Cutting the Cake – why I want your friends and family involved in this moment!
So let’s take a look at cutting the cake, what that means and why it’s an important part of your day. The tradition actually dates back to Roman times!
Now, first of all, why do we cut a cake in the way we do? Firstly, it’s a symbol of all that we have achieved on a wedding day in saying those magic words and celebrated with our family and friends.
It is also a symbolic gesture where your hands interlink to cut the cake but now as one as a newly married couple. This projects togetherness, strength and support for each other in the years ahead.
Nowadays, it is also the opportunity to bring everyone together in one moment on your special day. We would all love to invite all our friends and family to the whole wedding day but, let’s face it, that’s not realistic or feasible. Firstly, financially having that many covers and needing that much space would be crippling. Secondly, many of our friends and family may have children and they may struggle having a whole day at a wedding venue. This is before we even consider the implications of childcare!
So cutting your cake is the first moment where your day guests and your evening guests are all together in one space for you. We really should drink in and document this moment to acknowledge and be thankful for all the people that have come together for us. This is very much reflected in how I like to photograph cutting the cake. We’ve all seen the pictures of the cake stuffed into the corner of the room, and the bride and groom cutting the cake against a boring beige wall. If I can avoid it, I will always avoid that type of photo.
What I always like to do is work with my venues so we can move the cake into the middle of the room. This for two reasons. Number one, it means that everybody can see you better, you’re cutting the cake for their benefit so they can see your celebration of your love. Now, if you’re stuck in that one corner of the room not everyone can see you. Secondly, this also makes for much much better photos. The people in the background are those people you’ve invited to YOUR DAY to celebrate your love. As a photographer, I want to document the fact that they’re there: I want your friends and your family in the photo as you cut the cake.
You’ll see a common theme throughout the photos I show you here. Yes the focus is on the newly married couple, but surrounding them are their loved ones reveling in this moment. These pictures to me are key because you never know when you will see these people again together as in this moment. It might be that they live hundreds of miles away, it may be that they live in a different country or continent. And so by having the cake set up in such a manner, it means that you will be able to visually see all that were there and all that celebrated that day. Most importantly, it helps craft an image which has quality, which brings to life that particular moment showing clearly the reactions on the faces of the people around you. Those smiles from Mum and Dad and nan as you make that statement are utterly priceless.
It is also VERY important I let you know this is not ALWAYS possible. It might be that the space in the venue does not lend itself to this approach, it may be that it is a really warm day and therefore moving the cake table is risky beyond being a sensible thing to do, or it may be that given the timeline it’s not possible to get the cake table moved appropriately. But if I can do it, and your venue team are willing to help, I’m doing my very best!
Cake cutting CAN be boring and a bit of an anti climax. I’m willing to bet it definitely will be if you’re up against a wall, and there’s nothing around you to give the cake space to breathe. This is why I love to use this moment to help your friends and family surround you with their love and best wishes, give them all the ability to see for themselves this moment and document all that were there with you. This way, cutting the cake becomes one of the pinnacles of your day!
A magical moment
Given a little creative thinking and a little bit of effort by the photographer cake cutting can become one of the most important photos you have!