First Wedding Cake! Aaahhhh, Nervous Wreck...

Decorating By cakehelp Updated 6 Jun 2008 , 7:10pm by cakehelp

cakehelp Posted 26 May 2008 , 8:19am
post #1 of 17

I just got my first weddig cake order!!!! I just hung up the phone a couple of minutes ago and now I'm a nervous wreck icon_eek.gif My hands are shaking as i type...

The lady that called had gotten my name from one of my coworkers that apperantly was very impressed with my cakes. She had lots of questions and talked really fast and I was totally unprepared... The wedding was for her son on July 12th and as she was the one paying for the cake it sounded a lot like she wanted to be in charge of what it should look like. That's ok I guess, but I told her I would like to meet the bride and groom also. It is after all their day... The cake is for approximately 60 people she said and asked how big a cake that would be. Something like a 4-tier cake she asked. Uuhhhh, I stuttered, trying to think. Sounds a bit much, but I guess that depends on how big each tier is. In my effort to get a little time to think I rambled on about how a wedding cake can have all kinds of shapes and so on. After a while I understood that she really wanted a 4-tier cake, so I told her that was great.

She had planned to do the cake herself first, but as she was flying to New York in June for another wedding she now didn't think she could pull it off. We live in Sweden, and cake decorating is very new here. You very rarely se a decorated cake at all, so it's always a big thing and lots of questions. I have not yet met anyone in person who new what fondant is. Anyway, this lady not only knew what it was, but she said it in like one of the first sentences that she wanted a fondant covered cake. It's easy to impress people who have never seen a decorated cake before, but something tells me that this lady is used to great cakes. OMG, my stomach is about to turn itself inside out...

Then she goes on to talk about fillings. She asked what I would recommend. I have no idea!!! I started rambling again, and she said she wanted differend fillings on each tier. Mabye raspberry mousse and something with blueberrys. She was also conserned there might not be possible to refrigerate the cakes on sight, so I told her we might have to choose a filling that doesn't go bad by staying in room temperature. Is there even such a thing??? I just realised I don't have room in my own fridge to store 4 large cakes!!! Might have to buy a new fridge for this one icon_biggrin.gif

She wanted white fondant with white decorations on it, and no wedding-couple topper. That sounds really great, I love all white cakes. She also said that the couple wanted some color on the cake (I don't think she wanted that though). Their wedding colors are pink and burgundy. She suggested fresh flowers.

I told her I would think about a design and fillings and then make an appointment with her so that she could come and tase them.

Sorry for the loooong post, but like I said, I'm a nervous wreck...
Any tips, hints, suggestions on fillings that won't go bad. Anything!?

BTW, in my rambling, I told her I havn't done very many wedding cakes. Ok, she said, but you have at least made some? Yes, I said (OMG, I lied). So, you know what you are doing, she said. Yes, of course, I said (OMG, I lied again...) icon_eek.gificon_biggrin.gif Well, I have to start somewhere!! Hopefully this wedding will generate others, unless it all tastes like crap and falls over... icon_wink.gif

16 replies
cakehelp Posted 26 May 2008 , 8:23am
post #2 of 17

Forgot to say, she wanted a white cake, not chocolate.

nikki72905 Posted 26 May 2008 , 8:42am
post #3 of 17

Take a deep breath! Everything will be fine!

Your cake will taste great, and they will love it!

Not to make you more nervous but the only thing I can see going wrong is that she would ask to see pictures of wedding cakes that you have done. However, You can decorate cakes, and I am sure you can do this!

I would use the WASC recipe (it is a nice dense cake with good flavor)

Make sure that the bride and groom/mother of the groom provides the flowers, you may want to give them a list of edible or safe flowers.

as far as fillings go. ... there are a few that do not require refridgeration... you could do buttercream mixed with jams or preserves.
I don't think that a mouse would work (but someone else will let you know if it will or not!)

How warm is it in Sweden, maybe you won't need something so room temp safe.

ganache is a good choice for filling you could do raspberry
White chocolate
blueberry
White chocolate

I know you will do wonderful!!!

cakehelp Posted 26 May 2008 , 8:59am
post #4 of 17

nikki72905, thank you!
I will try the WASC, have seen this acronym on here several times and always wondered what it stands for... I'm sure I can find a recipe here on CC for that.

About the temperatur, as we live up in the north of the world it doesn't get very hot. Which also means no house have air condition. Normal summer temperature is between 20-25 degrees ceclius (68-77 F) and if it is really hot it might reach 30 degrees (86 F). There is never any humidity what so ever.

I guess I don't have to take the cake to the location until a couple of hours before it is supposed to be cut. If I figure out a way to put them in a fridge at home before, that might work. I do need some time to work on it. Is it safe to put a fondant covered cake in the fridge?? Or does something happen to it?? Like cracks or melting??

I hope she won't ask for any weddig cake pictures... Hopefully she will come to the tasting and be amazed... no pressure there... icon_biggrin.gif

Someone have any other filling recommendations???

Texas_Rose Posted 26 May 2008 , 9:15am
post #5 of 17

Some people say that they've put fondant covered cakes in the fridge with no problems, others say that the cake will sweat. Personally, the one time I did put one in the fridge, the parts that were meant to be sticking up all laid down.

Maybe you could use different liqueurs to flavor buttercream for the fillings...Chambord, Grand Marnier, Bailey's Irish Cream, and Starbucks or Godiva White Chocolate...use the liqueur instead of adding milk. I don't think you could count on the room temperature being cool enough to use a filling that needed refrigeration. Even several hours at room temp might spoil a filling.

WASC is a good choice for a recipe, it uses box mixes but it has a perfect dense, homemade taste.

If you haven't made a tiered cake before, it might be a good idea to practice one, if you have time and materials to spare, just so that you can try out using dowels and separator plates and all that icon_biggrin.gif You could make a practice wedding cake and take photos of it, so that saying you'd made a wedding cake wouldn't be a lie icon_lol.gif

cakehelp Posted 26 May 2008 , 9:37am
post #6 of 17

thank you Texas_Rose. Liqueur might be a good idea.
WASC might however be a problem. I cannot get any american box mixes here. I need a "from scratch" recipe.

I actually have made one tiered cake for a birthday. It was a white cake filled with jam, vanilla cream (don't know what it is really called) and whipped cream. I stacked it at home using straws as dowels and cardboard between the cakes. It did survive the transport, but I wouldn't do it again. What a nightmare... Here is the picture
http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1210862

Anyway, I would definetly do at least one (probably more) practice runs for this wedding cake. Try out the stacking and also try tasting it to see how it holds up.

indydebi Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:19pm
post #7 of 17

The memory of our first wedding cake is always the best memory! Nothing matches the excitement of getting the first big boost of confidence and the chance to do our first wedding cake!

My primary concern with a client like this is 4 tiers for 60 people. icon_eek.gif It is ALWAYS ok to tell them, "You can't have a cake that big for only that many guests." Then proceed to tell them what you CAN do .... styrofoam layers .... 3 tiers with pillars between to make the cake look taller, etc.

If she wants fillings that need refrigerated but there will be no refrigeration available, it is ok to tell her, "Well, then you can't have those fillings." I told a bride that .... she said, "Can we have the whole thing iced in cream cheese icing?" and I said, "not for an outdoor wedding you can't." But be prepared to give suggestions of what fillings CAN work for her that may be similar to what she is asking for.

cakehelp Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:44pm
post #8 of 17

Thanks for the advice, indydebi!
I will definetly propose a styrofoam bottom tier for her. I also thought 4 tiers was a bit much for 60 people...

She was totally ok with suggestions on fillings that would work. I just had none at that moment. Her ideas I think had more to do with the taste, raspberry and blueberry. She sounded like she wanted suggestions from me (the experieced wedding cake maker LOL LOL) so thats what I'm searching for now.

stlcakelady Posted 26 May 2008 , 1:48pm
post #9 of 17

I agree that you'll need to use some cake drums (styrofoam) to take up space, but can you find cake drums in Sweden? She could have the 2 bottom cakes be actual cake and the top two be dummies. I wouldn't make them any larger than 12, 10, 8, 6 inches (with the smaller ones dummies). If you end up with dummies, you could use very firm straws for the 10 to sit on the 12. If I'm transporting cakes already stacked, I always hammer a wooden dowel down the center of all the cakes. I never make a hole in the cake boards (foamcore) before I dowel them. I sharpen the dowel to a very sharp point and hammer it through. Works great every time.

cakehelp Posted 26 May 2008 , 9:33pm
post #10 of 17

Yes, I can get cake drums here. I just ordered one online actually, expensive, but since I can use it again and again that's ok. I also ordered the Wilton round pan set 2 inch high and 6, 8, 10, 12 inches. I will use the dummy on the bottom because it will look better when they cut it I think.

I'm not going to tranport this cake stacked, but the dowel down the center is definetley the way to go. I wish I had done that the last (and also first) time I tranported a stacked cake. It held togheter, barely, it looked like it would slide off at any moment.

stlcakelady Posted 27 May 2008 , 2:25pm
post #11 of 17

Once they're staked, you don't have to worry about it. I've only experienced people cutting the bottom cake for their first piece, but as long as you let them know its fake, I'm sure they will adjust. You might have been better off getting the smaller cake drums, though...they're a lot cheaper! Hope it works out well for you. If you have any more questions, don't be afraid to ask...the first one can be un-nerving.

cakehelp Posted 28 May 2008 , 11:29am
post #12 of 17

Thanks! I'm actually a bit calmer now that I have had time to adjust to this new situation. I just hope the lady calls me back, I didn't even get her name or number... She said she would talk to the bride and groom and get back to me. I know I made a bad impression since I couldn't give a straight answer to any of her questions. I know I can do the cake, and if I just can get her to come to a tasting I'm sure she will be pleased too.

The only thing I'm a little nervous about right now is that fancy New York wedding she is going to. They might have the most amazing cake there, so she might be expecting a lot. She sounded like she is one of those fancy people that think they are better than everyone else... But if she likes the cake I guess she knows a lot of people who might want to buy one too!

Edibleconcept Posted 28 May 2008 , 11:46pm
post #13 of 17

Apparently you have received your share of loving support icon_wink.gif I just wanted to add to the trailor load of great advice. Consider the time you'll have to wait to hear from the woman a blessing! Why? This gives you ample time to "Polish up your Act" & become the woman & not the lie. A good start is to sit & formulate a contract or at least an agreement. This will help you set limitations, state how you will run your business, & above all else C.Y.A. (Cover Your Ars) if you know what we mean icon_razz.gif

Photos will be an essential for you just in case you run in to the, "Show me whatcha got" people. If you don't have any, just put together some magazine clips or pictures from Cake Decorating books of what you CAN do. Regardless of who pays the Bride/Groom should have the first & final say. After all IT'S THEIR WEDDING DAY. IF she is as open to suggestions as you say she is then she'll be okay.

Finally fondant if I recall is a great choice if you are looking for stability & preserving the overall cake. There is a reduction is spoilage because fondant is somewhat of a natural seal that keeps the cake fresher longer. Wilton.com is great for filling & decorating ideas as well as for recipes. They also have a great section on transporting cakes. I'm glad you X'd the idea of transporting a fully assembled cake, woudn't have been pretty icon_mad.gif

Good luck overall with all of this, it's just as easy or as hard as you make it for yourself. ANYTHING you can do ahead of time before July even comes please DO IT. You will not want to be stuck with any last minute details that seem to always show up the day before or day of weddings. Relax too, after that cake you will no longer be a virgin. icon_eek.gif

cakehelp Posted 30 May 2008 , 9:27pm
post #14 of 17

Just wanted to give you an update on the progress, you know this is a huge thing for me!! Not for you, I know, but still... icon_biggrin.gif

The lady called me back today. She had talked to the happy couple and she and the bride to be wanted to come meet me. She wanted to come on monday icon_eek.gif and today is friday. We are out of town saturday and I have cake deliveries sunday and tuesday, and of course my full time 'real' job... I told her I wanted them to taste some samples, and I wouldn't be able to have that ready by monday. Oh, she sounded really delighted and excited about the tasting, I don't think she was expecting a tasting at all. So she gladly wanted to move the appointment, to wednesday. Wednesday is actually a very good day for me, so I'll have to make it work. Lots and lots of baking to do now... I also hope I have time to do some decorations, I really want them to see a couple of things I'm thinking of for their cake. I also have to draw a couple of sketches.

So, wish me luck on wednesday! Let's hope they like what they taste and see!! thumbs_up.gif

cakehelp Posted 1 Jun 2008 , 11:59pm
post #15 of 17

Ok, so now I have been making fillings all day long... I have yet to find one that really tastes good icon_sad.gif Kind of weird I think, I have tried recipes from CC that got 4 or 5 stars (and not just one voter icon_smile.gif )

My biggest problem is that I was going for recipes that can last a long time without refrigeration. I guess that leaves out everything with cream or milk in it. Now, when I think about it a mousse or ganache or something like that would hold for a couple of hours in room temperature... wouldn't it????

I did find a kind of WASC recipe that I tried and it turned out ok, can't say I liked the almond taste, but mabye the customer will... I also made it without the almond extract with some lemon juice instead and that was much better I think.

Since she talked about raspberry fillings I tried a couple. I found one on the web somewhere that had creme cheese, butter and white chocolate. It's in my frigde now. It is supposed to be raspberry preserves, with some fresh raspberrys on top and then the filling on each layer, and that sounds good. I will have to taste it tomorrow. I also made a simple raspberry filling with just raspberrys, sugar and cornstarch: http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-2503-Raspberry-Filling.html It doesn't seem to thicked as much as I would like. I might have to boil it again with more cornstarch, that should work I think.

I also made one lemon and lime filling, http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-2213-Lemon--Lime-Filling.html, and it has a very, very strong taste!! I might have to mix it with buttercream or something, I don't know...

Now, I have run out of ideas icon_cry.gif What goes great with raspberry?? Anyone?? I really wanted this time to focus on the design, not the stupid fillings... I have only done whipped cream based fillings before, like mousse. I think I will try one tomorrow and let it sit in room temp just to see how long it takes before it goes bad. I'm assuming that it will then taste bad too. Wouldn't want the whole wedding to get sick from the cake if it tastes ok but is really bad icon_cry.gif
The good news is that we are having sort of a heat wave right now, and I can't imagine the weather on the wedding day being any warmer than it is right now. So, it's a good time to test things.

Any advice at this point??? I kind of regret telling her that they would be tasting something. I could use some more time to figure out the fillings...

Now I really need some sleep icon_eek.gif it's now sunday night, two in the morning, so it will soon be monday and work, work, work...

stlcakelady Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 1:20pm
post #16 of 17

I would do a raspberry and a lemon curd filling. Both will hold up and are easy to do. They compliment each other. Lemon curd aka lemon butter is an easy recipe to find. Also on the raspberry, I use frozen berries and cook them down with sugar like preserves...adding corn starch to thicken(or you can actually just use a jar of raspberry preserves). Just make sure you put a dam of thick frosting around the edges before you "fill" the layer of cake so the stuff doesn't leak out.

cakehelp Posted 6 Jun 2008 , 7:10pm
post #17 of 17

Just wanted to let you know that the tasting went really well icon_biggrin.gif As I wrote in my last post, I made a lemon/lime curd and a raspberry filling with cream cheese and white chocolate. I was not too happy since it didn't taste very good. A cake really need mousse of some sort I think. So, I decided on monday to go with some mousse fillings after all. I made some and for the tasting on wednesday I made two 6-inch cakes with just a small dummy cake on top of each. I filled each cake with a couple of different fillings, sort of divided each cake in four sections with the buttercream damm. I decorated one of the cakes just to give them an idea of what could be done.

The bride and future MIL arrived and the bride had a picture of a very ugly cake with her... icon_surprised.gif But after we had talked for a bit and I had showed her some other cakes I think look good she changed her mind and decided to go with exactly what I had made for the tasting, the diamond pattern and lustre dust pearls on all the layers. She really loved the little flowers on top edge of the tier. As a topper she decided on their initials (E and D) and a couple of gumpaste flowers, burgundy roses and pink bouvardia. I think it will be a great cake! Now I just have to bake and make a try run at tranporting and stacking it. The people at work will be thrilled to get a whole wedding cake to eat icon_biggrin.gif

BTW, the refridgeration issue had resolved itself as they had discovered that there would be a fridge there that I could use. thumbs_up.gif
LL

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