Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: FauxFoodist on January 27, 2013, 11:08:13 PM

Title: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: FauxFoodist on January 27, 2013, 11:08:13 PM
About 2.5 years ago, I started a thread that is now on the wedding site, http://www.weddinghellsbells.com/smf/index.php?topic=76767.msg1806372#msg1806372 (http://www.weddinghellsbells.com/smf/index.php?topic=76767.msg1806372#msg1806372) (thank God because I thought it had been deleted).  I just wanted to say (and will also post to the original thread) that my idea (to have multiple cakes of different flavors double as centerpieces rather than one big wedding cake) surpassed my hopes for success.  We ended up with nine tables, plus the wedding cake.  Rather than have any of the tables end up with no cake, we ordered an additional two 8" cakes -- all the while I was thinking I was insane for suggesting it and doing it because all I could think was we'd end up with a ton of cake left over.  Nope!  Our guests, even after stuffing themselves with appetizers and a huge dinner buffet, loved the cake idea and freely went from table to table getting slices of each cake.  We ended up with no leftover cake (other than the top layer of our wedding cake, which I saved immediately); we had encouraged our guests to take home cake (we bought small bakery boxes for this purpose).  Even then, most of the cake was eaten at the reception.  We had enough cake for 72-90 normal-sized slices from the table cakes (not the slivers one usually gets at weddings) plus another 15-20 normal slices from the wedding cake, and most of it was eaten before anyone packed up cake to take home.

The only glitch was that, despite telling guests that the table cake cutting would not occur until after the wedding cake cutting (and holding back the cake servers from the tables until right before the wedding cake cutting), there was one table that decided to do it anyway (and it was a table full of four middle-aged to senior adults -- no children poked the cakes; the CHILDREN were perfectly behaved).  Fortunately, I was too busy to care that much and moved on quickly (there was nothing I could do at that point, but I will admit that the behavior left me with a not-so-good first impression since I knew none of these guests).
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: CakeEater on January 28, 2013, 01:34:20 AM
I'm glad it went so well!

I'm on a cake forum where it's widely recognised that if you have different flavours of cake, you'll need more servings because people will often want to try the different flavours available.

If it was me, I wouldn't have cut the cake early, but I think once you put cake in front of people, on their table, you lose a fair bit of control over when it's eaten.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: FauxFoodist on January 28, 2013, 02:36:38 AM
I'm glad it went so well!

I'm on a cake forum where it's widely recognised that if you have different flavours of cake, you'll need more servings because people will often want to try the different flavours available.

If it was me, I wouldn't have cut the cake early, but I think once you put cake in front of people, on their table, you lose a fair bit of control over when it's eaten.

Thanks!  I didn't really think people would still have room for cake after all the food, but they did (which I'm so glad because I dreaded having to head home with tons of cake).

About the premature cake-cutting -- sorry, I wasn't clear.  The guests at that table didn't serve themselves the cake; one of the guests at that table cut a chunk out of the cake from the bottom then tried to downplay what she did after they got caught with their cake cut into prematurely (it was announced both on our FB page and on our wedding website that no table cake-cutting was taking place until after the wedding cake-cutting).  I really don't fault the other five guests at that table, just the one (I described the age range because I wouldn't have expected such behavior from adults, much less older adults; sadly, apparently, one of these adults is a bit of a boor, which I didn't know before DH invited her and is the person DH strongly suspects cut into the cake and is also the person who tried to make light of what happened when I encountered the prematurely cut cake).

Fortunately, I believe our photographer got pictures of all the cakes before this occurred (I hope so, anyway; we'll see when he sends us the pictures).
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: cicero on January 28, 2013, 04:03:36 AM
what a lovely idea and i'm glad it worked out so well.

it sounds like one of those "why didn't anyone think of this sooner?" concepts! i mean, what could be wrong with lotsa cake, right?
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: CluelessBride on January 28, 2013, 07:24:50 AM
I'm glad it went so well!

I'm on a cake forum where it's widely recognised that if you have different flavours of cake, you'll need more servings because people will often want to try the different flavours available.

If it was me, I wouldn't have cut the cake early, but I think once you put cake in front of people, on their table, you lose a fair bit of control over when it's eaten.

Thanks!  I didn't really think people would still have room for cake after all the food, but they did (which I'm so glad because I dreaded having to head home with tons of cake).

About the premature cake-cutting -- sorry, I wasn't clear.  The guests at that table didn't serve themselves the cake; one of the guests at that table cut a chunk out of the cake from the bottom then tried to downplay what she did after they got caught with their cake cut into prematurely (it was announced both on our FB page and on our wedding website that no table cake-cutting was taking place until after the wedding cake-cutting).  I really don't fault the other five guests at that table, just the one (I described the age range because I wouldn't have expected such behavior from adults, much less older adults; sadly, apparently, one of these adults is a bit of a boor, which I didn't know before DH invited her and is the person DH strongly suspects cut into the cake and is also the person who tried to make light of what happened when I encountered the prematurely cut cake).

Fortunately, I believe our photographer got pictures of all the cakes before this occurred (I hope so, anyway; we'll see when he sends us the pictures).

I wonder if the bolded is why it was older people. Well-behaved younger children generally err on the side of waiting until offered or asking if they can have something. But adults typically make that decision themselves. Most weddings I've been to, food/drinks on the table is considered to already have been served - i.e. it is fair game once the reception starts. Although it's true that I've never been to a wedding with cakes on the tables. But I wouldn't expect a guest to have to read a wedding website/face book page for wedding dos and do nots, especially since visiting a website is hardly a requirement.

I put a lot of useful information on my wedding website, and I got several calls from some of my older relatives asking questions that were easily answered on the website. I think it is very likely that your "boor" really just didn't read the website, saw the cake already served on the table, and thought it would be nice to have desert first.

I'm glad your cake plan went well overall though - all sorts of cake flavors to try sounds like a lot of fun!
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: kckgirl on January 28, 2013, 07:58:38 AM
(it was announced both on our FB page and on our wedding website that no table cake-cutting was taking place until after the wedding cake-cutting).

Are you absolutely sure the people who cut the cake saw either your facebook page or wedding web site? I think this was just an unfortunate mistake because the cake was on the table. It probably would have been better to make a real announcement at the recption. I am middle aged and have plenty of friends who never use facebook and don't look at wedding web sites.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: doodlemor on January 28, 2013, 12:54:15 PM
I just love your clever idea of the edible centerpieces, SoCalVal.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: gellchom on January 28, 2013, 01:37:44 PM
I, too, love the idea.

I wonder, though, why it was so important to you that no one have any cake before the wedding cake was cut.  Was there some ceremony, game, or activity associated with cutting the cakes?  If not, what difference does it make to anyone else if that table ate their cake early?  It seems a bit controlling to me otherwise.  I am guessing that the idea was for everyone to start at the same time so that everyone could get a slice of each -- or at least an equal shot at it (presumably, none of the cakes would serve everyone in the room)?  But without knowing that, honestly, if I'd been one of your guests, even if I had happened to notice that the cakes were different on each table, I would have thought that your plan was that when everyone at the table was finished with our main course, we should serve ourselves the cake on our table.

In any case, I think you needed to give more notice of your expectation to people than just putting it on your wedding website.  I know I never read them in that much detail, certainly not if it's not someone very close.  Sorry, but I'm not terribly interested in learning where my husband's cousin's bridesmaids went to college or reading a twelve-paragraph story about how my colleague's son met his fiancee or a long history of their charming venue.  If I look at the web sites at all, it's usually just to get registry or logistical information.  I'm not saying that people are wrong to put all that stuff on their website!  But be aware that not all your guests are going to read it -- and the more stuff you put on there, the less likely they are to read it all.  So if there is something you really want them to know, find another way to tell them.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 28, 2013, 01:41:19 PM
I love the look of wedding cake centerpieces, though I'll admit it would have been hard for me to sit at a table for more then an hour without cutting into it. 
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: FauxFoodist on January 28, 2013, 02:34:25 PM
I, too, love the idea.

I wonder, though, why it was so important to you that no one have any cake before the wedding cake was cut.  Was there some ceremony, game, or activity associated with cutting the cakes?  If not, what difference does it make to anyone else if that table ate their cake early?  It seems a bit controlling to me otherwise.  I am guessing that the idea was for everyone to start at the same time so that everyone could get a slice of each -- or at least an equal shot at it (presumably, none of the cakes would serve everyone in the room)?  But without knowing that, honestly, if I'd been one of your guests, even if I had happened to notice that the cakes were different on each table, I would have thought that your plan was that when everyone at the table was finished with our main course, we should serve ourselves the cake on our table.

In any case, I think you needed to give more notice of your expectation to people than just putting it on your wedding website.  I know I never read them in that much detail, certainly not if it's not someone very close.  Sorry, but I'm not terribly interested in learning where my husband's cousin's bridesmaids went to college or reading a twelve-paragraph story about how my colleague's son met his fiancee or a long history of their charming venue.  If I look at the web sites at all, it's usually just to get registry or logistical information.  I'm not saying that people are wrong to put all that stuff on their website!  But be aware that not all your guests are going to read it -- and the more stuff you put on there, the less likely they are to read it all.  So if there is something you really want them to know, find another way to tell them.

Sorry you feel that way, but we'll just have to disagree here and leave it at that since I don't see it as a control issue and 70+ other guests didn't have to be told at the reception not to cut into the cakes ahead of time.

As far as the website -- YMMV.  I *am* someone who would want to know more about the happy couple, especially if I'm attending their wedding.  I don't disagree with what you're saying here, though (we did provide more than one place for the wedding info but, as we've learned on this forum, there's no one perfect way of disseminating information).

Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: FauxFoodist on January 28, 2013, 02:46:50 PM
I love the look of wedding cake centerpieces, though I'll admit it would have been hard for me to sit at a table for more then an hour without cutting into it.

I understand, but I have a feeling many on this forum would've waited.

In any case, I know quite a few of the guests were distracted by the dinner buffet so that might've helped quell the sight of a beautiful 8" cake before them (in the tradition of my ethnic and cultural heritage, we had a whole roast pig as part of the dinner, in addition to multiple meats and side options -- I know my friend's wife and one of DH's childhood friends kept returning to the buffet for more of the pork).

Anyway, I really am happy with how things turned out, and I don't think I'd go back and do things differently to try to achieve another outcome (I hope I don't come off sounding extremely mad; at my reception, once I walked away from that table, I forgot about the cake until a couple of days after my wedding).
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: gellchom on January 28, 2013, 04:12:06 PM
Sorry, SoCalVal, I didn't mean to insult you.

I'm still trying to understand, though, why you cared when people cut and ate the cakes at their tables?  I know I am missing something.  Really, I am sure you did have a good reason.  And it worked out beautifully, and your guests had a great time, and that is what is important.

If you (general "you") put food on their table, I think you have to expect that people are going to eat it when they want to, without knowing they are supposed to wait for some kind of signal, same for the dessert as for a basket of rolls or a dish of nuts or candies, all of which I often see on tables at wedding receptions.  (Not if it were The Wedding Cake, of course.)  At a Jewish wedding, usually someone (often Grandpa) makes the blessing over bread (=the meal), and there are always a few people who don't know or forget or don't care and get into the bread baskets or salads on their tables before that, and the sky doesn't fall.  But really the only way to avoid it would be not to put anything out until you want people to eat it.  That would ruin your terrific idea of using the cakes as centerpieces, though (that is SO clever).

I've been to many luncheons where the desserts are already on the table when you sit down, for logistical reasons, I guess.  You just eat it when you're ready for it.  If I'd been at your wedding, I wouldn't have guessed you intended anything different from what I was used to seeing.

I'm not sure what would be the best way to ask people to wait.  Maybe a little card on the table saying something like, "Please cut this cake along with us when we cut our wedding cake" or something like that (I'm trying to avoid something phrased in the less-hospitable "wait" or "do not" kind of wording).  I do feel that mentioning it on the website isn't enough.  Some people might have looked at the site before such details were posted.  And even those who look later may miss it; wanting "to know more about the happy couple" does not always translate to reading every word of every page of a (frequently lengthy) wedding website.  I'm sure you didn't mean to say that guests who don't read them thoroughly don't care about the brides and grooms as much as you do.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Docslady21 on January 28, 2013, 04:24:07 PM
Sorry, SoCalVal, I didn't mean to insult you.

I'm still trying to understand, though, why you cared when people cut and ate the cakes at their tables?  I know I am missing something.  Really, I am sure you did have a good reason.  And it worked out beautifully, and your guests had a great time, and that is what is important.

If you (general "you") put food on their table, I think you have to expect that people are going to eat it when they want to, without knowing they are supposed to wait for some kind of signal, same for the dessert as for a basket of rolls or a dish of nuts or candies, all of which I often see on tables at wedding receptions.  (Not if it were The Wedding Cake, of course.)  At a Jewish wedding, usually someone (often Grandpa) makes the blessing over bread (=the meal), and there are always a few people who don't know or forget or don't care and get into the bread baskets or salads on their tables before that, and the sky doesn't fall.  But really the only way to avoid it would be not to put anything out until you want people to eat it.  That would ruin your terrific idea of using the cakes as centerpieces, though (that is SO clever).

I've been to many luncheons where the desserts are already on the table when you sit down, for logistical reasons, I guess.  You just eat it when you're ready for it.  If I'd been at your wedding, I wouldn't have guessed you intended anything different from what I was used to seeing.

I'm not sure what would be the best way to ask people to wait.  Maybe a little card on the table saying something like, "Please cut this cake along with us when we cut our wedding cake" or something like that (I'm trying to avoid something phrased in the less-hospitable "wait" or "do not" kind of wording).  I do feel that mentioning it on the website isn't enough.  Some people might have looked at the site before such details were posted.  And even those who look later may miss it; wanting "to know more about the happy couple" does not always translate to reading every word of every page of a (frequently lengthy) wedding website.  I'm sure you didn't mean to say that guests who don't read them thoroughly don't care about the brides and grooms as much as you do.

I would worry the cake would dry out as it sat for another hour or two. Not to mention, with no cake server, it probably cut the cake unevenly. Usually, cakes are portioned to ensure everyone gets a piece--and portions are smaller than the average person would usually cut. So she could very well have been taking more than her share. Not to mention sanitariness. Did she wash her hands? Wear gloves? Use a clean knife? And, the fact that she attempted to hide it proves that she knew it was wrong.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 28, 2013, 04:35:58 PM
I love the look of wedding cake centerpieces, though I'll admit it would have been hard for me to sit at a table for more then an hour without cutting into it.

I understand, but I have a feeling many on this forum would've waited.

In any case, I know quite a few of the guests were distracted by the dinner buffet so that might've helped quell the sight of a beautiful 8" cake before them (in the tradition of my ethnic and cultural heritage, we had a whole roast pig as part of the dinner, in addition to multiple meats and side options -- I know my friend's wife and one of DH's childhood friends kept returning to the buffet for more of the pork).

Anyway, I really am happy with how things turned out, and I don't think I'd go back and do things differently to try to achieve another outcome (I hope I don't come off sounding extremely mad; at my reception, once I walked away from that table, I forgot about the cake until a couple of days after my wedding).

I think I should have put a smiley face on my post.  I would have waited just like I wait whenever I make a beautiful birthday cake for someone and REALLY want to cut right into it. I wasn't trying to criticize you, I was trying to say "YUMMM, When do we get to cut the cake!"
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: NyaChan on January 28, 2013, 05:39:37 PM
If the cakes were the centerpieces then logistically I can understand why the couple wanted guests to wait.  Also, I can see how for some, the cake-cutting ceremony signals the beginning of the let's eat cake phase of the reception so it is kinda stealing the couple's thunder.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: WillyNilly on January 28, 2013, 05:54:30 PM

I'm still trying to understand, though, why you cared when people cut and ate the cakes at their tables?  I know I am missing something.  Really, I am sure you did have a good reason.  And it worked out beautifully, and your guests had a great time, and that is what is important.


I'm not the OP but I can say why I would wait and would want everyone to wait, etc.  To me, the cake cutting is a ritual, and part of the overall ceremony of the wedding itself, no less symbolic then the first dance. The cake is cut together and the bride and groom then feed each other - this symbolizes the promise in their new relationship status to care for one another and bringing sweetness to one another's lives. So just as you wouldn't jump up and say "aww I love this song!" and go out and start dancing with your husband to the couples first dance (unless its somehow indicated for everyone to please join them), so too should you not cut the cake and partake in it before the bride & groom unless specifically indicated to.

No the sky won't fall if you cut into the cake early but its just, I don't know, ungracious so something feeling to me. Cake at a wedding is more then just cake, its wedding cake.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: SamiHami on January 28, 2013, 08:00:09 PM
I don't get the analogy...? The "first dance" isn't a performance; once the HC starts to dance it is the signal that the dancing part of the evening has begun and that everyone (that wants to) is welcome to join in. You don't just sit like a lump during the entire first song watching the HC.

As for the cake, though, common sense should dictate that you don't cut the centerpiece until you are told it's time to!
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Yvaine on January 28, 2013, 08:16:56 PM
I don't get the analogy...? The "first dance" isn't a performance; once the HC starts to dance it is the signal that the dancing part of the evening has begun and that everyone (that wants to) is welcome to join in. You don't just sit like a lump during the entire first song watching the HC.

Actually, I can't remember ever going to a wedding where the guests didn't sit and watch the first dance.

However, even if you do it your way, the analogy still works. You don't start dancing till the HC starts dancing (whether you take that to mean "after they're done with their first dance" or "after they've started their first dance") and you don't dig into the cake until they've started cutting cake.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Surianne on January 28, 2013, 09:01:57 PM
Hmmm...is a ritual cake-cutting a part of the ceremony for most people in your circle?  I'm a little lost on this one because I don't think I've ever seen it at any wedding reception I've been a guest at.  Normally the cake is sort of laying about on the buffet table and people wander up and help themselves.

I think if there had been a cake on my table, I'd have assumed it was fair game once the dinner was finished, unless I was told otherwise, so I can't blame the person who cut into it. 

I've never visited a wedding website or wedding Facebook page for instructions on when to cut/not cut cake, so I doubt I would have noticed.  If this isn't something that is clearly Not Done in your culture, I'd let it go.  I doubt the person meant to usurp anything.  It was likely just a misunderstanding.

Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: WillyNilly on January 28, 2013, 09:17:16 PM
Hmmm...is a ritual cake-cutting a part of the ceremony for most people in your circle?  I'm a little lost on this one because I don't think I've ever seen it at any wedding reception I've been a guest at.  Normally the cake is sort of laying about on the buffet table and people wander up and help themselves.


Aside from all of my experiences, and from movies and TV shows, there have been enough threads on this board and articles across the web, about wedding cake cutting (smashing, using an alternative dessert, having special cake cutters, etc) that I feel safe saying that the couple cutting the first pieces of wedding cake as an important thing, is a rather common across a lot of circles.

I'm not sure if "ritual" or "ceremony" are the right term (although I don't necessarily think either is wrong), but its a pretty normal and common thing to expect to witness at a wedding reception. I personally have never heard of even the most casual wedding just putting cake out, its always a case of the newlyweds cutting it first.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Yvaine on January 28, 2013, 09:17:34 PM
Hmmm...is a ritual cake-cutting a part of the ceremony for most people in your circle?  I'm a little lost on this one because I don't think I've ever seen it at any wedding reception I've been a guest at.  Normally the cake is sort of laying about on the buffet table and people wander up and help themselves.

Most people I know who have gotten married, yes, there is a specific point in the reception when the bride and groom first cut into the cake. After that, yes, people go up and get it. Sometimes this is organized and sometimes it's more wandering. But nobody eats the cake until the bride and groom cut it.

The little cakes on each table are not something I've seen, but I think it was a cute and original idea.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Rohanna on January 28, 2013, 09:21:08 PM
I think you'd find in most of the western world, NOT cutting the wedding cake ceremonially would be outside the norm- you can even buy "cake cutting" sets- and an engraved silver set is a common gift dating back a long way- I have one that belonged to a great-great grandparent. Wedding cake ceremonies date back at least as far as the Romans. I've certainly never seen someone help themselves to a wedding cake before it was cut and served. Now- I can see how a tasty cake on a table in front of you might have served as a greater temptation to someone- or they might have honestly just forgotten they were to wait.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Surianne on January 28, 2013, 09:23:51 PM
Thanks, WillyNilly, Yvaine and Rohanna for explaining the cake-cutting thing.  I don't think that's something I've ever seen in person. 

The last two weddings I went to didn't even have cake, much to my disappointment.  I love cake!  I'm in the Western World (to use Rohanna's phrasing) -- I live in Canada -- so perhaps the cake cutting ritual is a generational thing that I've missed out on?

If your experience matches the OP's, and she reasonably expected that all of her guests would know the ritual (unlike me), I can see why she was confused. 

Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Yvaine on January 28, 2013, 09:28:24 PM
Thanks, WillyNilly, Yvaine and Rohanna for explaining the cake-cutting thing.  I don't think that's something I've ever seen in person. 

The last two weddings I went to didn't even have cake, much to my disappointment.  I love cake!  I'm in the Western World (to use Rohanna's phrasing) -- I live in Canada -- so perhaps the cake cutting ritual is a generational thing that I've missed out on?

If your experience matches the OP's, and she reasonably expected that all of her guests would know the ritual (unlike me), I can see why she was confused.

I think we're about the same age and I'm in the "Western world" too, so who knows?
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: zinzin on January 28, 2013, 09:33:42 PM
New poster here, hey all. Also from Canada, attended many a wedding throughout various provinces and states over the last, oh, 30 years - cake cutting at probably 90% of them. Not mine, though, ha! Though people all figured out to politely save the cupcakes until after the meal without the need for announcements to that end.

I think the multi-cakes as centerpieces sounds great! I bet it looked very pretty.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Surianne on January 28, 2013, 09:38:19 PM
I think we're about the same age and I'm in the "Western world" too, so who knows?

Hah, very true -- who knows.  I didn't mean to start any debate over what is/isn't done in most weddings/cultures/age groups, just to note that if I hadn't read the OP's wedding website (and let's be honest...I wouldn't have) I don't know that I'd have realized the cake on my table was supposed to be eaten at a specific time.  So I would chalk it up to one of those quirks of a variety of guests not all having the same expectations and experiences, rather than someone trying to deliberately wreck the OP's plans.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: WillyNilly on January 28, 2013, 10:06:15 PM
Oh of course, I think the OP should jump to the kindest conclusions about the guest's motives (even just for herself, to have happier thoughts about her wedding). Hopefully the guest honestly didn't realize, or was just so tempted she forgot herself.

I just totally get why OP honestly didn't think it was necessary to make more then a passing reference about the request to not dig into the cakes because she thought it was pretty normal for guests to hold back on cake at a wedding until officially prompted (despite cake being on the table).
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Lynn2000 on January 28, 2013, 11:19:16 PM
I'm glad I read this thread, because if there was a cake sitting on my table the whole time at the reception, it would not have occurred to me that I wasn't supposed to eat it whenever I was ready to. I guess I wouldn't have connected "cake sitting on my table" with "wedding cake that the bride and groom cut." To me they would have been two totally separate things--yes, at all the weddings I've attended, the bride and groom cutting their cake is a big thing, but I would never have realized they had dominion over all cakes at the reception. I'm afraid the only thing that would have kept me from tackling that cake on my table was not wanting to look greedy to the other guests by being the first to suggest cutting the cake!

For brides planning to use this idea in the future (and I think it sounds like a lot of fun, especially if you're going to invite me!) I think a couple of cards at the table asking people to please not eat "the centerpiece" until later would be a good idea, just in case it doesn't occur to anyone at the table to wait.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: gellchom on January 29, 2013, 10:49:11 AM
I'm glad I read this thread, because if there was a cake sitting on my table the whole time at the reception, it would not have occurred to me that I wasn't supposed to eat it whenever I was ready to. I guess I wouldn't have connected "cake sitting on my table" with "wedding cake that the bride and groom cut." To me they would have been two totally separate things--yes, at all the weddings I've attended, the bride and groom cutting their cake is a big thing, but I would never have realized they had dominion over all cakes at the reception. I'm afraid the only thing that would have kept me from tackling that cake on my table was not wanting to look greedy to the other guests by being the first to suggest cutting the cake!

For brides planning to use this idea in the future (and I think it sounds like a lot of fun, especially if you're going to invite me!) I think a couple of cards at the table asking people to please not eat "the centerpiece" until later would be a good idea, just in case it doesn't occur to anyone at the table to wait.

This is exactly what I was trying to say.  You put it perfectly.  It just wouldn't have occurred to me that the cakes on the table were somehow extensions of THE Wedding Cake (maybe if they each had three tiers and a bride and groom on top).  It would just have looked to me like the dessert, which happened to be cake, and we were supposed to serve ourselves.

As to wanting the centerpieces to last -- well, how many more minutes are we even talking about here?  I really don't think it would affect the look of the room appreciably.

 I like your wording for a card.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Yvaine on January 29, 2013, 10:54:24 AM
I'm glad I read this thread, because if there was a cake sitting on my table the whole time at the reception, it would not have occurred to me that I wasn't supposed to eat it whenever I was ready to. I guess I wouldn't have connected "cake sitting on my table" with "wedding cake that the bride and groom cut." To me they would have been two totally separate things--yes, at all the weddings I've attended, the bride and groom cutting their cake is a big thing, but I would never have realized they had dominion over all cakes at the reception. I'm afraid the only thing that would have kept me from tackling that cake on my table was not wanting to look greedy to the other guests by being the first to suggest cutting the cake!

For brides planning to use this idea in the future (and I think it sounds like a lot of fun, especially if you're going to invite me!) I think a couple of cards at the table asking people to please not eat "the centerpiece" until later would be a good idea, just in case it doesn't occur to anyone at the table to wait.

This is exactly what I was trying to say.  You put it perfectly.  It just wouldn't have occurred to me that the cakes on the table were somehow extensions of THE Wedding Cake (maybe if they each had three tiers and a bride and groom on top).  It would just have looked to me like the dessert, which happened to be cake, and we were supposed to serve ourselves.

As to wanting the centerpieces to last -- well, how many more minutes are we even talking about here?  I really don't think it would affect the look of the room appreciably.

 I like your wording for a card.

Do we even know they waited till after dinner? I'm picturing them digging in before dinner, maybe while waiting for dinner. And I think the lack of cake servers might have also been a clue.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 29, 2013, 11:42:52 AM
That's what I was thinking, Yvaine... was someone sticking their dirty knife into the cake? Kinda gross!

I do think the cake centerpieces is an amazing idea! I wish I had thought of it for my wedding! What a fantastic way to encourage mingling! Completely brilliant, SoCalVal!
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: jaxsue on January 29, 2013, 01:36:32 PM
Thanks, WillyNilly, Yvaine and Rohanna for explaining the cake-cutting thing.  I don't think that's something I've ever seen in person. 

The last two weddings I went to didn't even have cake, much to my disappointment.  I love cake!  I'm in the Western World (to use Rohanna's phrasing) -- I live in Canada -- so perhaps the cake cutting ritual is a generational thing that I've missed out on?

If your experience matches the OP's, and she reasonably expected that all of her guests would know the ritual (unlike me), I can see why she was confused.

My extended family is in Canada, and the family weddings I've attended in Ontario had a cake-cutting ceremony. This would have been cousins' weddings, from the 80s to the present. Not sure how old you are, but I am 51.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: thedudeabides on January 30, 2013, 12:34:15 PM
The kicker for me on waiting, even if I had never been to a wedding before and didn't know about cake cutting, would be that there wasn't anything on the table to cut the cake with aside from dinner knives.  That's what we call in my world a clue.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: MurPl1 on January 30, 2013, 03:07:32 PM
I'm glad it went so well!

I'm on a cake forum where it's widely recognised that if you have different flavours of cake, you'll need more servings because people will often want to try the different flavours available.

If it was me, I wouldn't have cut the cake early, but I think once you put cake in front of people, on their table, you lose a fair bit of control over when it's eaten.

Thanks!  I didn't really think people would still have room for cake after all the food, but they did (which I'm so glad because I dreaded having to head home with tons of cake).

About the premature cake-cutting -- sorry, I wasn't clear.  The guests at that table didn't serve themselves the cake; one of the guests at that table cut a chunk out of the cake from the bottom then tried to downplay what she did after they got caught with their cake cut into prematurely (it was announced both on our FB page and on our wedding website that no table cake-cutting was taking place until after the wedding cake-cutting).  I really don't fault the other five guests at that table, just the one (I described the age range because I wouldn't have expected such behavior from adults, much less older adults; sadly, apparently, one of these adults is a bit of a boor, which I didn't know before DH invited her and is the person DH strongly suspects cut into the cake and is also the person who tried to make light of what happened when I encountered the prematurely cut cake).

Fortunately, I believe our photographer got pictures of all the cakes before this occurred (I hope so, anyway; we'll see when he sends us the pictures).

Actually if he didn't and got a pic of the partially eaten cake, I'd totally be including that in the wedding pics.  That's a fun story you'll be giggling about 15 yrs from now.  The other cakes are pretty, but that one has "A Story" ;)
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: TootsNYC on January 31, 2013, 10:04:30 PM

The only glitch was that, despite telling guests that the table cake cutting would not occur until after the wedding cake cutting (and holding back the cake servers from the tables until right before the wedding cake cutting), there was one table that decided to do it anyway (and it was a table full of four middle-aged to senior adults -- no children poked the cakes; the CHILDREN were perfectly behaved).  Fortunately, I was too busy to care that much and moved on quickly (there was nothing I could do at that point, but I will admit that the behavior left me with a not-so-good first impression since I knew none of these guests).

Honestly? I think that it's their centerpiece and their cake--if they wanted to get started early, I'm not quite sure why it's that important.

I suppose it affects the ambience in the room as a whole, but I just don't think it's a big deal.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Sophia on January 31, 2013, 10:22:33 PM
I am so glad this worked out.  This had been in the plan for my wedding. 

Then I found a great bakery where I could get the cake I wanted for 70 people for around $80.  An old-fashioned 3-tier cake with the layers stacked directly on top and real buttercream.  Sometimes it pays to not care about fashion. 
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: CakeEater on January 31, 2013, 10:45:42 PM
I am so glad this worked out.  This had been in the plan for my wedding. 

Then I found a great bakery where I could get the cake I wanted for 70 people for around $80.  An old-fashioned 3-tier cake with the layers stacked directly on top and real buttercream.  Sometimes it pays to not care about fashion. 

That is super cheap! Be careful you don't end up with a cake wrecks cake.  :)
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Sophia on February 01, 2013, 10:43:58 PM
I am so glad this worked out.  This had been in the plan for my wedding. 

Then I found a great bakery where I could get the cake I wanted for 70 people for around $80.  An old-fashioned 3-tier cake with the layers stacked directly on top and real buttercream.  Sometimes it pays to not care about fashion. 

That is super cheap! Be careful you don't end up with a cake wrecks cake.  :)

Oh, no.  It was amazing!  And it tasted good too.  I think the price was that it was ordered as a "anniversary cake", that it wasn't fashionable fondant and the decorating specifications were "offwhite buttercream decorations on offwhite buttercream frosting.  No dots and some white flowers on top." 

We were also supposed to pick it up that morning. But, he decided to leave his shop early to deliver another wedding cake, and my place was on the way, so he delivered it. 
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: Miss Unleaded on February 04, 2013, 02:48:24 AM
This thread needs pictures!   :D
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: I'mnotinsane on February 06, 2013, 08:35:26 PM
Perhaps a small sign next to each cake stating that "cake servers will be delivered during the cake cutting ceremony."  It would be a signal that guests were being asked to wait but using positive language. 

I personally would not have cut the cake unless told to do so.  It still is a centerpiece.  Guests are often urged to take a centerpiece-sometimes it is awarded as a prize. Sometimes they are not given out.  They belong to the HC.  Even if it was up for grabs I would wait until after the cake cutting as that signals the (beginning of the) end of the reception.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: FauxFoodist on March 26, 2013, 02:10:05 PM

The only glitch was that, despite telling guests that the table cake cutting would not occur until after the wedding cake cutting (and holding back the cake servers from the tables until right before the wedding cake cutting), there was one table that decided to do it anyway (and it was a table full of four middle-aged to senior adults -- no children poked the cakes; the CHILDREN were perfectly behaved).  Fortunately, I was too busy to care that much and moved on quickly (there was nothing I could do at that point, but I will admit that the behavior left me with a not-so-good first impression since I knew none of these guests).

Honestly? I think that it's their centerpiece and their cake--if they wanted to get started early, I'm not quite sure why it's that important.

I suppose it affects the ambience in the room as a whole, but I just don't think it's a big deal.

Uh, no, it's not.  Not a big deal to you, but it wasn't your wedding reception and if you read/reread one of my posts on the first page, I forgot about it after I walked away from the table and hadn't thought about it again until a few days after my wedding (mentioning because it didn't color my experience for the rest of my reception).

Perhaps a small sign next to each cake stating that "cake servers will be delivered during the cake cutting ceremony."  It would be a signal that guests were being asked to wait but using positive language. 

I personally would not have cut the cake unless told to do so.  It still is a centerpiece.  Guests are often urged to take a centerpiece-sometimes it is awarded as a prize. Sometimes they are not given out.  They belong to the HC.  Even if it was up for grabs I would wait until after the cake cutting as that signals the (beginning of the) end of the reception.

This, which the other 70+ guests understood.

I seriously considered using small signs at the tables, but I thought about this forum and figured it would be too controlling and a little off-putting to the guests according to things I've read here in the past about how much "direction" to give the guests (and, again, given it was *one* guest who did this, I'm glad I opted against the signs -- I figured the info on the FB page and website would be sufficient...which it was for everyone else).  Overall, both wedding and reception were pretty casual in their execution, and I tried to maintain that sort of atmosphere so everyone would have a good time.  Over two months later, and we are still getting compliments about the cake idea (that's how much people loved it).
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: FauxFoodist on March 26, 2013, 02:12:09 PM
This thread needs pictures!   :D

Sure, once I get them from the photographer AKA one of DH's best friends (he and his wife just had another baby so I anticipate it could be several months before we see our pictures, which is fine since he was doing us a favor).
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: FauxFoodist on March 26, 2013, 02:15:14 PM
I'm glad I read this thread, because if there was a cake sitting on my table the whole time at the reception, it would not have occurred to me that I wasn't supposed to eat it whenever I was ready to. I guess I wouldn't have connected "cake sitting on my table" with "wedding cake that the bride and groom cut." To me they would have been two totally separate things--yes, at all the weddings I've attended, the bride and groom cutting their cake is a big thing, but I would never have realized they had dominion over all cakes at the reception. I'm afraid the only thing that would have kept me from tackling that cake on my table was not wanting to look greedy to the other guests by being the first to suggest cutting the cake!

For brides planning to use this idea in the future (and I think it sounds like a lot of fun, especially if you're going to invite me!) I think a couple of cards at the table asking people to please not eat "the centerpiece" until later would be a good idea, just in case it doesn't occur to anyone at the table to wait.

This is exactly what I was trying to say.  You put it perfectly.  It just wouldn't have occurred to me that the cakes on the table were somehow extensions of THE Wedding Cake (maybe if they each had three tiers and a bride and groom on top).  It would just have looked to me like the dessert, which happened to be cake, and we were supposed to serve ourselves.

As to wanting the centerpieces to last -- well, how many more minutes are we even talking about here?  I really don't think it would affect the look of the room appreciably.

 I like your wording for a card.

Do we even know they waited till after dinner? I'm picturing them digging in before dinner, maybe while waiting for dinner. And I think the lack of cake servers might have also been a clue.

When we visited the tables, which was as the guests were getting up to get their dinner, the cake had not been cut into.  I suppose, thinking about it now, that would've been a good time to verbally remind everyone not to cut into the cake (and, actually, I might've done that with a few tables; I don't actually remember).  If I'd thought about it back then AND known about the one guest (DH wasn't surprised by her behavior), I would've made sure to mention it to that one table.  Oh, well.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: FauxFoodist on March 26, 2013, 02:21:28 PM
Sorry, SoCalVal, I didn't mean to insult you.

I'm still trying to understand, though, why you cared when people cut and ate the cakes at their tables?  I know I am missing something.  Really, I am sure you did have a good reason.  And it worked out beautifully, and your guests had a great time, and that is what is important.

If you (general "you") put food on their table, I think you have to expect that people are going to eat it when they want to, without knowing they are supposed to wait for some kind of signal, same for the dessert as for a basket of rolls or a dish of nuts or candies, all of which I often see on tables at wedding receptions.  (Not if it were The Wedding Cake, of course.)  At a Jewish wedding, usually someone (often Grandpa) makes the blessing over bread (=the meal), and there are always a few people who don't know or forget or don't care and get into the bread baskets or salads on their tables before that, and the sky doesn't fall.  But really the only way to avoid it would be not to put anything out until you want people to eat it.  That would ruin your terrific idea of using the cakes as centerpieces, though (that is SO clever).

I've been to many luncheons where the desserts are already on the table when you sit down, for logistical reasons, I guess.  You just eat it when you're ready for it.  If I'd been at your wedding, I wouldn't have guessed you intended anything different from what I was used to seeing.

I'm not sure what would be the best way to ask people to wait.  Maybe a little card on the table saying something like, "Please cut this cake along with us when we cut our wedding cake" or something like that (I'm trying to avoid something phrased in the less-hospitable "wait" or "do not" kind of wording).  I do feel that mentioning it on the website isn't enough.  Some people might have looked at the site before such details were posted.  And even those who look later may miss it; wanting "to know more about the happy couple" does not always translate to reading every word of every page of a (frequently lengthy) wedding website.  I'm sure you didn't mean to say that guests who don't read them thoroughly don't care about the brides and grooms as much as you do.

I would worry the cake would dry out as it sat for another hour or two. Not to mention, with no cake server, it probably cut the cake unevenly. Usually, cakes are portioned to ensure everyone gets a piece--and portions are smaller than the average person would usually cut. So she could very well have been taking more than her share. Not to mention sanitariness. Did she wash her hands? Wear gloves? Use a clean knife? And, the fact that she attempted to hide it proves that she knew it was wrong.

According to the bakery's website, the cakes would be okay to sit at room temp for up to 2-3 hours (I don't remember which; I just remember timing the cake cutting so it didn't occur outside of the maximum time).  They were all completely iced so drying out wasn't a concern and, once people started eating the cakes, they didn't last long enough to dry out.

It really was a fun idea (one I won't let one guest ruin for me).  I'd love to do it again if I had an occasion to do so.  It's over two months later, and we still get raves from those in attendance about how much they loved the idea.  It's funny how an idea that was born of my refusal to spend a mint on the wedding cake resulted in being one of the two highlights of our reception (the other being the roasted whole pig).
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: ladyknight1 on March 29, 2013, 05:22:03 PM
I am a baker and I want to see the pictures!

I would not have cut the cake until it was the designated time.
Title: Re: My multi-cake idea was a HUGE success!
Post by: FauxFoodist on March 29, 2013, 06:30:24 PM
I am a baker and I want to see the pictures!

I would not have cut the cake until it was the designated time.

I'd love to provide pictures once we get them. : )