Sometime before making your way to your wedding cake and picking up the serving pieces, the question should arise: To smash or not to smash? For some, it seems integral to starting off the marriage on the right foot. They believe that whoever smashes the greatest quantity of cake in their partner’s face will have more control in the marriage. We wish them well…
For others, the grooms in particular, smashing the cake in their beloved’s face can be the quickest route to honeymooning on the couch, a lonely place. The grooms are frequently the most hesitant on whether or not they should smear the cake on their new spouse. Somehow, they have not been able to deduce whether the blushing bride will appreciate the joke.
Often, however, to smash or not to smash is a completely spontaneous decision—making it all the more eventful. Either scenario brings out immediate responses. Daniel Min, a WPJA member based in Virginia, USA, says, “I want the couple to express their true emotions. The best pictures are when I’m capturing the real feelings.” That happens when the couple allows their inhibitions to go away.
You can see this in Min’s award winning photograph of a bride and groom who have just smashed one another with a bit of cake. Min did not see this spontaneous display of emotions coming. He explains that it was a very small wedding and that during the entire event both bride and groom were reserved. Then the cake-cutting time came and something clicked—or snapped. Handfuls of cake went through the air and onto one another’s faces. The laughter roared and Min got this wonderful, action-filled photograph.
Srinivasa Regeti, a Virginia, USA-based wedding photographer, knows this dynamic well, and his award-winning photograph is testament to that. Regeti says the guests held the groom while the bride got her shot at him—a scenario which can wreak havoc on the couple’s clothes, hair and make-up. In under a minute, all the time, energy and finances that the bride and groom may have invested in their appearance can go down the drain, so to speak. Know when to draw the line during the cake cutting; but if you aren’t sure what that line is, be sure to find out. Regeti says, “Usually, when prospective clients see that picture, the bride tells the groom not to even think about it.”
If getting smeared with cake is not what you anticipated when you said your “I dos,” then there are other ways to keep the cake cutting from getting out of hand. Regeti has noticed that usually when the cake is brought out earlier in the evening, the entire event remains well organized and in control. Conversely, when it happens late in the evening (when libations may have been freely flowing for a longer time), things can get a little crazy.
—by Lauren Ragland for the Wedding Photojournalist Association