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How to cut a wedding cake: Everything you need to know

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

This cake care guide aims to help provide you with tips on how to best cut your wedding cake in order to preserve its' form and get the maximum number of slices from each tier. I also cover everything from the history of the 'cutting the cake' tradition to when to cut the wedding cake so grab a cuppa and read on for my ultimate cake cutting guide.

Close up detail of a white wedding cake with artificial roses and gold leaf decoration

The happy couple may be the focus of the ceremony, but the wedding reception is the wedding cake’s time to step forward and take centre stage! So much so, that the wedding cake even gets a big moment all to itself when the newlywed couple invites their guests to watch them cut the wedding cake.

Watching the newlyweds cut their wedding cake together is an age old tradition that's just as popular today as it's always been. Not only is this one of the big Insta moments of the day, it also allows guests to see the couple start their new life together.

Three tiered white wedding cake on a table

Why do the couple cut the cake together?

When a couple cuts the wedding cake together, it represents the first act that they do together in married life.

But did you know that in the past, the bride would have traditionally cut the wedding cake alone to represent the loss of her virginity.

Some couples also choose to feed each other the first slice of cake, a good moment to have a camera ready to take what can often be a funny, lighthearted moment to signify the start of the party part of the celebration.

When do you cut the cake at a wedding?

In most weddings these days, the cake is cut immediately before the first dance so that everyone is gathered and can then watch before heading out onto the dance floor or to the bar.

The cutting of the cake can be an ideal way to break up your reception so any guests not wanting to take part in the dancing will know that part is about to happen. It also means your evening guests can see you cut into your wedding cake as they arrive which is a joyous and traditional moment to capture on camera.

There is a new trend that sees some couples cutting the cake after they've been announced at the reception, and this means that cake can be cut up and served in time as the dessert to the wedding breakfast, a very handy way to save money on your wedding and ensure your cake is enjoyed by all.

How to cut a wedding cake

1. Remove all decorations before cutting, including the section of buttercream where fresh flowers have sat against. If you have multiple tiers, remove cake boards and supporting dowels prior to cutting the bottom tiers.

2. Start with an aerial view of the cake. Roughly mark the cut lines.

3. Slice vertically downward the entire length of the cake with a hot, sharp knife. Separate the cut slabs of cake onto a cutting board.

4. For each slab, make multiple, evenly-spaced, vertical cuts. Then make one horizontal cut in the middle.

5. Each serving consists of two layers of cake. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

Cake cutting infographic guide
How to cut your wedding cake

Cutting the cake can differ greatly depending on the shape and size of your wedding cake. See my handy diagram above for some practical help, all of my wedding cakes come with a printed version of this diagram to help guide you or your caterers on the big day.

If you're still deciding on your wedding cake, check out my incredible wedding cakes for some inspiration.

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