Well here it is. This wasn't acutally for a wedding but a cake I donated to a Gala Night for a school. I used it as an excuse to do my first wedding style cake. I used Sugarshacks recipe for buttercream and her technique. Her DVD is AWESOME and so helpful. You can see that i did the top 2 tiers first and then the bottom 2. With each tier, the technique got easier and easier. Thank you Sugarshack!
Anyway, I have a few questions after doing this cake. I transported it with the bottom 2 layers together and the top 2 layers together. When I got to the site, I put them on top of eachother. I had a center rod down the middle of the 2 bigger tiers but when I put the top 2 tiers on at the site I didn't center dowel it. Is that okay? I was so nervouse because the icing was so crusted over that the top 2 layers were shifting. If this were a real wedding, when the picked it up to carry it in the back to cut (if they do that) would the layers have fallen off? Also, I put a piece of parchment paper in between the bottom of the cake board and the below tier so the icing wouldn't stick. Do I need to do this? Thanks for all of your help.
I do the parchment paper thing, only I use wax paper. It helps me to center the cake.
I also regularly transport up to three tiers stacked and with a center dowel, then I only have to put on the top tier.
I would also be worried about the tiers sliding off without securing it to the cake below. I am not sure if they would take it in the back to cut it or not. It would depend on the wedding, I would think.
Maybe next time you could adhere the tier to the parchment paper with a tiny bit of icing? I am assuming that the cake board was sliding on the paper. With a little icing there, that wouldn't happen.
Hope this helps. Your cake turned out very nicely.
I don't use parchment on my cake board, I just place my bottome tier on the board. I agree with 2508s42 in that you could have put the dowel through the first 3 layers and then just placed the top tier on. I always thought the the cutting of the cake took place right on the table it's displayed on but maybe that depends on the receiption.
You could have put a dowel in the top 2 tiers and that would have helped prevent the sliding.
Oh, and I now use the SPS system instead of dowels...love this system! See it at www.Globalsugarart.com or www.oasissupply.com
Can you please explain what the SPS system is?
They are a plastic plate and pillar system designed for the customer who wants to pick up their stacked cakes. They are inexpensive so I just build in the cost of the system in my cake orders so that they don't need to be returned. You can view them here at http://www.oasisupply.com/Products/Products.asp?Page=6&CategoryID=65 They come in round or square. There was a link on CC about them....let me see if I can find it.
Thank you so much. You are very helpful.
The cake looks really great!!!
*IF* the cake is taken to the back for cutting, they will either wheel the whole table back there or they will carry it by the tier. They WON'T try to carry a whole wedding cake ... too much risk for dropping, slipping, falling, totally destroying the wedding cake and being sued by a distraught bride.
I also think that's a regional thing, because every wedding I've ever gone to, the cake was cut right in the same room. Around here, it's actually considered part of the wedding ... guests LOVE seeing how a wedding cake is dismantled and cut. If a cake was taken out of the room to be cut, folks around here would get suspicious and wonder why it was being done "in secret"!
I always have a few people around watching how I do it. IT's part of the entertainment.
If I transport unassembled, then I dont' use any dowels down the center. The dowels are to hold the cake steady when it's being moved and if you assemble it on site, it's not going to be moved. I also don't use wax or parchment paper between the tiers.
Thank you for all of the great information. Since I have never done a wedding cake before, it is nice to know the "norm" of how things are done.