DIY Wedding Cake. Help? Advice? Tips?

posted 3 years ago in DIY
  • poll: Worth the stress?
    Yes (expalin please?) : (5 votes)
    28 %
    Maybe...but... (explain please?) : (4 votes)
    22 %
    No! (expalin please?) : (9 votes)
    50 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1676 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2015

    @laura.batty:  I’d say if your friend is a good beker, and you’ve seen and tasted proof that she can do a good job, then I’d say go for it!

    Post # 4
    Member
    2675 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

    Our venue will only allow cakes from licensed establishments. So DIY was not an option for us unless we knew a professional baker, which we don’t! I’d make sure there’s no issues with this kind of thing for your wedding too.

    I think having a friend make it is a big difference over DIY-ing it yourself.

    If you’ve seen their work before and feel confident they can make it work then I would go for it. But I’d make sure they’re honest with you about their ability to make the exact design you want and for you to be honest with how you feel about it. Will you be disappointed if it’s not exactly how you envisioned it? If not, then again I think it’s a great option. I talk about all the expectations right away before making a final decision. I’d want to hear their plan too. Will they bake and freeze the cake ahead of time, then decorate? What flavors you want? Etc…just think about all the little things you can and make sure you can come to an agreement you’re both happy with for you cake.

    Post # 5
    Member
    774 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @laura.batty:  I wouldn’t DIY the cake. I think too much can go wrong. If cost is a concern, I’d shop around a few different bakers or switch to cupcakes. 

    Post # 6
    Member
    509 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I did my cake and enjoyed it very much.  But I only did a small 3-layer cutting cake and then did cupcakes. 

    The day before was hectic as I was trying to ice 160 cupcakes in between decorating the tent and making the cocktail hour food but looking back, I wouldn’t have done it any differently.  I got so many compliments on how good it tasted.

    Post # 7
    Member
    42522 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I’d be more worried about the frosting  than the cake. I honestly don’t think many people have high expectations that wedding cake will taste great. It’s always a bonus when it does.

    The outside of the cake is what everyone will see and what will be in your pics and memories forever.

    Has she done this type of cake decorating before?

    Post # 8
    Member
    261 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I did mine, but everything I did was made in advance so I wasn’t up until 3 AM the night of the wedding. If she’s an experienced baker/decorator and knows what it takes to get it done, go for it. But the pics you’ve posted, especially the bottom one. It looks like black icing stenciled onto white fondant. This technique isn’t easy and takes a while. If you really want to go that route, I would find a REALLY simple design/look and go with that.

     

    Post # 9
    Member
    284 posts
    Helper bee

    I’m planning to DIY our cake/desserts

    Post # 10
    Member
    1266 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    You should ask to see pictures of other cakes she’s made.  Getting fondant smooth and making sure all of the designs on the bottom tier stick can be very tricky, and I’ve seen some chocolate drizzle (like your top tier) that looks like, well, something brown you would never want to eat.

    Unless your friend has done fancy cakes like this before, pick out a really simple design.

    Post # 11
    Member
    308 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I am doing our cakes with my mom and grandma, and am really looking forward to it. We are all very experienced bakers.

     

    The real issue is transporting it. Even pros stress over getting a cake from Point A to Point B, because no matter how careful you are, something could go wrong. We plan to make our cake layers, halve them and frost the centers, and then freeze the filled layers a few weeks ahead, defrosting them a day or two before the wedding.  I’m not sure yet whether we will have to decorate it at home or if we will be able to share a corner of the kitchen with the caterer, but the venue is very close to my parents’ house so I am not overly worried. We won’t be doing fondant, just smoothly iced buttercream…I don’t want frosting that tastes like plastic no matter how nice it looks.

     

    Post # 11
    Member
    155 posts
    Blushing bee

    I’m toying with the idea of DIYing our cake but only because I have very specific ideas of what I’d like to serve, I have some experience in making multi tiered fondant cakes and if I go ahead with it, i’m totally backing it up with a Plan B (a few giant delicious fruit tarts from a local pâtisserie). 

    I’d advise against going with the current plan unless the friend has experience with working with fondant, stacking, stenciling, piping, black icing and flower blocking. Although the thought of working with black icing on white fondant might be a bit terrifying unless you’ve got some expeience and know the exact materials/recipes to use, i’m actually more worried about the very top tier – the ‘dribble’ effect isn’t easy to achieve and requires a bit of technique to make it look just right. There’s a lot of technique in you’re cake but it does look marvellous 🙂

    Post # 12
    Member
    588 posts
    Busy bee

    laura.batty:  As long as you can see an example of a cake she’s made decorated in a similar style, go for it. I do a little cake decorating; some concepts are hard, some are easy. If you want something within your bakers decorating ability (because really, the baking part is easy but the decorating part isn’t always), go for it!

    Post # 13
    Member
    1202 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    You don’t want a cake to ruin your friendship!  Imagine the worst case scenarios.  She shows up with your wedding cake…and it looks terrible.  She gets horribly sick the day-of and doesn’t have an assistant to set up your cake, so you don’t have one.  One layer gets smushed in her car and you are left with 2 layers.  Are you going to be ok if this happens?  If any of these situations would be upsetting to you, go with a professional or an amateur from Craigslist that you’re not friends with. 

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