What comes first: the toast or cake cutting? This is a great question to tackle today and it’s from one of our brides-to-be. Read on for the answer so you can plan your reception timeline accordingly.
What comes first: cake cutting or toast?
Bride-to-be, Jessa, wrote us with this question as she is busily putting her timeline together. She asks,
“Hi Emmaline! I’m figuring out my wedding reception timeline and I was wondering what comes first, cake cutting or toast? Do you do toasts before the cake cutting? Does it matter?”
Here are two ways to do it: the choice is up to you and will be determined best by your venue and/or caterer. When you’re deciding what time is cake cutting, the best thing you can do is envision how the evening will unfold and which one you prefer out of these two methods.
Which Is First: Cake Cutting or Toasts>
1. Cake Cutting After Dinner
When deciding what comes first for the toasts or the cake cutting, it will depend largely on what works best with your venue and the caterer in terms of the timing of dinner and dessert.
The most traditional way to cut the cake is after the toasts and following dinner. Why? Once the cake is cut, it is no longer impolite to leave, helpful if some guests plan to leave earlier on in the reception. You aren’t supposed to leave before cake. :)
– OR –
2. Cake Cutting Before Dinner
Now, if you want to do your cake cutting immediately, that works, too!
While you can customize your reception timeline any way you see fit, as a rule of thumb, if the couple is doing the cake cutting early on, it occurs immediately following the announcement of the couple in the reception.
This is to ensure the photographer and guests can get a great view of the cake cutting and take formal photos. Then, the newlyweds are seated at their sweetheart table or head table and the toasts begin.
Some couples like to do this because the cake looks its very best at that time. While your cake will likely last, some disasters can occur and it may not look as nice for photos later on in the evening. ;)
Also, when the cake is cut, it isn’t immediately served… until after dinner. The couple cuts one slice from the top tier and the remainder of the cake is returned to the kitchen where it will be cut, plated, and served following dinner.
By doing the cake cutting before the toasts, you’re also ensuring the caterer has enough time to plate dinners while toasts are happening, and then prepare the desserts following the meal. And guests won’t leave just because you cut the cake; they’ll wait until it is served anyway.
How did I do it? We did our cake cutting immediately after our grand entrance. The DJ suggested it as a part of our timeline and I liked the flow of it! Plus, it made sure we were able to do it in front of as many guests as possible in case anyone needed to leave early.
In my opinion, it is the best way to ensure the cake is formally cut with photos BEFORE dinner, giving everyone ample time to keep the timeline running smoothly.
Does it have to be this way for every couple? Of course not — you can decide to do toasts first and then move to cake cutting, but it makes the timeline a bit choppier as the meals will begin being served and guests will want to watch (and snap pictures of) you cutting the cake.
As with all wedding things, it’s 100% up to you! But, that’s just my two cents. :)
Is First Dance Before Cake Cutting?
Is the first dance before or after cake cutting?
It depends. One way to lay out the timeline is:
-Cake is Served
This ensures the cake cutting is before the first dance.
As an alternate, you can do:
-Cake Is Served
This means your cake cutting is after the first dance.
Another question we usually tackle on this topic is what you’re supposed to say during the cake cutting.
What to Say During Cake Cutting
What do you say? Nothing at all! Most couples don’t say anything during the cake cutting because they’re simply smiling for the camera and, ya know, cutting the cake!
Then you serve the cake to each other (don’t smash it into their face) and then everyone applauds.
There’s really no room, time, or need to say or use any specific words… just actions!
Plan Your Wedding Timeline
If you have more questions on how to plan your wedding timeline, here are some helpful posts:
Hope it helps!