Wow, do I wish I had a completed cake picture to show y'all! Somehow none of us managed to take a picture of the finished cakes, so it'll be a few weeks before I can show you guys the professional pics. I sure can tell you about the process, though;)
First of all, if you ever take it into your head to make a wedding cake for a friend or family member: 1. Make sure they are someone you love dearly, and 2. Have your head examined by a professional. Otherwise, you will not survive the process. All in all, it took around 24 hours to produce this masterpiece of crazy.
I was very, very lucky that a friend, J, who used to decorate cakes for a catering company she worked for, offered to help me on Thursday. I'm convinced that this is why the cake was finished by Friday. But, I get ahead of myself. We have to start with Wednesday.
Wednesday was Baking Day. I had one pan of each size I needed: 6", 10", and 14". I also, I discovered, was lacking certain supplies. I made the first two batches of devils food cake so I could bake the 14" layer; each of the two batches was a double recipe, so there was a lot of batter. I did batches simply because I knew I couldn't bake everything at once, and tripling a single batch would produce too much batter to fit in a mixing bowl.
Then, I made two batches of spice cake for the middle tier while the first 14" round was baking. I then had to repeat the baking when I took the first batches out of the oven so I could bake the second batch of each. This was when I realized I didn't have enough butter, eggs, or cream to make the top devil's food tier, the ganache, or the buttercream. So, being broke, I had to wait for my sister to get off work and come home with what I needed. then, it was back to baking.
Then, it was the ganache that wouldn't set. I had decided in my infinite wisdom to torte the devil's food cake with peppermint chocolate ganache, but this frigging recipe refused to set in the fridge. After three hours, at around midnight, I was torting and crumb-coating the bottom and top tiers with liquid ganache and chocolate buttercream (thankfully not liquid). I was beat. And, I had a full day ahead of me on Thursday.
Thursday was Decorating Day. J arrived early and we started kneading fondant. it didn't take long to realize that 8lbs would not be enough for all three tiers, so we ran back to Michaels, stupidly bought black fondant accidentally, and had to return again when it was discovered. D'oh. Luckily, the actual fondanting process went, for lack of a better word, pretty smoothly. The cakes went back in the fridge, and we started working on the gumpaste flowers.
J cut them and started to shape them, and I hand-painted them and stuck them on wires. Then, I pulled the tiers out of the fridge one by one and started to hand-paint the birch-effect on each tier before adding the flowers (I'm glad the gumpaste we used dried so quickly!)
This is, unfortunately, the best picture I have of any of the completed cakes. This is the large 14" tier in my fridge; you can see the flowers and the hand-painting on it. It was all finished around 6pm, J went home, and I collapsed on the floor, exhausted.
The cakes really did turn out beautifully, and given how many things could have gone wrong, it was surprisingly and blessedly hitch-free. Given the chance to do it again, and given enough lapsed time for me to forget all the work required, I would probably do this again;)
Now for some assorted candids from Friday and Saturday:
It was cold and snowy when we transported everything to the venue Friday. Here are some of the centerpieces in the parking lot behind the Bistro.
The wedding party was a little unorthodox: A had a Best Woman on his side, and Tabitha had a Maid of Honor and Matriarch of Honor, our best friend B. that's A's Woman of Honor posing for the photographers with her brooch bouquet.
Oh, those centerpieces;)
Our friend and day-of coordinator K, setting up the escort card table.
Tabitha, looking pretty as she gets her hair and makeup done.
Tabitha's fabulous shoes;)
The venue before it was filled with people.
We're all ready to head over to the venue from the hotel . . .
I think that's it for now on the wedding;) When the professional pics come back, I'll post those too . . .