Wedding Cake Etiquette

There is etiquette for cakes too!

Similarly to the rest of the wedding, certain protocol applies to the wedding cake. Cutting the cake will be the last formal part of the wedding and is an important tradition, which means it has to be done properly.


The cake should be displayed on an elegantly decorated table which will sit in front of the main table, but without blocking the guest’s view of the head table. Traditionally, an engraved, large silver knife should sit beside the cake, ready to be used during the cake cutting.

The cake should be cut at the correct time during the reception, depending on the type of reception you are having. For a formal affair, the cake should be cut after the main lunch or dinner has bee served and eaten. For less formal affairs including cocktail or tea parties, the cake needs to be cut after the guests have been welcomed and the speeches have been made.

The cutting of the wedding cake should be announced to guests before it takes place.

The groom’s right hand needs to be placed over the right hand of the bride as the hold the knife to cut the cake. The groom would traditionally feed the first slice of cake to his bride and the bride would then feed her new husband a slice.

A friend/family member/caterer will then take the cake away to be cut as this should not be done in front of the guests.

Once the cake has been cut, it can be used as a party favour for guests to take away or to be served with coffee.

Need ideas for your wedding cake? Browse our inspiration gallery.

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