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The Wedding - Cutting the Cake

Date: 6/12/2004
Written By: Nadine Moon of Who Made the Cake along with Scott Evans


The wedding cake has always been replete with symbolism, and the tradition of breaking the cake over the bride's head dates back to the Ancient Romans. Customs evolve with the times, and today the ceremonial cutting of the wedding cake has become one of the classic elements of the wedding reception. In addition to providing a great photo opportunity, it is symbolic as the first task the newlyweds execute together. In truth, the practice of the bride and groom cutting the cake together was born of pure necessity. As cakes went from simple pastries to elaborate, multi-tiered extravaganzas, it became virtually impossible for the bride to cut the cake alone. She needed her new husband's muscle to help cut through the stiff layers of frosting. While today's wedding cakes have become much easier to maneuver, the bride and groom still cut the cake together simply for the love of tradition. Cake Decorating Because the cutting ceremony places so much focus on the wedding cake, many brides are opting for antique or classic bride and groom cake tops, as well as Victorian cake charms for luck and good fortune. The charms, in addition to the old custom of "ribbon pulling," have made a comeback in the most romantic modern weddings. Topping the cake with fresh flowers, Love Doves or a special religious symbol are all wonderful alternatives to those little bride and groom figures, however, there is no limit when it comes to cake decor. When it comes time to cut the cake, elegant silver plated cake knives and servers make the ritual even more enjoyable and stylish. Cutting the Cake It probably hasn't occurred to you that there would be any challenge in cutting a cake -- after all, it's something you've done many times before, at birthday parties, or entertaining. Still, check with your cake baker or caterer to see if there are any special slicing instructions for the first cut. If your baker has used unusual assembly or decorative techniques in order to create your cake, there may be hidden peril. You don't want to erroneously place your slice and cause the delicate tower to collapse or topple towards you. Your baker will probably recommend you cut from the bottom tier. Remember to cut with the knife, not the server, for the quickest, cleanest cut. The slice can be quite modest -- you really only need two bites worth. Slide the slice onto the server, then place it on a plate. Use the knife to cut the slice into two small pieces. You can each take your pieces from the same plate for the ceremonial feeding.