Hi!! I have my FIRST wedding cake in two weeks and am starting back to get very nervous! This will also be the biggest cake I’ve made (4 tiers). I have delivered a 3 tier cake once before.
anyhoo, the questions I keep asking myself are... 1. do I use wooden dowels (I’ve always used the large bubble tea/milkshake straws)?, 2. do I put one long dowel down the center? If so, oh goodness, I’ve never done that!! Do I stack all 4 tiers then put it in or slide top tier down over it? 3. Also, how many tiers should I stack at home vs. how many tiers should I stack on site?? I was thinking of stacking two then adding the other two tiers upon arrival? 4. Last question... how much time should I give myself to arrive and set up? I will also have to apply flowers. The wedding starts at 5.
Sorry for so many questions but I am getting so nervous!!!!! Thank you in advance!!
If you've delivered a 3-tier, you can deliver a 4-tier, no problem at all. To help with nerves, I'd suggest stacking the bottom two tiers and then travel with those and the other two tiers separate, then stack on-site.
I've never used a central dowel so can't really comment on that. Does seem like a little overkill to me, and a hassle having to drill holes in boards unless you have boards ready made with holes where you are?? If you've never done it before, then I'd suggest either having a practice run or just not worrying about that bit at all.
I use polydowels - they are nice and sturdy but also easy to cut to length.
Are you applying fresh flowers or sugar flowers? Will they already be wired/taped etc or do you need to allow time for that as well? I usually try to aim to be all set-up with an hour of buffer time before the reception starts, just in case.
Hope that helps!
I agree with me_me1, if you just stack the bottom 2 tiers at home, then you won't need a center dowel. One tip that has saved my hide is to start making a list of what you will need at the venue now, and start packing your kit. That way, you will have everything you need ready ahead of time. Helps with the nerves....and keep telling yourself that this is just another cake, nothing you haven't done successfully before. Helps keep my nerves in check! Lol!
Have you considered SPS. I don’t do many tiered cakes but for one of this size I would use SPS
............1. do I use wooden dowels (I’ve always used the large bubble tea/milkshake straws)?, 2. do I put one long dowel down the center? If so, oh goodness, I’ve never done that!! Do I stack all 4 tiers then put it in or slide top tier down over it? 3. Also, how many tiers should I stack at home vs. how many tiers should I stack on site?? I was thinking of stacking two then adding the other two tiers upon arrival? 4. Last question... how much time should I give myself to arrive and set up? I will also have to apply flowers. The wedding starts at 5. .........
1) I have u sed both from time to time. I prefere plastic drink straws over wood dowels - but it's "each to their own" :) 2) There is little to using a center dowel. Just sharpen one end and hammer it down through - being *sure* it is straight :) 3) as the others suggested it probably would be best to stack the 2 largest seperately from the 2 smaller ones then put the two 2 stacks together once you get to the venue. Then you won;'t need a center dowel. 4) Always allow at least double theamount of time you think you need :) I would deliver around 2 or 3 with a 5 pm wedding. Make sure someone from the family (bride, MOB, bride's maid - whoever - is there to receive it - to have them note that is was delivered and set up w/o any problems. If those flowers are fresh - then add another hour. Have you ever worked w/fresh flowers before? Make sure each stem is wrapped &/or stuck into a straw before placing them on the cake. Use those ultra thin 'coffee stirrer' ones. If you can't find those then fill a milkshake straw w/b'cream, stick the flower stem in then stick it all into the cake.
Don't worry about being nervous....we all get that way when delivering. Nerves *never!* stopped even after 20+ yrs :)
Oh yeah, gotta have the emergency kit ready packed! I always take extra flowers, some buttercream in a piping bag, extra ribbon, a couple of palette knives, sugar glue, scissors, double sided tape... anything I've used for the actual cake, I try to have spare 'just in case'. Definitely helps with nerves as you're driving along knowing you have the tools to fix any small things on-site. Thankfully I've not had to use my emergency kit as yet! *touch wood*