How to Cut Your Wedding Cake

Weddings are among the most exciting and nerve-racking events in a person’s life. There are many decisions to make, including finding the perfect elegant wedding venue, narrowing down the guest list, and hiring a photographer.

Another detail that worries many couples is the cake-cutting ceremony. If you are having one of those soon-to-be-married jitters about your wedding cake, you have come to the right place. Today’s discussion will cover the best way to cut and serve a wedding cake.

The History of Wedding Cake Cutting

Having a wedding cake is a given at most weddings, but how did this tradition begin? Believe it or not, this symbolic ceremony dates back to ancient Rome, where they broke a loaf of bread over the bride’s head to bring the newly married couple good fortune.

The couple would eat a few crumbs, and their wedding guests would pick up the remaining ones just for luck. Today’s wedding cake tradition symbolizes unity since it is the first task you do together as newlyweds.

How to Do the Ceremonial Cut

Before you even think about cutting the cake, make sure you have these things ready for you on the cake table:

  • cake knife
  • cake server
  • cake plate
  • two forks
  • two napkins
  • two celebratory champagne glasses

The couple should face the crowd at a slight angle, next to but not entirely obstructed by the wedding cake. This allows onlookers to take photos as you cut the cake together.

If you are preserving the top cake layer for your first anniversary, keep that intact, and do not cut into it at the ceremony. Most people do not cut into the top layer anyway, especially if they have a multi-tiered cake. It often depends on the height of the cake table, but cutting into one of the middle tiers is often the best option for the cake-cutting ceremony.

Let more than one person cut into the wedding cake. Decide beforehand who will be holding the cake knife, then let the other person place their hand on top of theirs. Take your time to allow the photographer to capture the moment. Slice into the cake slowly and deliberately, and work together to serve it on a plate. Lastly, feed a good bite of the cake to each other. Finish it off with a glass of celebratory champagne and continue with the rest of the evening’s festivities.

How to Cut and Serve a Round Cake

Serving the cake in equal portions can be difficult, especially for round cakes. The general rule of thumb is to cut each slice one inch wide and two inches deep. Begin by sliding the knife under the cake board to separate all the cake tiers. Next, divide the bottom layer into two-inch wide concentric circles. Measure one-inch pieces and work your way around the bottom tier, placing the slices onto dessert plates as you go. Remember to clean the knife after each cut, as this keeps the presentation neat without excess crumbs. Once you reach the innermost circle, slice the cake into wedges.

Another way you can cut and serve a round wedding cake is by slicing into the cake crosswise in a straight line, stopping half an inch from the edge (to maintain its structural integrity as you cut). Then, cut one-inch slices of cake, working your way across in a grid-like pattern. Continue until all the cake has been served to the guests.

To maximize the number of servings you get out of the wedding cake, use this table as a guide:

Cake tier measurement (diameter) # of servings (1” X 2” slices)
6 inches 10
8 inches 28
10 inches 42
12 inches 56
14 inches 82
16 inches 100


How to Cut and Serve a Rectangular Cake

Rectangular cakes are much easier to serve at a wedding because their shape allows you to cut straight lines across. Begin with the bottom layer and cut a one-inch line most of the way through the cake (leaving at least half an inch, so the cake doesn’t fall over), then measure two inches between each cut to serve to the guests.

Use this table as a reference to help you calculate the total servings of cake you need:

Cake tier measurement (diameter) # of servings (1” X 2” slices)
6 inches 18
8 inches 32
10 inches 50
12 inches 72
14 inches 98
16 inches 128


We hope that this how-to guide helps you prepare to cut and serve your wedding cake on your special day. If you are looking for one of the most beautiful wedding venues in California, Eden Gardens has what you need. Contact us today and book a tour of our outdoor wedding venue in Moorpark, California.