Slice with style: A guide to cutting your wedding cake perfectly

The cutting the cake ceremony is one of the most photographed moments of your wedding day. It is often the first thing you do as a couple, everyone is gathered around you, and all eyes are on you. I know, no pressure, right?!

There are a few tips and I’d like to share with you to make the most out of this moment. As well as ways to avoid hiccoughs and awkward situations as you cut your cake.

Happy cutting of the cake. spring wedding cake with handpainted wrap details, good trim, and spring sugar flowers as seen through an archway of flowers Sussex
whites and neutral sugar flower arrangement for wedding cake Sussex

location, location, location

Simply bringing the cake out into the room a bit allows more space around you, and a prime spot for your photographer, to stand. Ideally, situate yourselves slightly to the side. This allows a shot of both the front of the cake, and your lovely faces, rather than your turned backs and a pretty cake. If you take your cut from the side or the back, you’ve still got a pretty cake for photos even once you’ve taken a slice out of it.

how high should your cake be?

Next, consider the height of the cake, specifically the tier you’re planning on cutting. Typically cake knives aren’t all that sharp, neither are swords if you’re thinking of using one (see my blog post here on this if it is something you are considering). This means that you’ll likely need to get a bit of pressure on the cake to get it to cut. Having your cake at a height where you’ll be able to do this comfortably is key. Avoid reaching for anything higher than low chest height. This has the added benefit of keeping your ‘pits out of everyone’s photos, and avoiding lots of snaps of the top of your head and your arms…

On a side note here, if you have chosen a traditional fruit cake for any of your tiers, these are typically harder to cut through. If possible, choose another tier to cut for the cutting ceremony.  This may mean choosing a lower stand or table to display your cake on. Ditto if either of you are somewhat vertically challenged.

Top tip

I’m all for a pretty display table, and I absolutely love candles and pretty flowers, but do allow space to safely cut your cake without knocking over vases or setting fire to your elbows. For more tips on dressing your cake table, see my blog post:

how not to cut your wedding cake 

If I told you that a blunt cake knife can cut through ribbon, you’ll look at me like I’m a wally. However, I have seen so many couples try to do just that. It won’t work. You’ll just send bits flying.

When you hit resistance, stop pushing. It’s not going to be a particularly dense bit of cake, there will be a reason you can’t cut further and by trying to force it you may knock the whole cake over! Just stop, turn and smile for the cameras, and take the knife out.  

how is your cake constructed?

If you have more than a single tier, there will be boards at the base of every tier, and dowels in each tier. Dowels are like sticks going through the cake for the tiers above to rest on, so the weight isn’t on the actual cake. Depending on how your cake is decorated, there may be plastic holders for flowers that go into the cake.

Be aware of these elements and do not try to cut through the whole cake from top to bottom. Again, it won’t work. The boards are designed to hold up the cake above. If you try to force the knife through one, you’ll likely just pull the whole thing over. If you have any very tall tiers you may even find there is a board half way down.  This is mostly for stability. It also helps out the catering team, as serving slices of an 8” tall cake is no laughing matter! I shall repeat.  When you hit resistance, stop pushing!


Cutting of the cake classic white three tier wedding cake with fresh flowers sussex

take your time

Take a moment with your cake. Have some fun with it.  No, I don’t mean smooshing it all over each other’s face, but take a moment and look at it.  A lot of love and care has gone into making your cake, stop and appreciate it for a second.  Try a piece.  Look at the flowers or detailing. Talk about your favourite bits. So many cake cutting ceremonies are over in a heartbeat, so just take a minute to enjoy it. Your photographer will thank you for it, as will your snap happy guests.


I hope this helps a bit in your planning, and is useful for the big day.  Let me know in the comments if I’ve told you something you didn’t know, or if there is something else you’d like to know about for the Big Day.