This month we learn how to cut your wedding cake with Hand Picked Hotel’s own wedding expert.

The cutting of the cake is one of the most important elements of your wedding reception – as well as a special moment for all of the guests it is also a great photo opportunity, so it is important to learn the etiquette of how to cut it and how to serve it.

The tall, tiered white wedding cake that we know today began its reign at the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840, but it actually dates back as far as medieval times when it would have been made very simply of wheat. Back then, rather than the ritual of cutting it and serving it as desert, it was broken over the Bride’s head as a symbol of fertility. 

The ceremony of the bride and groom cutting the cake together was really born out of necessity, as cakes evolved into a grandiose, multi-tiered extravaganza the bride needed the helping hand of her new husband to cut through the stiff layers of frosting. Today of course, anything goes from a cup cake tower to a cheese wedding cake, but the moment of the newlyweds cutting the cake together it still very much symbolic of their new life together.

The cutting of the cake should be the last formal moment of the whole day, after the speeches. At this point the toastmaster or best man will then announce the cutting of the cake, and the bride, with the groom’s right hand over hers, takes an elegant silver-plated cake knife to cut a small piece from the bottom tier. 

Traditionally the bride and groom feed each other the first slice, and if they wish then serve a piece to their new in-laws. The cake is then taken away to be sliced before being offered to each guest, or should any guests prefer to take theirs home presented in pretty or personalised boxes. Slices of cake should also be sent to those unable to attend the wedding. 

Couples used to freeze the top layer of their wedding cake to keep for the christening of the first baby that was expected to follow soon after. Of course, today couples do not necessarily christen their child or indeed choose to start a family straight after their special day, so it can also be kept together with the middle tier for the first anniversary, as a joyful reminder of the wedding day. 

Once the cake has been cut, your life as a married couple begins.

With thanks to Foto Memories Photography by Jacob Malinski for the first photo taken at Buxted Park Hotel