I wanted to send out a huge THANK YOU to Nima Farsinejad Photography for offering to write a guest blog on their experiences in photography when it comes to your wedding cake. You can check out their website at www.nimafarsinejad.com!
The cutting of the wedding cake is probably one of the most time honored traditions during the wedding reception. Cake cutting dates back to the Roman era where it was used as a the main wedding food. At one point the groom would break the bread over the bride's head ensuring her fertility. We have come a long way since its early Roman roots and are more civilized in today's modern wedding traditions. The bride and groom celebrate it by posing with the cake and taking beautiful pictures prior to its cutting, symbolizing the newlywed couple's pledge to support and nourish each other. Of course, in many occasions, this also happens prior to doing the not so civilized tradition of smashing cake all over each others face.
What is very surprising is how little thought is given to the cake cutting moment by most couples. They know it is coming but yet they feel completely unprepared as to what to do. This ends up resulting in the very familiar and traditional cake cutting pose: the groom standing behind the bride, hand over hand, holding a knife while smiling and looking straight at the camera as they are about to stab the cake. Unfortunately, this is generally the result of staff members who don't know any better than posing the couple while they rush the photographer to "go ahead and take the picture". The only thing missing from this photographer's nightmare scenario is someone yelling "cheeeeese" over my shoulder. Let's face it, the modern contemporary couple seeks a more non-traditional style of photography. The last thing anyone wants is to look like a serial cake killer while viewing their wedding album. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to looking great during your cake cutting pictures:
1) Talk with your photographer ahead of time. Your photographer should know if you are seeking a more traditional or a more documentary style. It is also important to let him/her know about 15 minutes before the cake cutting will this happen. The reception is a busy celebration with many things happening simultaneously. Photographers will want to take a picture of the cake before it has been devoured and this will give them the opportunity to take that shot if they haven't had the opportunity yet.
2) Don't get posed for the camera. Many times the staff will instruct the couple exactly how to cut the cake. This generally results in an unnatural stance with both of you grabbing a knife with one hand as you drive it through a beloved baked good. It is generally advisable for the bride and the groom to stand behind the cake table facing towards your guests in the room. This is a picture everyone wants to take, not just the professional photographer you hired.
3) Don't worry if it's not perfect! So maybe you couldn't cut a straight piece the first time or maybe you dropped it to the floor. My advice is to cut a small triangular V shape. Don't cut it too big so it will dislocate your spouse's mouth as you try to feed it to them. Nobody looks good with their mouth wide open when they are about to eat. Unless, of course, they are doing a rendition to the movie poster for “Jaws”.
4) Tell the staff to NOT plate the first slice for you. This generally results in the staff being in the middle of the picture as you are cutting the cake. Last thing we want is someone photo bombing this special moment.
5) Don't stare at the camera. Remember to act natural and have fun! I can't emphasize this enough. My favorite part of the cake cutting pictures are the facial expressions I capture.
Following the 5 pointers above will give your photographer great opportunities to capture the true emotion of this portion of your celebration. And always remember, no matter what they say, photographers do love the opportunity to capture that moment when you decide to smash cake into each other's face.
Kayla grew up in the wedding industry and has grown to love all things wedding. Please enjoy reading her thoughts and experiences as she continues to walk in family tradition.