Making Your Own Wedding Cake

Decorating By yummyslice Updated 31 May 2013 , 6:56pm by ellavanilla

yummyslice Posted 28 Jul 2012 , 11:54pm
post #1 of 19

My wedding is in three months. I have discussed with another decorator to make my cake based on the design I have given him. However; the cost he has quoted me has started making me wonder whether or not to make my wedding cake myself! I need some honest advise on whether or not to go ahead? Thanks for your honest advise.
YummySlice Cakes

18 replies
step0nmi Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 12:44am
post #2 of 19

are you a cake decorator yourself? If not, then leave it to the pros! icon_wink.gif
Depending on your design the decorator may have quoted you for the time being put into a lot of elements on the cake, gumpaste accessories, fondant covered, etc. All of those things cost lots of money for decorators to make or purchase...and we are artists, not just from a grocery store bakery throwing together a frozen cake. (not trying to say you are saying that, just giving the extreme of perspective)

If you're not a cake decorator yourself...you can't just pick it up in a matter of a few months. If you are a cake decorator, would you want to be stressing over your cake rather than your wedding? that will most likely happen.

the_sweets_lady Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 12:46am
post #3 of 19

9 1/2 years ago I said the same thing. I was finishing up my last semester in college, starting a new job and planning a wedding. I told myself it cant be that hard! So I made a practice cake the month before and it turned out ok. My design was very simple. It was white rolled fondant with rolled rose's around each tier. I had to set up the cake myself the morning of the wedding. When we got to the reception some of the flowers had fallen off but it still looked ok.( I just turned the cake ) Would I do it again? No. I had all the other wedding stuff to do and then I threw in my own wedding cake that took up most of my time the week before. Lets just say that I did not get much sleep that week! But I did it and for my first cake ever it turned out good! And I gained a new hobby. So if you are going to do it, yes it saves you money but it will take all your time! Good luck!

step0nmi Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 12:50am
post #4 of 19

also, if you are shocked at your sticker price...you may need to change your design a little. a quote is a quote...the pricing can always go down if take some elements away, but you have to communicate your budget to the decorator.

Chris1986 Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 1:03am
post #5 of 19

I got married over 3 years ago. I was working a full time job, attending college and planning my own wedding. I decided that making my own wedding cake was my only way to trust the final product. I am not the best cake decorator but I have skills and decided to use them. I had to take some time to make sure the cake was perfect though. I designed it myself, made it myself and then decorated it myself. I did not have the adequate space to do this at home, but I managed. As you can see from my profile it turned out beautiful (if I do say so myself), but I had to take some time off work a couple days before the wedding as well as after.

I would advise that if you have the time and the dedication, practice and see what you can do yourself. However, if you do not have both of those, I suggest that you speak to the cake decorator you want to do your cake. The cost is usually just a quote and can be altered and if that is the only thing hindering you from allowing that decorator to do your cake, bring it up with them and see what you can work out.

Blueridgebuttercream Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 1:18am
post #6 of 19

When I was a bride on a limited budget, the first quotes I got for wedding cake about gave me a heart attack too, so I know where you're coming from. However, since then I've made several wedding cakes professionally, and I understand a lot better where those figures are coming from. Wedding cakes really are a lot of work and can be stressful enough even when it's not your own wedding.

Here's some points to help you discern whether it is worth it to you to make your own:
1. How experienced a baker are you?
2. How accomplished a decorator?
3. Are you willing to have a small, simple cake or do you really have your heart set on a sugar art showpiece?
4. How well do you handle stress? icon_biggrin.gif

If you are already and accomplished baker and decorator, a wedding cake, even a fancy one, is certainly doable, but no matter how skilled you already are, it will take up a great deal of your time before the wedding and definitely add to your stress levels.

Whether the cake would be something you can look back on fondly as putting your special touch into your special day or something you hate to look at because it only reminds you of how much stress and misery it added depends a lot on your personality and on how much you care.

Now, I'm not normally a happy-go-lucky, roll with the punches person, but when my friend who had promised to arrange my wedding flowers for me cancelled three days before the wedding, I was just fine. My mother nearly died of stress as we sat in the reception hall the night before the wedding with buckets of roses, a leaf strewn floor, and spirals of ribbon all around, but I could laugh about making my own wedding bouquet at midnight before the wedding. Why? Because I didn't give a darn what the blasted thing looked like. If you have the same attitude towards your cake, you'll be fine. But if a beautiful, professional looking cake is very important to you, then I'd be really hesitant to do it yourself.

If you do decide to make your own, make sure you learn about how to securely support tiers so your cake won't fall apart under its own weight, and remember that "rustic" iced cakes are very trendy and "in" right now (totally plain, smooth sides are a heck of a lot harder than they look!).

I hope that helps you. Good luck icon_smile.gif

costumeczar Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 2:32am
post #7 of 19

No. No. no, no, no, no. even if you're a decorator you'll have other things to do in the days before your wedding. You don't need to add to the stress. Also, are you planning on setting it up the day of your wedding? You're going to be busy that day, too!

And if you're not a decorator you'll probably have to buy equipment and do practice runs, which is going to eat up any savings that you'll get from DIY'ing it. This is part 2 of a three-part series I did and it talks about the costs involved http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2009/12/diy-not-so-fastpart-2.html

yummyslice Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 5:18pm
post #8 of 19

Thanks everyone for your responses to my post on the above subject. I do decorate cakes but not as a profession though. I only decorate for friends and family members, so I don't do it very often. I have taken few cake decorating courses at the Wilton school so I am quite comfortable doing cakes. I have done one wedding cake (3 tiers) but it was for a friend and I did not know what to charge for it and ended up asking just $90! The quote that i have been given now is like 8 times that price! I am just not sure about the stress level associated with making own cake and putting together a wedding! I guess i just have to discuss with the decorator and see whether we can find a common ground on the quote.

Thanks again for the posts and for sharing your experiences.

http://www.yummyslice.blogspot.co.at
http://www.facebook.com/YummySliceCreations[url][/url]

Apti Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 6:16pm
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by yummyslice

I have done one wedding cake (3 tiers) but it was for a friend and I did not know what to charge for it and ended up asking just $90! The quote that i have been given now is like 8 times that price! I am just not sure about the stress level associated with making own cake and putting together a wedding! I guess i just have to discuss with the decorator and see whether we can find a common ground on the quote. ]




Looking at your website, I absolutely think you are capable of doing a beautiful wedding cake. Whether or not you wish to add the stress of providing your own cake at your own wedding is the only question.

I didn't see a photo of the 3 tier $90 wedding cake on your site. If your cake was beautifully done then it probably was worth 5-8 times the $90 price you quoted.

You know how long it took you to do that cake. Do you want to do that the week before and day before, and day of, your wedding? Many people do and are very happy about the whole experience.

BlakesCakes Posted 29 Jul 2012 , 8:22pm
post #10 of 19

If you really want to do it, choose a design that will allow you to freeze the completed cake several weeks before the wedding. You'll only have to take it out of the freezer, fridge it for 24 hrs., and then display it. Someone else could even be in charge of that.

Box completed cake. Wrap box in at least 2 layers of saran wrap and 1 layer of foil. Place in freezer.
24 hrs. before event, place still wrapped box in fridge.
Several hours before display, place still wrapped box on counter to come to room temp.
Right before display, remove wrappings.

Works for fondant covered cakes, BC cakes, etc. Will NOT work for whipped icings.

These cakes were frozen for 10 days by the clients. They followed my directions and this was the result: no sweating, no bleeding. On the ivory cake, the bow & "25" were placed by the client after defrosting. On the ruby & white cakes, the flowers were placed by the client into pre-placed straws in the cakes.

Image

Image

HTH
Rae

yummyslice Posted 1 Aug 2012 , 10:00pm
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

If you really want to do it, choose a design that will allow you to freeze the completed cake several weeks before the wedding. You'll only have to take it out of the freezer, fridge it for 24 hrs., and then display it. Someone else could even be in charge of that.

Box completed cake. Wrap box in at least 2 layers of saran wrap and 1 layer of foil. Place in freezer.
24 hrs. before event, place still wrapped box in fridge.
Several hours before display, place still wrapped box on counter to come to room temp.
Right before display, remove wrappings.

Works for fondant covered cakes, BC cakes, etc. Will NOT work for whipped icings.

These cakes were frozen for 10 days by the clients. They followed my directions and this was the result: no sweating, no bleeding. On the ivory cake, the bow & "25" were placed by the client after defrosting. On the ruby & white cakes, the flowers were placed by the client into pre-placed straws in the cakes.

Image

Image

HTH
Rae


"These cakes were frozen for 10 days by the clients"

Wow, these looks amazin! Many thank Rae for this tip... It is definitely something I will have to think of.

Cheers

pieceofcake561 Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 4:50am
post #12 of 19

How about a dummy cake? Get the cake done way before the wedding so you won't be stressed before your big day. You could even design it so that one of the smaller tiers is real cake for cutting w the groom.

costumeczar Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 12:31pm
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by pieceofcake561

How about a dummy cake? Get the cake done way before the wedding so you won't be stressed before your big day. You could even design it so that one of the smaller tiers is real cake for cutting w the groom.




that's an excellent Idea!

yummyslice Posted 30 May 2013 , 1:13pm
post #14 of 19

YummySlice Cakes

 

A year ago almost, I asked for advise on Cake Talk regarding "making your own wedding cake". I would now like to say that I sort of did make my wedding cake! :) And I would now like to share my experience with all the experts who gave me some constructive advise plus few pointers.

 

I live in Vienna, Austria, so my husband and I got married in an old romantic castle in Styria (Steiermark), Austria (near Graz, 90 minutes drive from Vienna) for those of you who knows Austria. The family who runs this castle are very competent, friendly and very helpful. I discussed with the Manager/Owner of the castle the idea or the possibility of making my own cake or at least contributing in the process. It happened that she had seen my blog site with my cakes http://yummyslice.blogspot.co.at/search/label/Wedding%20Cakes so she kind of agreed to the idea of me contributing! So I met with her Cake Decorator/Pâtissier and we discussed my cake design and she informed me that her boss has agreed that we both do the cake..Yoopie!

 

How lucky was I! I got to not only to design my wedding cake but also got to contribute to making it and I did not have to worry my self about putting it together in a nice display at the reception! Plus I also got to save some cash! This was a big bonus indeed! thumbs_up.gif

 

I had sketched and decided to make a simple but elegant 5-tier Black & White cake as the theme of my wedding was Black & White. So, we agreed that I do the flowers. I did two big peonies, one for the center piece and the other for the side, made a fondant brooch and baked and decorated the last 2 top tiers.The Castle's cake decorator did the remaining 3 bottom tiers by following my design, she mounted the 5-tiers together when it was time to cut. The flowers in between are natural flowers.

 

So, this is what we did and I was absolutely happy with the result! Plus I received a decent discount!!! icon_smile.gif Here are some photos of the cake. Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 30 May 2013 , 3:26pm
post #15 of 19

AVery nice, congratulations!

105sruss Posted 31 May 2013 , 11:00am
post #16 of 19

I made my own wedding cake and thoroughly enjoyed doing it. I did 2 tiers in fruit cake and 1 in madeira. I made the fruit cakes 3 months before and left them for 2 months to mature whilst feeding them with brandy once a fortnight. I then put on the marzipan and left that for 3 days to dry and then royal iced over the next week. The madeira one was made in the week before the wedding because it doesn't keep very long unless frozen and, because it was only the middle cake, didn't take long to do. As it was 23 years ago I had pillars between tiers so went to the hall early on my wedding day to set it all up  and had plenty of time to relax and get ready for the ceremony at 3pm. Pillars and royal icing were still very much in vogue then and I'm pleased to see that the pillars are making a come back in a big way. I can't wait for royal icing to do the same as the finish is so superior to the fondant. If you start early enough and give yourself plenty of time you can do your own and it's really satisfying to proudly say that you made it yourself when people ask where you got it from. Good luck whichever path you choose to take.

cazza1 Posted 31 May 2013 , 12:46pm
post #17 of 19

Wonderful to hear that all went well, Yummyslice, and that you found a good compromise to suit your situation.  Your cake is lovely.

Crimsicle Posted 31 May 2013 , 1:42pm
post #18 of 19

I did my own wedding cake last year.  I knew I would never be truly happy with a cake done by someone else.  It was not my first wedding cake, so I wasn't overwhelmed by the sheer size of the task.  Oh, yeah...I did the grooms cakes too.  Two of them because they were regular sized salted caramel chocolate layer cakes.

 

I did lots of it  beforehand.   Gumpaste flowers.  Icing.  Ganache.  Anything I could do in the weeks before...I did.  The day of, I made sure the cake was the ONLY thing I had to worry about.  I had talented help with the catering, decorations, etc.  LOTS of help.  Our wedding was held where I work, where there happens to be a commercial kitchen.  So, I moved in about mid-morning and took the kitchen over.  Even so, I had to eliminate one of the tiers.  I just ran out of time.  It looked and tasted great.  But, if I had been trying to do anything else, it would have never come together.

 

A few years prior, I had done my daughter's wedding cake.  That was horrible.  I had very little help.  We were trying to self-cater.  We did all the decorations and all the flowers, too.  I was so overwhelmed, I had to go to my own daughter's wedding without a shower and with my hair all frazzled. 

 

The difference was the amount of help I had with the wedding in general.  If you're doing the cake - delegate everything else. 

ellavanilla Posted 31 May 2013 , 6:56pm
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimsicle 

 

 

A few years prior, I had done my daughter's wedding cake.  That was horrible.  I had very little help.  We were trying to self-cater.  We did all the decorations and all the flowers, too.  I was so overwhelmed, I had to go to my own daughter's wedding without a shower and with my hair all frazzled. 

 

The difference was the amount of help I had with the wedding in general.  If you're doing the cake - delegate everything else. 

 

I did my sister's wedding cake last summer. I, too, had the bad hair friZzies for the wedding. She wanted me to be her matron of honor. There was no way I could have done it, and her cake was very simple, as wedding cakes go.  I don't know how one could make their own cake. I certainly would not be able to manage. 

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