Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

When to serve cake

I know there's probably been a dozen threads already along this line, but I didn't see any that were very recent, so in fear of getting "yelled" at for resurrecting a zombie thread I figured I'd start a new one ;)

When is the best time to serve the cake? Right after dinner? An hour after? Or later on in the reception, maybe an hour before it's over? I've heard some people say that they serve it later on, since the cutting of the cake is sometimes the "signal" that it's ok for guests to start leaving so they delay it so people won't leave right after dinner. (In my experience, all except 1 wedding I've been to have had the cake served later on in the reception.)

What say you all?
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Re: When to serve cake

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well I have been to weddings where the cake is cut right after the spotlight dances and before dinner. I have been to weddings where the cake is cut immediately after dinner.  I have been to weddings where the cake is cut about 1.5 hours before the end of the reception.

    IMO, I think it would be best to have the cake cut and served right after dinner.  This way there will be more chance that your guests will actually eat the cake.  Many times when I have seen the cake cut late guests are too busy dancing to eat it or many guests have already left.

  • We served our cake after dinner, because it was dessert and I like dessert after dinner. It was about an hour after we started dinner. Then we did our first dance, and opened up the dance floor for everyone. We still had 2 1/2 hours of our reception left.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    We cut the cake and had it served around 1.5 hours before the end.
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If it is being served as the only dessert, which is fine, I think it should be served right after dinner.  If it is more of a nighttime snack, maybe an hour or two before the reception is going to end.
  • edited October 2013
    I think the reception schedule and order of events can be different depending on what makes sense for the wedding. As @Maggie0829 said, there are lots of different ways couples do it. 

    The way we did it: cocktail hour, my dad's welcome toast, dinner, dessert, first dances, party. That flow worked really well for us because we had dessert right after dinner and then after dessert, we did our first dances and opened up the dance floor. I know a lot of people do first dances right after they get announced, but I really ended up liking the way we did it.

  • We're cutting ours before dinner, being served right after dinner. It just works the best and since we have a lot of older guests, many might not want to stay around. That being said, our wedding ends at 8:30.
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  • I prefer the cake to be cut right after dinner and served as dessert.  Don't hold me hostage.  If you want people to stay, be a good host and make sure everyone has a good time and they will stay.

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  • @southernbelle0915 - that order of events - and where to fit in the cake cutting - is what I'm trying to figure out. The general consensus (families, DJ, and rabbi) is to have it at: introduction, first dance, hora, blessings, dinner/toasts. Since the hora alone can last 20 minutes (many last longer), I don't want to then rush through the cake cutting since people are probably wanting to sit down and have dinner. Maybe we could cut it while everyone is seated? Or would that be awkward?

    Most family weddings I've been to have had the cake cutting a lot later in the evening, and I remember being impatient for the cake. I never really thought about serving it right after dinner until I came to these boards and saw that many people prefer it this way...
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  • I am a raging cakeaholic and I have no desire for rehab. I have never been a fan of cutting the cake towards the end of the reception...because I want my cake NOW, Veruca Salt style.

    My last DD was introduced into the cocktail hour about halfway through it.  They did their first dance, cut the cake so it could be served as dessert with dinner and the dads did their speeches.  I loved this.  When dinner was done the party was on and not postponed by dances, speeches, and cake cutting.  When the party started - it was on.

    Also, I think when the cake is cut later, that is why sometimes people have so much cake left.  People are drinking and dancing and cake isn't high on the priority list.  At our first DD's wedding 8 1/2 years ago we had NO cake left (and I was so bummed as it came from my most favorite bakery in the universe).
  • We are cutting our cake about 1.5 hours after dinner as suggested by our coordinator. So I can let you know how it goes next weekend. 
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