How far in advance can a buttercream wedding cake be done? If the wedding is Saturday, can I finish the cakes Thursday night? Thank you.
I always finished Saturday delivery cakes on Friday night Thursday was for crumb coating and settling.
If at all possible, follow Leah. Remember, a cake is fresh for 3 days. This includes the time decorating it. So if finished on Thursday, by Sat it starting to dry out. Any leftovers will not last very long either. Having said that, I have had cake (mostly scraps) in my frig for up to 10 days and felt they were just a good as the 1st day :)
A cake mix based cake will keep longer than a scratch cake, and could give you a little more leeway if you needed it. I use doctored mixes, and if I need more time to decorate, I often bake and crumb coat on Wednesday, then spend Thursday and Friday icing and decorating for Saturday. Leftovers are still good for several days after that, but I limit myself to 3 days before the event at most.