Who Is Responsible for Cutting and Serving the Wedding Cake During the Reception?

The bride and groom may make the first official cut, but they're generally not the people handing out slices.

paige matt wedding cake with flowers
Photo: Maria Lamb Photography

It's tradition for the bride and groom to cut the first slice of cake during the reception, but after they've shared this special piece, is it their job to serve all of their guests? Simply put. no. Family and friends will gather around to watch you make the first slice for tradition's sake, but once you and your partner feed each other a slice, you should turn the knife and server over to your catering team.

Your catering team will have a cake-cutting strategy.

Remember when you were ordering your wedding cake and the baker asked how many guests you'd like it to serve? She would've then made the cake very specifically to suit the number of servings. Your catering team will have all the information they need on serving quantities, and they have plenty of experience in how best to cut a cake to get all the necessary servings out of it. If you went willy-nilly and cut it yourself, without regard to serving size, you could end up with far fewer slices than you actually need to serve all your guests.

Cutting a wedding cake is very time consuming and can be quite messy.

Though the first slice is cut with everyone watching, caterers will usually take the rest of the cake to a private area to finish cutting it. This is because cutting a wedding cake can be a messy job, especially when there are many layers to take apart. It's also very time consuming. In fact, most caterers begin serving cake to guests long before the cutting has been completed. If you were to cut the cake yourselves, you'd probably miss out on being on the dance floor for quite a few songs you love. Instead, smash that first slice, raise a glass of bubbles to your partner, and let the pros take over so you can continue enjoying your party.

You have more important things to do.

Many guests see the serving of dessert as a sign that the evening is coming to an end. Even if you're hosting a late-night reception or after-party, guests who do not wish to stay out all night will view dessert as their opportunity to politely take their leave. Which means they'll want to get a little face time in with the bride and groom, thank them for having them, share their final well-wishes, and say goodnight. If you're cutting the cake, guests won't be able to have a last conversation with you before the night ends.

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