I have made two cakes: one for a rehearsal dinner (pie was served for the actual reception, so the cake was served at the dinner) and one more traditional wedding cake, which is my avatar photo or whatever that’s called. I posted about this somewhere previously, but I would strongly urge you to reconsider DIYing your cake unless you have a very small number of guests or you don’t mind serving a cake from a boxed mix or a cake that is supposed to look a little messy. I was completely surprised by how much time it took to put everything together–I had been considering DIYing my cake before I made these and it completely changed my mind. Making a test run of a cake is REALLY, REALLY different than making the cake for the actual event, and things take a lot more time than you think they might (and I am a pretty fast worker but it still took forever). Here is a breakdown of my experience just in case it can help you:
Breakdown for cake 1 (two tiers of a berry tiramisu, so it was supposed to look relaxed and rustic and gooey):
Shopping for ingredients (1 hour)–this was easy beacuse I was able to get pretty much everything at BJ’s wholesale club in one stop, the ingredients were fairly simple.
Day before: 7 hours time for baking 9 sponge cake layers, preparing 3 gallons of mixed berries, and 1 gallon of simple mascarpone and whipped cream frosting (this was for 75 people)
Day of: 90 minutes for filling, frosting and assembling the tiers at home + 45 minutes for packing the tiers up carefully + 1 hour 15 minutes assembling the entire cake on site (doweling the cake and stacking the layers + putting on decorations and doing touch-ups with the frosting)
Breakdown for cake 2 (three tiers of almond pound cake with blood orange curd filling and swiss meringue buttercream frosting, to serve 140 people):
Shopping for ingredients: 2-3 hours–this was more difficult because the ingredients were all over the place at different stores. I got the 8 lbs of butter, 60 eggs, and 5 lbs of sugar (I know, I know–this is completely horrifying) at BJ’s and had to drive all over MA to find the other ingredients (almond paste, blood oranges)
Baking layers and making 2 gallons of buttercream and 1 gallon of blood orange curd: 16 hours (13 hours on day, 3 hours the next)
Packing up layers and frostings/fillings for transport (from Massachusetts to Washington DC): 1 hour
Frosting, filling, doweling, stacking, and touching up cake on site: 4 hours on the day of the wedding–and the cake was not really even that fancy lookin’
These breakdowns don’t include the time that went into figuring out the logistics of everything too!
I just decided that I did not want to spend even close to 4 hours on the day of the wedding assembling a wedding cake. The issue is not your baking skills–if you can make a birthday cake, you can make a wedding cake if you read up on it and follow the directions–but it really is just a time issue. I would definitely make a cake for a dear friend’s wedding again in a heartbeat, but would never have made it for my own. If you do decide to do it please feel free to message me if you want any recipes or a breakdown of how we transported things or anything like that.