Long Distance Wedding-Advise Needed!

Baking By stephsweetreats Updated 16 Nov 2015 , 2:49pm by stephsweetreats

stephsweetreats Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 7:24pm
post #1 of 14

I am in need of everyone's thoughts, opinions, and advise ASAP please!  I'm in southern WI and have a wedding cake and cupcakes to go to St.Louis this week.  Wedding is Saturday, but everything is going down Thursday (still waiting on times).

The wedding is a destination wedding and the cake and cupcakes will be taken down by separate parties, nobody has room for it all.  The cake is 3 tiers, fondant, and will go down disassembled in boxes.  They have someone putting it together for them on site.

Questions for the cake:
I am doing my best to push the timing back on this one.  At best, it will leave Thursday late afternoon.  Which means I will probably have to bake Wednesday afternoon, wrap and settle them overnight and cover and decorate Thursday.  Do you think this is baking it too early?

Each tier represents a place the couple has lived (St. Louis, Florida, and Chicago) so I"m doing silhouettes and words.  Problem=the color is dark purple.  I have matching ribbon that will go between each tier.  I'm worried that after sitting a few days the color will no longer match the ribbon/and or it may not even be purple anymore.  I am starting with precolored purple fondant and adding some color from there, which should help a bit on the fading.  

Wondering if I should paint the silhouettes and words on the cake instead?  Worry on that is that it would be hard to mix up that much color without it drying up and having to make more then having it not match tier to tier.

Other worry on the cake: my state does not require american buttercream to be refrigerated, the hotel it is going to in St.Louis wants the cake to be refrigerated.  I have not had good luck with fondant in the fridge with the humidity, condensation, etc in my state.  So I'm worried about it there, going from cold to room temp, bubbling from temp change etc.  I read that wrapping in saran wrap and a cardboard box should help.   Just worried about it sweating and the dark purple color bleeding and stuff.

I know it's a lot of questions but I need some advise.  It's turned into a bit of a mess.  It's for my brother-in-laws brother.  They wanted to do as much of the wedding with people they know, small business, etc. but it's really stressful and it's the week ok.

Tempted to ask if I can pretty please just do a dummy cake (real top maybe) and up the number of cupcakes since I'm not worried about them at all.

13 replies
-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 8:14pm
post #2 of 14

i really like the idea of dummies and fill in with more cupcakes -- as far as the purple goes -- why don't you plan on touching up the color on saturday --

as far as the condensation, the paint running and potential bubbling -- that's all up to your expertise and the conditions -- which are unknown until you arrive -- it can be done but i don't know how to advise you on that -- but yes purple is a ticky color -- keep it solidly out of the sun or any light for that matter --

i think i'd do a complete dummy cake -- i mean i did an ombre purple 5 tier that i took all my stuff 2,000 miles -- baked it there and then the delivery was a couple hours away from that point -- after arriving at the venue i learned the cake was to be displayed outdoors in southern california -- so i did not retouch the ombre as i had planned but it was ok somehow -

sure there are a ton of variables here that could blow this up big time but you need to roll with it is the best advice i can give you -- yes baking wednesday is good -- i agree with the venue to keep it fridged especially for traveling all those hundreds of miles -- i'd put freezer packs inside the boxes to keep it cold -- and by boxes i mean corrugated cardboard boxes sealed up tight --

best to you!

ps i just noticed that you are not worried about the cupcakes -- don't take anything for granted -- have a healthy concern for the cupcakes -- sometimes that one thing we're not 'worried' about is the one that bites us

*Last edited by -K8memphis on 8 Nov 2015 , 8:16pm
-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 8:21pm
post #3 of 14

are you even going? i seem to think you are but maybe i just made that up?

and what flavor cakes and fillings

*Last edited by -K8memphis on 8 Nov 2015 , 8:22pm
stephsweetreats Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 8:22pm
post #4 of 14

All great advise k8memphis!  Only problem...I'm actually not the one delivering OR setting up.  I'm staying in my state.  Everything is going to be taken down and executed by the couples friends and family.  So touching up by me won't be possible.  Thinking a conversation with the couple is definitely needed!  

-K8memphis Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 8:26pm
post #5 of 14

yes -- a nice dummy cake would work so well for them and you!

let me/us know how it goes

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 8 Nov 2015 , 8:48pm
post #6 of 14

I don't know about the temperature around your way at the moment but that strikes me as a disaster waiting to happen.  There is sooooo much out of your control.  Go on damage-limitation as much as possible and make it totally idiot proof.

I would be be most worried about the cupcakes firstly because I always find cupcakes dry out really quickly - much more so than a whole cake.  Have you tested their shelf life? Can you put them in sealed boxes and add the decoration at the venue so any fondant decorations don't sweat?

As for the cake, I would make it a dummy.  We don't refrigerate cakes in the UK as a general rule (but we don't use fresh fillings either) so I can't see any problem with it being left out but if the venue insists then you need to make sure that the couple are well aware of the possible outcomes (and your inability to predict, or fix them).  If you have to stick with cake, use ganache instead of buttercream under the fondant.  It is harder and so a little less prone to bulging I think.  Also forms a harder base so less likely to have finger marks when they are stacking.  I certainly wouldn't worry about baking on a Wednesday for Saturday (that's my usual bake day) BUT it gives you no room for errors in baking or time for the cakes to settle when they have been filled before you apply the fondant.  Can you freeze the cake in advance?  We don't do that here but I know a lot of US bakers seem to...

Good luck!!!!!

stephsweetreats Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 12:28am
post #7 of 14

Will do k8memphis!  snowflakebunny23 the temps are going to be 50's, low 60's from my state to St.Louis so temp shouldn't be too much of an issue.  I plan on telling the haulers to keep the AC on in the vehicles.

I'm going to get a hold of the couple tomorrow and urge once again that a dummy is the wiser choice.  I tried to originally push them this way, but it didn't work.  The cupcakes will be in plastic clamshell containers that are sealed very well.  My husband gets leftovers all the time and has eaten them at least 5 days after baking and they are still fresh.  

I have been wanting to do ganache under a cake, but I think I'd be nervous for the first time I do it to be on this cake. But I'm tempted to do it anyways because of the reduced bulging/air pocket factor.

Thanks for the help!  So many things to think about....I doubt I will be sleeping this week haha

stephsweetreats Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 4:17pm
post #8 of 14

Just talked to the couple this morning and they are totally on board with the dummy cake!  So I"m just upping the number of their cupcakes for the guests, sending a small 6" cake for them to cut, and having a 3 tier dummy cake for display.  This will alleviate the refrigeration issue of the cake at the hotel.  

I plan on assembling the cake before it gets taken.  I will use melted chocolate to "glue" the tiers to the main board and to each other.  Do you think this will be sufficient since it's not real/heavy, or should I dowel it?

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 5:14pm
post #9 of 14

Hurrah!!!  If they are all polystyrene then no, you don't need to dowel.  I usually use royal icing to stick my tiers together but I guess that chocolate would do the same job :-)  Hope they are paying you enough to cover the extra work? xx

stephsweetreats Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 5:20pm
post #10 of 14

Snowflakebunny23 they are :)  Phew, I am feeling majorly relieved!  Yes we are squared away with change in plans!

stephsweetreats Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 5:20pm
post #11 of 14

Snowflakebunny23 they are :)  Phew, I am feeling majorly relieved!  Yes we are squared away with change in plans!

-K8memphis Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 8:30pm
post #12 of 14

what a relief -- hey thought for you -- i would use a 'glue' that is not heat sensitive -- why chance it y'know? like the royal or whatever -- you could also stick in a couple short skewers or toothpicks even just for good measure -- but over kill -- not necessary -- but still i would do it ghahahaha

stephsweetreats Posted 9 Nov 2015 , 9:17pm
post #13 of 14

Good idea K8memphis! I'd rather be overly cautious than under!  

stephsweetreats Posted 16 Nov 2015 , 2:49pm
post #14 of 14

Everything made it safe and sound!  Here's the cake displayed at the wedding in St. Louis :)


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