JackieK84 Posted 22 Jan 2013 , 4:54pm
post #1 of

I apologize if this has been asked before, but I searched and couldn't find it. :)

 

I am getting married April 6th and it's going to be a VERY small wedding (30-35 people) and I decided to bake my own wedding cake.  I've done a few cakes covered in fondant before and even made a "trial" wedding cake a few weeks ago (learned A LOT and feel ready).

 

Anyhoo, I asked a local baker how much a wedding cake would cost with the exact specs that I'm going to use for my cake (to ensure that the savings were really there...other wise I would skip some of the stress and allow a pro to do it).

 

I told her that I wanted to have a 16" x 4" styrofoam tier on the bottom (as we won't need THAT much cake), and then a 12" x 4", 8" x 4" and 6" x 4" round cake tiers for the rest of the cake....and with alternating chocolate and vanilla cake layers, to make a nice "stripe" when you cut into the cake.

 

Anyhoo, she stated that, even with the 16" x 4" styrofoam base, that the 12" x 4" round tier would HAVE to be pound cake for structural purposes.  And the remaining two tiers could be my "two toned" cake.

 

Now, I'm planning on taking each tier SEPERATELY in their own box to the reception site and assembling it there on the cake table (I'll have two hours to do this and the reception site is only 30 minutes away).

 

So, my question is...do I really need to keep that first real tier pound cake?  I don't want to avoid that advise and have my cake collapse after awhile.  But, we are going to keep the 6" x 4" tier to eat for our 1st anniversary...so that means I'll only have 1 two-toned cake and then a HUGE pound cake :(

 

Thank you in advance for your advise :)

34 replies
-K8memphis Posted 22 Jan 2013 , 4:58pm
post #2 of

no of course you don't

 

i'd get a second opinion--locally there i mean

AZCouture Posted 22 Jan 2013 , 4:59pm
post #3 of

Lol, oh the things some of these "bakers" say sometimes.icon_rolleyes.gif

-K8memphis Posted 22 Jan 2013 , 5:04pm
post #4 of

 a 12" square is twice as many servings as you need

 

i'd suggest go smaller all the way around though

 

if the guest list is no more than 40

 

you could do 12sq x10r x7r x 4r

 

with the 12sq being foam and have plenty of cake to serve plus keep top tier

 

the 12 inch square is plenty big enough to make a nice graduation to the 10 inch round

 

you might want to cut these shapes out of newspaper to stack up and play around with

JackieK84 Posted 22 Jan 2013 , 5:16pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Lol, oh the things some of these "bakers" say sometimes.icon_rolleyes.gif

 

I thought it sounded strange as I really been trying to do my homework from other people that have done wedding cakes on their own, and this was the first time I saw this mentioned (making your first tier all pound cake). But, then I started to think "What do I know?  I'm not a professional" and started to worry that I missed something somewhere... :

 

They also quoted me over 50% more than what it is costing me to do it myself. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

 a 12" square is twice as many servings as you need

 

i'd suggest go smaller all the way around though

 

if the guest list is no more than 40

 

you could do 12sq x10r x7r x 4r

 

with the 12sq being foam and have plenty of cake to serve plus keep top tier

 

the 12 inch square is plenty big enough to make a nice graduation to the 10 inch round

 

you might want to cut these shapes out of newspaper to stack up and play around with

 

We plan on cutting "normal" sized slices for everyone and we are going to have quite a few people get seconds (lots of people with a sweet tooth attending)...we're also not planning on serving the top tier at all. 

 

And both my parents and my future husband's parents already stated they DEF want some left overs, so I was going to box a lot of cake up for them to take home. :)

Dani1081 Posted 22 Jan 2013 , 5:31pm
post #6 of

Jackie, it sounds like the baker you consulted does not know how to stack a cake. A cake is placed on a cake board and then that cake board sits on dowels inserted into the tier below it. It doesn't sit on the cake, so it won't smash the cake, no matter what the cake is made of.  You might do that baker a favor and refer her/him to this website:

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/stacked-tiered-cake-construction.cfm

Marianna46 Posted 22 Jan 2013 , 5:33pm
post #7 of

Since it's the dowels or whatever supports you use that take the weight of the upper tiers rather than the cake itself, there is no reason you absolutely need to have a dense cake as the bottom tier, as -K8memphis said. And I'd take any advice she has to offer about size or anything else - the girl is the bomb when it comes to cake decorating. By the way, what did the baker say about the price - are you really saving money? Because if you're planning on stacking and fixing a cake at the site of your reception yourself after your own wedding, it better be a heap-o-dough for it to be worth the stress. Unless you just ADORE baking and decorating, I'd say buy your cake and make them for others later on. If you decide that's what you want, though, I wish you the best and I hope it's a very happy and rewarding experience for you!

FromScratchSF Posted 22 Jan 2013 , 5:42pm
post #8 of

Bullpuckety.  I hate to bash unknown bakery, but that are completely incorrect about wedding cake structural integrity.

 

Your internal support structure supports the weight of the cakes above it, not the lower cake.  The only thing you need to be concerned with is understanding how to use whatever support system you decide on using.  Some use SPS, I use drinking straws and a center dowel.  I live in a CRAZY city to deliver cakes, I deliver all my cakes preassembled, and (knock on wood) have never had a cake fall apart - and I do not make pound cake.  I actually make all my cakes with 2 flavors like you want to make your cake.

 

Good luck!

JackieK84 Posted 22 Jan 2013 , 5:52pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani1081 

Jackie, it sounds like the baker you consulted does not know how to stack a cake. A cake is placed on a cake board and then that cake board sits on dowels inserted into the tier below it. It doesn't sit on the cake, so it won't smash the cake, no matter what the cake is made of.  You might do that baker a favor and refer her/him to this website:

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/tiered-cakes/stacked-tiered-cake-construction.cfm

 

That's what I was thinking...if the cakeboard is really resting on the wooden dowels, what difference does it make what the cake is made of?  But thought I would ask others on here, just to be on the safe side :)

 

I also made a small trial size cake and left it assembled on the counter...when I awoke the next morning, it was still there...and it wasn't pound cake :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianna46 

Since it's the dowels or whatever supports you use that take the weight of the upper tiers rather than the cake itself, there is no reason you absolutely need to have a dense cake as the bottom tier, as -K8memphis said. And I'd take any advice she has to offer about size or anything else - the girl is the bomb when it comes to cake decorating. By the way, what did the baker say about the price - are you really saving money? Because if you're planning on stacking and fixing a cake at the site of your reception yourself after your own wedding, it better be a heap-o-dough for it to be worth the stress. Unless you just ADORE baking and decorating, I'd say buy your cake and make them for others later on. If you decide that's what you want, though, I wish you the best and I hope it's a very happy and rewarding experience for you!

 

It is a heap of money (at least to me).  I'm saving nearly 60% by doing it myself....plus I love the idea of making my own cake (and I'll have a few "helpers" that day so that's good).  All the women in my area that are married said this bakery was the cheapest. icon_eek.gif

 

It's a small wedding and everything is on the very informal side so I also know it doesn't have to look perfect.  PLUS I like the idea of being at the reception site so early as it's less than a mile from the ceremony site, so less chance of me being late to my own wedding icon_lol.gif 

 

Thank you!  :)  I'm super excited about it!

 

 

Thanks again for all your input!!  I'm really excited about it!

AZCouture Posted 23 Jan 2013 , 4:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackieK84 

They also quoted me over 50% more than what it is costing me to do it myself. 

 

 

They were quoting you a price as if you were a customer, right? 

-K8memphis Posted 23 Jan 2013 , 4:56pm

i'm glad you have helpers

 

sounds like a good plan

 

i like red velvet with strawberry stripes as well as yours black & white

 

(dang i'm getting hungry--gotta get that rum cake in the oven!!)

 

i/we are here for you for any questions

 

all the best to you!!!

Marianna46 Posted 23 Jan 2013 , 6:19pm

Yes, indeed, we really wish you the best for your wedding and your happily-ever-after! I love your laid-back approach to the ceremony so much that I'd like to give you a big hug. I'm sure you'll enjoy the day a lot more than the "this has gotta be perfect" type-As we see so many of in this business. The thing is, if you're open to experiencing with pleasure whatever happens on your wedding day,you may find some really unexpected things to be happy about and cherish in the years to come. So again all the best, and please post a photo of your cake here.

JackieK84 Posted 23 Jan 2013 , 6:37pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

They were quoting you a price as if you were a customer, right? 

 

Correct.  I got a quote from them before I started my trial cake because my future husband basically wanted to see if it was THAT much difference in the price department.  And if it wasn't, he would have covered the difference because he was afraid I would get too "stressed out". 

 

But, after we found out the HUGE difference in price, I went forward with my plan and the future hubby saw how much fun I had with the trial cake (and was impressed with the final product).  icon_biggrin.gif  So, now he's looking forward to it too :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

i'm glad you have helpers

 

sounds like a good plan

 

i like red velvet with strawberry stripes as well as yours black & white

 

(dang i'm getting hungry--gotta get that rum cake in the oven!!)

 

i/we are here for you for any questions

 

all the best to you!!!

 

Ooooo, I'm such a sucker for red velvet...why did you have to say that!? icon_lol.gif

 

Thank you SO much!  I've already starting a wedding cake timeline, so I'll know when I should start everything and space things out as much as possible (I tend to wait until the last minute, so this will help me avoid that lol)

 

I'm sure I'll be back here with questions, though :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianna46 

Yes, indeed, we really wish you the best for your wedding and your happily-ever-after! I love your laid-back approach to the ceremony so much that I'd like to give you a big hug. I'm sure you'll enjoy the day a lot more than the "this has gotta be perfect" type-As we see so many of in this business. The thing is, if you're open to experiencing with pleasure whatever happens on your wedding day,you may find some really unexpected things to be happy about and cherish in the years to come. So again all the best, and please post a photo of your cake here.

 

Awww, thank you SO much! 

 

We started to plan a "traditional/normal" wedding and, even when cutting costs where we could it was still about $13,000.  We both REALLY wanted to buy a home while it was still a buyer's market, so we both decided that it was best to remember what the day was all about, have only our closest relatives/friends there and save the money for something more "constructive"

 

I'm sure if we had a normal wedding, we both would have had a blast, but we are enjoying our new home everyday and so glad we saved our money.  With a little help from our parents this wedding, so far, is only costing us $1,000 :D  (We did splurge a little on the favors for the guests)

 

With my cake, I'm reminding myself that it isn't going to be perfect, but I have equipped myself with some "tricks" on how to cover some of my mistakes...and, if anything, it will be the little errors here and there that will remind people that I made it.

 

My biggest fear, right now, is the transportation of the cake.  I'm having my mom drive as she drives like a little old lady, but it's going to be the worst 30 minutes of my life! haha

JackieK84 Posted 23 Jan 2013 , 6:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

They were quoting you a price as if you were a customer, right? 

 

Correct.  My future husband wanted me to get a price to see what the difference was, and he was going to cover the difference if the two costs were pretty close (he was afraid I would get too stressed out).

 

However, after we got the estimate AND he saw how much fun I had with the trial cake he agreed to "let" me do it :) 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

i'm glad you have helpers

 

sounds like a good plan

 

i like red velvet with strawberry stripes as well as yours black & white

 

(dang i'm getting hungry--gotta get that rum cake in the oven!!)

 

i/we are here for you for any questions

 

all the best to you!!!

 

Red velvet?!  I'm such a sucker for red velvet, why did you have to say that icon_lol.gif  Now I want some Red Velvet cupcakes!

 

Thanks, I'm sure I'll have other questions as the date draws near.  Right now, I'm compling all the "lessons learned" from my trial cake and building a timeline of when to start everything (as I've been known to wait until the last minute lol). 

 

If anyone has any suggestions for the timeline, let me know! :) 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianna46 

Yes, indeed, we really wish you the best for your wedding and your happily-ever-after! I love your laid-back approach to the ceremony so much that I'd like to give you a big hug. I'm sure you'll enjoy the day a lot more than the "this has gotta be perfect" type-As we see so many of in this business. The thing is, if you're open to experiencing with pleasure whatever happens on your wedding day,you may find some really unexpected things to be happy about and cherish in the years to come. So again all the best, and please post a photo of your cake here.

 

Awww, thank you SO much!

 

We started to plan out a "normal" wedding, with some unknowns still in the mix, and we were already up to $13,000.  We really wanted to buy a home while the market was still a buyer's market, so we did that instead. Plus, with our guest list expanding, it broke my heart that I wouldn't actually get to talk to my closest family and friends...we both felt like we were losing sight on what the day meant.

 

With my cake, I have to remind myself everynow and then it's not perfect and no one is expecting it to be perfect (plus it's a cake..it's meant to be eaten not viewed anyways lol).  If anything, it's the little errors here and there that are going to remind people that I made it with my own two hands. :)

JackieK84 Posted 23 Jan 2013 , 7:52pm

Sorry for the double post, got an error message when I tried to submit the first one :(

-K8memphis Posted 23 Jan 2013 , 8:16pm

omg do not procrastinate

 

start now 

 

icon_lol.gif

 

 jk

 

sorta ;)

AZCouture Posted 24 Jan 2013 , 4:47pm

Ok well, the HUGE difference in price is because you're paying that person for their time and talent. I assume you know that though. Just wasn't sure though....

AZCouture Posted 24 Jan 2013 , 4:48pm

So if you go into the business someday, please remember why we charge such a HUGE difference. :D

BakingIrene Posted 24 Jan 2013 , 4:59pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackieK84 

 

 

It is a heap of money (at least to me).  I'm saving nearly 60% by doing it myself....plus I love the idea of making my own cake (and I'll have a few "helpers" that day so that's good).  All the women in my area that are married said this bakery was the cheapest. icon_eek.gif

 

It's a small wedding and everything is on the very informal side so I also know it doesn't have to look perfect.  PLUS I like the idea of being at the reception site so early as it's less than a mile from the ceremony site, so less chance of me being late to my own wedding icon_lol.gif 

 

Thank you!  :)  I'm super excited about it!

 

 

Thanks again for all your input!!  I'm really excited about it!

Here's a compromise to keep your family calm.

 

Make 3 lower tiers out of the dummies (regardless of size) so you can completely finish decorating a week or even a month beforehand. Put a sharp dowel through all 3 tiers to make sure it gets to the reception safely.

 

Make the top tier, and a kitchen cake, of any cake combo you like.  Cut the top tier for pictures and serve the kitchen cake.  A 9 x 13 inch, plain iced with a simple border, will serve your guests generously.  If you have an 11 x 15 pan, even better for the kitchen cake.  Make it 4 layers by baking thin layers on  parchment liners, use the parchment as an insurance against breaking larger thin layers.

 

Good luck--I'm telling you that keeping the family calm is the hardest part from my own experience.

kikiandkyle Posted 24 Jan 2013 , 10:05pm

AIt's your wedding, so long as YOU remember it as being the happiest day of YOUR life that's all that matters, and keeping it within your budget is part of that. I had the wedding my family wanted, and then spent 6 years paying for it, although I did get a decent husband out of it!

Annabakescakes Posted 24 Jan 2013 , 10:15pm

A

Original message sent by AZCouture

Ok well, the HUGE difference in price is because you're paying that person for their time and talent. I assume you know that though. Just wasn't sure though....

amen! And if you paid me to do it, then you would find it would cost you at least 400% more than doing it yourself.

And I did my own wedding cake. 4 tier, all cake. 6,8,10,12, with over 200 small buttercream roses. Did my own flowers, made a flower girl dress, had some friends cater the sides and bought fried chicken from Walmart! Spend about $2000 for 120 people, and went to Gatlinburg for 4 days and 3 nights.

Evoir Posted 24 Jan 2013 , 10:43pm

A

Original message sent by Annabakescakes

amen! And if you paid me to do it, then you would find it would cost you at least 400% more than doing it yourself.

And I did my own wedding cake. 4 tier, all cake. 6,8,10,12, with over 200 small buttercream roses. Did my own flowers, made a flower girl dress, had some friends cater the sides and bought fried chicken from Walmart! Spend about $2000 for 120 people, and went to Gatlinburg for 4 days and 3 nights.

:D agree agree agree...the cost of ingredients is the smallest component if cake price! Remember you are paying someone's wage/talent, their overheads, the insurance etc etc.

You need to ask yourself what YOUR time is worth. If its worthwhile to make it yourself, then go for it :-)

All the best for your wedding!

costumeczar Posted 24 Jan 2013 , 11:02pm

AYou don't happen to live in Richmond Va, do you? There's a bakery here that tells people that the bottom tier has to be pound cake or the cake will collapse, and they make you sign a waiver if you want anything else on the bottom tier. It's 100% false.

Anyway, I like the idea of doing sheet cakes and having the fake cake to display. I did a dessert buffet for my own wedding so I was able to freeze a lot of things, but to put a full wedding cake together right before your wedding is going to be a time-suck for you. Athough it's a good way to get rid of relatives who are visiting the night before, you can just tell them that you need to finish the cake!

JackieK84 Posted 25 Jan 2013 , 1:58pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Ok well, the HUGE difference in price is because you're paying that person for their time and talent. I assume you know that though. Just wasn't sure though....

 

Oh, I know and I know that it would look AMAZING for them to do it...as they have so much talent and can probably make a wedding cake in their sleep by now.    But to me, some of the pricing was a bit too high.  For example, to have each layer in fondant was ~$250.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

It's your wedding, so long as YOU remember it as being the happiest day of YOUR life that's all that matters, and keeping it within your budget is part of that. I had the wedding my family wanted, and then spent 6 years paying for it, although I did get a decent husband out of it!

 

hahaha, well at least you got a decent hubby out of it icon_wink.gif

 

Agreed, and I think that we're both going to enjoy the fact that we can actually socialize with everyone at the wedding and be stress free. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

You don't happen to live in Richmond Va, do you? There's a bakery here that tells people that the bottom tier has to be pound cake or the cake will collapse, and they make you sign a waiver if you want anything else on the bottom tier. It's 100% false.

Anyway, I like the idea of doing sheet cakes and having the fake cake to display. I did a dessert buffet for my own wedding so I was able to freeze a lot of things, but to put a full wedding cake together right before your wedding is going to be a time-suck for you. Athough it's a good way to get rid of relatives who are visiting the night before, you can just tell them that you need to finish the cake!

 

No, I don't...but now I know it's not that uncommon of a spec from bakers :)

 

Well the wedding is at 5pm and I can be at the reception restaurant (that is less than a mile from our ceremony site) at 2:30pm, which I plan to do.  Than I have my mom, sister and a couple friends to help me, so I think we're good :)   I'm using the "KISS" principle, so there won't be too much decorating that I have to do on site (mainly it can all be done before that time).

 

Agreed about the relative aspect :)  I think my future husband's family was planning on staying with us before the wedding...but now they are staying with his sister to allow me "room" SWEET!!! :D

JackieK84 Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 2:18pm

I cannot tell you guys how many times I had a question about my cake and came here and got fantastic answers.  I only had to post this one question, though...all other questions I had were already answered on this site.  I don't know WHAT I would have done without this fantastic website!  So thank you to the great contributors you have NO idea how much help you guys were!!!

 

Our wedding was yesterday and I baked the cakes ahead of time (I cut a corner and used boxed cakes instead of making them from scatch...something I NEVER do) and took two days off of work to decorate the cake.  Each tier was four layers, alternating french vanilla and devil's food.  Then covered in butter cream and then finally marshmallow fondant (which I think tastes pretty good).

 

The car ride over was nerve racking, but the cakes made it with only one slight issue: one tier slid against the box and caused a slight crease in the fondant...most of it I corrected with my fondant smoother and simply made that the back.

 

The biggest pain was the bottom tier, my 16"x4" cake dummy.  I didn't have the counter space to roll out fondant large enough AND our table has creases in it every four inches or so, so I was afraid to use that surface.  I ended up with some of the back not being covered with fondant at all....so I had to cruelly attach some spare fondant to the back (I felt like I was working on a Frankenstein monster)...luckily that was the back that no one saw anyways. :)

 

The quilting was pretty easy, after I got my quilting tools.  I couldn't quite pull off the quilting pattern on the bottom tier as it was a dummy, so it just looked more like a pattern. 

 

Here is my cake.  I know it isn't perfect, but I was proud of myself because it looked nice and everyone knows that I loved to bake and how important it was that our cake was made by me :)  The is the first (and probably last :)) huge cake I've done..

 

*

 

 

I also made mini wedding cakes (via a great pan) as take home favors :)  I used poured fondant for those.

 

*

 

 

The whole day was perfect, we only had 26 guests, the weather was absolutely perfect and everyone had a great time.  The food and reception site was amazing, which is funny because this place wasn't our first choice.  Our original reception site closed down three weeks before our wedding, so this was actually the replacement and it was MUCH MUCH better...so everything happens for a reason. 

 

I would say, if anyone else sees this that is thinking of doing their own cake, make sure you have PLENTY enough time and ensure you keep telling yourself it doesn't have to be perfect AND people are going to eat it anyways :)

-K8memphis Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 2:38pm

jackie, what an awesome post!! how wonderful for you

 

i'm reading along and your cake is just fabulous and then i scroll down & i'm like whoa mini cakes too--dang!

 

that's such a tremendous undertaking--wow you did a great job!

 

Thanks for sharing your story and pictures

 

what a sweet way to start your married life together

 

congratulations and best wishes forever

costumeczar Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 5:30pm

Good job, I'm glad that everythng went well for you.

SugaredSaffron Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 6:12pm

AYou did a great job! And congratulations.

Can I ask how much cake was left over, I mean the cake is enormous for 26 guests isn't it?

-K8memphis Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 6:48pm
Quote:

Originally Posted by JackieK84 

 

We plan on cutting "normal" sized slices for everyone and we are going to have quite a few people get seconds (lots of people with a sweet tooth attending)...we're also not planning on serving the top tier at all. 

 

And both my parents and my future husband's parents already stated they DEF want some left overs, so I was going to box a lot of cake up for them to take home. :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron 

You did a great job! And congratulations.

Can I ask how much cake was left over, I mean the cake is enormous for 26 guests isn't it?

 

 

i don't know how much was leftover but the bottom was a dummy, they're keeping the top tier and they planned on having lots of leftover for all the different families

JackieK84 Posted 7 Apr 2013 , 9:21pm

ARE: leftovers. Like K8 said, the bottom tier was fake and we didn't serve the top tier (it's for our 1st anniversary). We only took home less than half of the 8" tier (and that was it for our leftovers....parents and in-laws didn't take any home). I was shocked how much cake everyone ate!! :)

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