Not speaking as a baker, but speaking as a wedding guest, I would HATE to be served a cupcake. Many guests look forward to getting "wedding" cake ... and to see the wedding party get real "wedding" cake, and they are "stuck" with a little 'ole cupcake .... well, it fires up the Jerry Springer's in the families.
I get all dressed up, actually put on make-up
, maybe get my nails done, so I can pick up cake with my fingers and shove it in my face? Hate that. Absolutely hate that.
If it was a pig-roast reception in gramma's back-40, then cupcakes as the wedding dessert would be appropriate (in my ever so never humble opinion, as a wedding guest
). But if I'm asking guests to dress up and attend a formal event, I would find it very tacky to serve them a snack-food-cupcake-dessert.
Some things to consider: Some brides think serving cupcakes will eliminate the cake service fee (sometimes referred to as the cake cutting fee). If she is planning on just plopping a paper wrapped cupcake in front of her guest or having them pick one up themselves from the cake table, then she might be successful in getting this fee eliminated.
But if she is expecting the catering staff to serve the cupcakes, maybe with a plate and fork (which would deter my irritation slightly
at a formal event), she may still have to pay the service fee for the use of the plates, forks and the staff to take care of the serving and clean up (removal and washing of the cake plates/forks).
As a cake baker, they are more work and I dont' think they look near as grand as a traditional wedding cake.
If she is concerned about not knowing how to cut a cake, just refer her to my website where I have step by step photos on how to cut a cake. I have frequently delivered a cake and found this page printed out and laying on the table for the cake cutters to refer to.