Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Wedding Cake Chronicles- Part II

The Logistics

So we established in Part 1 that I decided to embrace the crazy and make my own wedding cake.

Being a cake engineer, I had to carefully define the problem: to design a cake whose execution would not preclude me from taking care of my bridal responsibilities.

Those of you who have gotten married know that the week of the wedding is, shall we say, hectic.

How glamorous is this?  This could be you, covered in buttercream at T-6 hours!

I learned a lot last year when I did Lindsey's cake while being her bridesmaid. I had thought through the day of the wedding pretty carefully-- when I would set up the cake, go to hair and makeup, get dressed, etc., but I had forgotten about the day before the wedding.  

Ah yes, the day before the wedding you have a rehearsal and a rehearsal dinner (doesn't that sound like practicing before you actually eat dinner?).  Ostensibly, you ought to show up to the wedding with your nails painted and not covered in green petal dust.  Details.

In planning out my own wedding week, I tried to take the following into account:

On the wedding day:
  1. Cake setup/ delivery
  2. Getting ready/ get all stuff to venue
  3. Get married, reasonably calmly ;)
  4. Enjoy the day!!!
Day before:
  1. Mani-pedi with friends and family
  2. Rehearse
  3. Rehearsal dinner
Day before that: Dinner with both sets of parents (they hadn't met each other yet), accompany then-fiance to a work function

Other miscellaneous to-do items for that week: Make sure dress is steamed and ready, get programs and such to venue, write out escort cards, spray tan, etc.

This all amounts to some significant constraints.  First, I realized the cake needed to be 'done' and in the fridge on Thursday before dinner.  There wasn't really any time to work on it on Friday. Second, I needed a design that could be delivered and set up easily-- nothing complicated.  I wanted no more than 20 minutes or so of setup so I could be getting ready with my girls. :)

On the upside, I was getting ready at the venue which meant that once the cake was set up, I could just run upstairs and join the beautification team.  That made things easier.  

I delegated tasks where I could.  For example, my parents came several days before the wedding and helped with some last minute errands, like writing escort cards and picking up a 22" moving box from Home Depot.  Craig also took on some tasks, like picking up the booze for the rehearsal dinner.

 Make sure your support team has their tasks laid out.  Lola's task was to keep the floor clean.

So how does this all translate to a wedding cake design?

I knew I wanted to do a lot of gum paste flowers-- they are kind of my thing, and on top that, they can be made well in advance.  To save on set up time, I thought I'd put them into their own styrofoam tiers and use them as spacers between the cakes. With no pillars/ spacers/ crazy lighting/ decorations that needed to be added on site besides the topper, I knew I could go with most of the cake already stacked.  I would only be limited by how much could be carried safely at one time and how tall of a cake could fit in the delivery car.  

I thought I'd start the gum paste flowers no later than May or June for my October wedding.  Then I discovered Game of Thrones, and the whole timeline got a little compressed...

Next post I'll share my original sketch and how it evolved.  Turns out designing a cake for yourself isn't all that easy...  


  1. Pictures by Mommy :-) :-) :-)

  2. Ok, you must have gotten married by now. How did the cake turn out?

  3. Happy to know that you made your own wedding cake. I would love to have a big adorable cake for my wedding at one of event space. My friend is a cake engineer and will prepare a delicious cake for my wedding at one of Chicago event space.

  4. Planning a wedding is really such a difficult job. I hope it all went smoothly for you. How did the cake designing process go?