Who Puts A Wedding Cake In The Center Of The Room?

Decorating By nonilm Updated 23 Aug 2010 , 2:31pm by hsmomma

nonilm Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 12:42am
post #1 of 21

Sorry this is long.....I delivered my 4th wedding cake last weekend. I have only done them for good friends and have decided no more wedding cakes but that's another story all together!

I walk into the reception room and it is packed, I mean packed, with tables and chairs covered with those fabric chair covers overflowing onto the floors. I ask which table is mine for the cake. She points to a small 24" round table just off center of the middle of the room in front of the wedding party table!

First off I say that's not going to work I actually have three cakes. She proceeds to get me a larger table. Now each of the stacked cakes have a bow in the front and NOTHING in the back. There was clearly a back were the cake was not perfect too.

I proceed to face the cake out toward the room and felt so bad that the bride and groom had to look at the back of the cake! Had I known I would have put bows on both sides. So why would a reception hall place a cake in the middle of the room? We all know about wild children running around recptions, not to mention dismantling/cutting the cake right in the middle of the room.

Am I the only one who thinks this is strange? So not a disaster, at least I haven't heard from the bride yet, but possibly a discussion to have with the bride and reception hall?

20 replies
Gingoodies Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 1:00am
post #2 of 21

I am old enough to remember that it has always been "traditional" to place the cake in front of the "head table" right between the B&G. Nowadays, with a lot of people using a small table for the wedding couple and attendants being seated with their guests etc., cakes are being showcased on their own tables in other parts of the room. When there are unruly kids running around a reception venue, the cake is a prime target for a disaster no matter where it is placed.

jenmat Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 1:11am
post #3 of 21

most reception locations around here put the cakes right next to the gift table, which totally sucks, since the cake appears to be an afterthought. I have encouraged my brides to find other locations, and I love it when they put it front and center. More of a challenge, definitely, but it gets the guests to notice the cake more!

indydebi Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 1:21am
post #4 of 21

I also hate a cake plopped in the middle of the dance floor, which forces the cake to be on a table with wheels, which means it will be MOVED later in the night.

I made a professional "scene" at one place because this particular cake had pillars and I stood there with arms folded asking, "Who thought THIS was a good idea? Have you actually MOVED a cake with pillars before? You ARE aware that cakes like this should NOT be moved once they are set up, aren't you?"


mcaulir Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 11:00am
post #5 of 21

Pretty standard for here, sorry!

cutthecake Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 11:27am
post #6 of 21

Me, too. Our wedding cake was placed right in front of us at the head table, and here it is:

I didn't even realize that was no longer the norm. But now that I think about it, the cake was over by the door (and not very "featured") at the last wedding we attended.

thatslifeca Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 11:29am
post #7 of 21

I'm also old enough to remember a time when the cake was the center of attention also. I have placed cakes all over a room. In front of the head table, off to the side of the headtable, once it was place right on the head table. People place the cake where they want it and that's it I guess. I do have to admit thou Indy....never on wheels in the middle of a dance floor were it would be moved, especially with the pillars!

cakeythings1961 Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 2:11pm
post #8 of 21

When planning my daughter's wedding (next month) the coordinator at the reception venue sent us a layout that showed the cake table placed in the back of the room, right next to the hallway that leads to the bathrooms!!!!!!!!!! icon_surprised.gif When I objected, she said, "That's where we always put the cakes." I made it very clear that this would NOT be the case at our event! Even in the middle of the dance floor would be better than that!

Cutthecake, I had a good laugh looking at your cake! I got married in 1981, and our cake looked very similar to yours but with elaborate violet blue piped decorations, all made in RI that was hard as rock! The tiers leaned, and there were cake crumbs all over the icing, but I couldn't complain since it was my by my DH's aunt. Ah, well, that was before we had all the wonderful cake decorating resources that are available to us now. icon_smile.gif

kansaslaura Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 10:49pm
post #9 of 21

We want our cakes to be the center of attention.. true? Middle of the room may be a bit much, but I've seen it done, by the bathrooms??--out of the question! One hall I used to cater at and bring wedding cakes often times had the cake table up on risers behind the head table. Made for an impressive display when you walked into the room.

leah_s Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 12:40am
post #10 of 21

We have several local venues who almost always put the cake in the middle of the room. I have in my contract that the cake table should not be on the dance floor, in a doorway or traffic pattern, nor should it be moved. If they do any of those things, I'm automatically not responsible for anything that happens to the cake.

staciecakes_ Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 5:11am
post #11 of 21

I think with all the different reception halls that showcase their cakes differently. The most logical thing to do when sitting down with the bride and groom or the customer is to ask them how will their cake be displayed. Have them go that extra step to ask their event coordinator.

indydebi Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 5:39am
post #12 of 21
Originally Posted by Sweet_Elegance

The most logical thing to do when sitting down with the bride and groom or the customer is to ask them how will their cake be displayed. Have them go that extra step to ask their event coordinator.

oh god yes! learned this one the hard way when a venue requested I deliver an hour earlier than planned and the cake table was on a concrete patio, facing west, in the late afternoon, with no covering and no shade in August. I flat out asked the person, "Who in the world thought THAT was a good idea!?" By the silence on the other end of the phone, I knew it was her's.


CakesByJen2 Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 5:39pm
post #13 of 21

One of the venues I used to deliver to always set the cake up in the middle. While it does mean you have to do a little more work and take extra care to be sure the cake looks good from all sides, I like that they are making the cake the centerpiece of the whole reception where everyone will see it. All too often they are stuck to the side where no one sees them, unless they go out of their way to look for the cake. I also found that the brides who booked this venue tended to pick more elegant designs and were willing to spend more on the cake, since it would be clearly seen by everyone.

That being said, I think the brides always made a point to tell me that the cake would be seen from all sides; I would hate to show up not knowing or planning on that with a cake that had a definate back! I usually contacted the bride or MOB the week of the wedding to confirm delivery time and where the cake table would be, too; because sometimes it's not obvious and there's not always someone around to ask. And, there have been those times I was very relieved that the cake was off to the side or in a corner where I could safely hide my imperfections in the back, LOL!

KoryAK Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 5:54pm
post #14 of 21

It's a lesson we all learn the hard way once. If you continue to do wedding cakes, just make sure it's one more thing you add to your list of consultation questions. icon_smile.gif

cai0311 Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 7:56pm
post #15 of 21

Three wedding cakes ago the table was set up on the dance floor in the middle of the room. The cake was a total of 9 tiers - 5 tiers of cake and 4 tiers of styrofoam spacers. As soon as I walked in the room I knew the top tier wasn't going to make it. I did a judgement call and removed the top tier and spacer making the cake 4 tiers of cake and 3 spacer tiers.

I still stand by that call even though the bride sent me an email about how disapointed she was in the height of her cake (still 2' tall) and I refunded her $100.

nonilm Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 8:49pm
post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by KoryAK

It's a lesson we all learn the hard way once. If you continue to do wedding cakes, just make sure it's one more thing you add to your list of consultation questions. icon_smile.gif

Oh believe me that is now on my radar, even for party cakes!

cherran Posted 22 Aug 2010 , 8:16am
post #17 of 21

Reminds me. My first cake, a wedding cake (yes I am nutz). Early September wedding. IMBC frosting. Freak day turned out to be 90+. The Bride takes an extra hour and a half getting ready (not really a big issue the limo broke down in front of the house). Send hubby ahead with the cake.
The couple is married on the dock, the reception is on a boat. I fly to the cake to put it together and find out the table lists about 15 degrees. We get the table leveled. Place the pillars and set the three tiers. Put on the orchids and seashells.
Then they start the boat...OK...at first...then the tiers begin to torque (twist) becuase of the vibration of the boat. We got someone to stand behind the cake to get a couple of pics and then we just set the tiers out with some more flowers on them.
So I learned the hard way to ask about where the cake will be set up.

khoudek Posted 22 Aug 2010 , 10:24pm
post #18 of 21

This is pretty typical. One of the questions asked when talking to the bride is table placement. That way I know that the back needs some decoration as well.

casme Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 4:36am
post #19 of 21

I vote for up front and center. They are going to move it anyway for cutting. It should stand out and not be pushed to the side. Just my thought.

tracycakes Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 1:54pm
post #20 of 21

My least favorite wedding cake ( style-wise and quality-wise) was set up in the very middle of the room. The reception was int he gym at the church and they set up the table in the middle of room. I really wanted a corner spot for that one.

hsmomma Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 2:31pm
post #21 of 21

That's one of the questions I ask now. I didn't use to then I would end up surprised when I'd get to the venue. Most of the time I like that the cake is front and center. But, on occasion I do a cake that is so plain (you know the ones...smooth buttercream with a ribbon around...no details at all). I HATE when those are placed in the center of the room. Number 1 they have a seam where the ribbon meets and Number 2, they are so plain that they aren't anything fantastic to look at. I know it's a style some brides like but...if you are going to put something front and center...it should be something that stands out. JMHO.

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