I have read of some that set-up stacked tiers at home, center dowel and transport and some who take separated layers and stack on sight. When do you set-up?
I personally have always been one to set-up at home and transport, but I would love it if someone experienced with onsite set-up could give me the pro's and con's, it may save me some worry during transport. I've never had anything happen yet (knock on wood and crossed fingers), but that concern always looms over me
I usually deliver by myself, so I don't transport already stacked most of the time. I always find out when the reception is to start and plan on delivering 2 hours before.
I first arrive, carry my repair kit in with me and find out where the cake is going for sure. I have a cloth that I use to cover my work space (where I set the cakes while I am setting the cake up - so that I don't mess up their table cloths) I then carry the cakes in - I have a cart to use if I need it. I then assemble the cakes, and put the trim on them. Make sure the cake is centered where it is supposed to be when you are done. The last thing I do is take a pic of the cake before I leave.
Anything over two tiers gets stacked at the venue, not at the kitchen. Just too much can happen in transit and delivering cakes is nerve wracking enough! LOL! Also, if they have a special cake stand that they want the cake to be placed upon I don't even stack two tiers..I stack it all on their stand at the venue...especially if the bottom tier is over 8 inches...it gets heavy!