Cake Table Cake Cutting Reception Timeline

Think Beyond the Tasting

“The Cake cutting is one of the iconic ceremonies inside of the wedding reception celebration.  Like the First dance, Parent’s dances, and Garter and Bouquet toss, the Cake cutting, if performed properly, can be a highlight of your wedding celebration.  The wedding cake, which has been a part of wedding celebrations since the roman times, is a physical symbol of the couple’s good luck and prosperity.” – Thomas Heath, A+ Event Entertainment.

Picking your cake design and flavors may be one of the most fun parts of wedding planning, but thinking about your wedding cake doesn’t end there. You have a few more details to think about! How do you want to display the cake? Where should it be placed in the reception? And, when do you want to celebrate the cake cutting? These are all questions you will want to ask yourself or discuss with your wedding professionals, to ensure a smoothly set-up and executed reception, and so that you can enjoy every minute of your wedding day without worrying about what comes next!

Cake Table Placement:

When it comes to deciding where you want to put your cake, there are a couple different options that work. Most common is to put the cake along the sides or ends of the reception room, remaining visible to guests but being out of the way of guest flow and other events such as the grand entrances or dances. You can highlight the cake by placing a backdrop behind it, uplighting next to it, or having it alongside other tables such as the gift table or food tables.

Another location option is to put the cake on display in the middle of the dance floor, which is centrally located in the reception space. All guests will see the cake as they walk through the room, and they can more easily watch as the cake is cut. This usually places it near the head table, too, which means you can adore your cake more easily as well!


Your reception timeline and order of events are important, as it is what keeps the event moving along and keeps guests entertained. “During the planning process,” says Thomas, “we ask questions to gain a bit more insight into their feelings toward their wedding cake.  After getting that info, we place it in the proper place in their timeline.  We want every aspect of their wedding to be as successful as possible.  By putting each ceremony in a place where it creates a great flow, and creates a sense of “what’s next” we can help to accomplish what they set out to do when they selected, designed, and purchased their wedding dessert.” We’ll share a few things to consider regarding when to host your cake cutting, so you can check that timeline aspect off your list.

Traditionally, the cake cutting occurs after dinner and before your first dance. This falls naturally in the reception timeline; your guests will have finished dinner and can be gathered again to await dessert. While they wait to be served the cake, they can enjoy watching the first dance and special dances, then get on the dance floor themselves!

Another option is to cut your cake before dinner, in between when the wedding party guests announced into the reception and toasts. This option is becoming quite popular, for a few reasons: your guests are already gathered to pay attention, it checks the event off your list so you can get right to enjoying dinner and dancing, and it allows the caterers to have the cake cut earlier and serve it to guests right after they have eaten dinner. If you are placing your cake table on the dance floor, you will want to go with this timeline option, so that the cake and table can be removed during dinner service to allow an open dance floor when it is time to begin dances.

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