely be a disaster at the same time!"

Repositioning the cake after it's set up.

"Moving the cake around too much on the wedding day definitely is a no-no," says Cribb. She suggests requesting a delivery time that's close enough to the reception that you won't need to reroute the cake from its pre-party storage spot to the display area: "As a cake artist, I want to be the only one that moves or touches the cake until it's time to cut." For Cribb, this includes adding decorative touches on-site—which means you should have your fresh flower accents or toppers ready when the cake arrives. "I like to place the floral on the cake, if that's what the couple wants," says Cribb. "I am no florist, but I can fix a cake on spot if needed. No one else can!"

Cutting the cake too high.

Though you can technically slice any tier of your cake without risking an avalanche of crumbs and icing, Cribb suggests serving from the lowest layer first. "I always say to cut into the bottom tier," she says. "People always think it will compromise the stability of the cake, but it won't. It looks prettier cutting lower for the professional photo than cutting into the top." And if you're concerned about your photos, check the scenery behind your cake table: "I can't tell you how many times I deliver a cake and there is a fire extinguisher in the background or a light socket of some sort," says Cribb. "Most photographers can probably edit it out, but still—they are such eyesores."

Trying to fix a problem on your own.

Though a well-made cake from a professional baker should hold up without any trouble during your reception, if something is going wrong—melting icing, sinking tiers, a gash from an overexcited flower girl—your best bet is to cut the cake as soon as possible. "Go ahead and do it and get it out of the way, in case the bad situation turns to worse," says Cribb. If it's really too early to slice the cake, you may be tempted to have the staff attempt a repair, but matching the icing type and technique is unlikely. In a real emergency, says Cribb, turn to your flowers: "The best way to fix it right away," she says, "is to add some floral to cover up any mishaps."


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