Poppy Belle Design is a Raleigh wedding planner & florist. Feature photo by Krista Joy Photography.
If you’re anything like me, dessert plays a crucial part in your day. In fact, it may be in the top five important things: kiss my husband, play with my girls, have half a pint of ice cream… OK, so top three.
So it should come as no surprise that when it comes to weddings, the sweets rank high up on my list!
Now, nuptial desserts have become something of a highlight reel in annual trends. The once-assumed wedding cake has morphed into anything from cupcakes to candy bars, home-cooked puddings to gourmet cookies. And I love it all!
In my years as a Raleigh wedding planner, I’ve seen all of those and more, and they all do the job: guests love them, they show off the couple’s personality and more often than not there aren’t too many leftovers to send home with the family.
But what about that long-time tradition of a cake cutting?
I’m all about a cake cutting.
Call me old-fashioned, but I think there’s something to be said for this ages old ritual, and I think it’s silly to say that just because you really want an ice cream truck or Great Aunt Lucy’s famous banana pudding as your after-dinner sweet that you have to forgo something that newlyweds have done for centuries.
Don’t like cake? No big deal. A pie, cheesecake or even a cookie cake can stand in just as easily as a seven-layered one. Tarts, torts, crumbles—any and all of those kinds of baked goods still need to be cut, so why not work them into the tradition?
Cupcakes, you ask? Get one a bit larger than the rest, cut it in half and feed that to each other! How cute!
If you’re jonesing for something that doesn’t lend itself to a knife—like ice cream cones or the aforementioned pudding—most bakeries nowadays have small cutting cakes that you can use just for pictures (not actually to feed guests) that cost much less.
Now, you’ll read a lot of things out there about just skipping the cake cutting, and that’s certainly an option. But personally I think it’s a great tradition to keep alive, and here’s why.
1. It keeps mom and grandma happy.
Many older adults (cough, women) hold this ritual near and dear. For most of them, it’s just not a wedding without a good old cake cutting. Is it necessary to do? Of course not. But it’s certainly not difficult, only takes a few minutes and could mean the world to some of the important people in your life.
2. Sharing your first meal as a married couple.
OK, technically you’ve already eaten your first meal, and this is dessert. But the symbolism is kind of great, if you’re into that kind of thing. It can be a really romantic moment between you and your new hubby to share that first bite of the sweet life you will live together.
I’m all about this one, and I know it’s very similar to No. 2, but I think there’s value in some of these more ritualistic symbols of union and love. Wedding cakes or breads have been part of the wedding ceremony since the time of the Roman Empire, representing good fortune, fertility, and the care and compassion between husband and wife.
4. Having some fun.
For a while, it was quite popular to rub cake in your spouse’s face instead of nicely forking over a bite of cake. It’s not for everyone, but if it fits your personality, this little ceremony can give you an opportunity to be goofy AND traditional all in one go.
5. Working the timeline.
Logistically, pausing to do a quick cake cutting creates a nice break in dancing and gives everyone a time to refill their drinks without missing out on the latest version of the Cupid Shuffle. It’s also a logical end to the evening for older guests or families with young children, who can gracefully duck out without feeling like they’re cutting an evening short.
6. Show off the goods.
This might not apply to everyone, but if you did go all out and splurge on that seven-layer beauty, having a cake cutting is a great way to put a spotlight on the masterpiece your baker designed (and you paid for).
Cake cutting certainly has an important place in the wedding tradition, and it’s not something to lose just because you’re forgoing cake! There are so many ways to work this ritual in AND get the dessert of your dreams. Contact Knots ‘N Such today and we can brainstorm together!