Decorating call for help for a wedding cake

Discussion in 'Decorating' started by H.C. Heartland, May 15, 2014.

  1. H.C. Heartland

    H.C. Heartland Well-Known Member

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    I have just been asked to bake and possibly decorate a wedding cake for 100 people. I have honestly said to the person that I think I can bake the cake but am not sure I can properly decorate it. Does anyone have any advice on how to go about it? Would I need to decorate it the day before and then keep it in the refrigerator? Or would it be acceptable to decorate at the facility where the reception will be while the wedding is going on? Any other advice would be appreciated. I think I'm panicking and the wedding is not until December.
     
    H.C. Heartland, May 15, 2014
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  2. H.C. Heartland

    JGPangi Well-Known Member

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    First, take a deep breath. You have until December! You've got all the time in the world. I love weddings and cakes though :)

    That's a pretty tall order, a cake for 100 people. Maybe 3 tiers or more, which you then have to bring to the reception, so the first question would be: do they have a place for you to assemble the cake in AND will it be available during that time? I imagine the caterers are going to use that are too, and I've seen the chaos that goes behind that curtain. Wowza.

    Second question is: how are you transporting it and who is going to help you do it? If you're doing it by yourself, it's best to have everything as simple as possible so that you can bring it in and set it up with little fuss.

    Thirdly: Bride's input. Does she have any particular design in mind or flavor or frosting? That may complicate things, but it's her day and she should have a say. Because, you know, by far the easiest cake to make in terms of time constraint is a fruitcake. You could bake that right now and it would be awesome on the wedding day (and it's traditional!), but I don't know a lot of people who would pick fruitcake as their first choice. Ditto for marzipan and fondant, which is what you would usually cover the cake with to make decorating easier. Also, ask if there are guest allergies or food preferences that you have to keep in mind while you bake your cake.

    Once you know her preferences color-wise, you can make gumpaste flowers, which will keep from now until the wedding as long as you keep them in a cool, dry place where the ants won't get to them.

    I hope I've helped a little bit. If this is your first time making such a big cake, then it's a pretty memorable occasion for you too. They wouldn't have asked you to do it if they didn't know you could, so chin up!
     
    JGPangi, May 18, 2014
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  3. H.C. Heartland

    H.C. Heartland Well-Known Member

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    Yes, this is my first time and as you can see I am very nervous but excited at the same time. You are right I have until December so I need to take a deep breathe and try to stay calm. (I have written my reply to your questions within your comment - please see the italics and bolded words for my answer.)
     
    H.C. Heartland, May 18, 2014
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  4. H.C. Heartland

    JGPangi Well-Known Member

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    Your reaction to the bride part was my first laugh of the day:D Thanks for that.

    The 'no refrigeration' part of the facility does make it a little more difficult. But of course, we'll have to confirm the reception area first. After that, you can ask around, scout for friends or relatives who live nearer to the reception and ask if you can borrow their kitchen for the morning for storage and assembly. That's just one idea for ease of transport, if the bride doesn't go the fruitcake and marzipan route.

    Or, you can go fruitcake and marzipan for the guests (the extra big cake is a good idea, ooo rum raisin frosting) and then a small tiered cake (of the bride's choice) for the head table.

    Can you tell I really wanted to be a wedding planner?
     
    JGPangi, May 19, 2014
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  5. H.C. Heartland

    H.C. Heartland Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad to have brought a laugh. I am sure there will be plenty more where that came from. I have to make sure and keep my composure in front of the pride so she does not get uneasy and take away my new job. :) You have some really great ideas so I'm glad your on board for helping me to plan it. The groom said in a couple months she is going to come into town and then we can discuss things in more detail. So I will try and be patient. I'm assuming if I end up doing anything where I have to soak rum and raisins, that 3 months before hand should be plenty of time. Or do you think I should begin making it now just in case? It would be a lot to make if I do not know for sure what flavor she wants. But 'rhum arrange' is a specialty of mine, and so I was thinking I could always use it for liquor afterwards if it doesn't end up working out.

    You would have made a great wedding planner! Maybe you should start doing something like that online.
     
    H.C. Heartland, May 19, 2014
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  6. H.C. Heartland

    JGPangi Well-Known Member

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    Oh how I want to, how I really, really want to. Now that I'm grown up, I get that it's hard work but when I was younger, planning a wedding just seemed so magical. It's still on my to-do list though :)

    I had to look up 'rhum arrange' and I still can't find a good enough description. Would that be like making mulled cider? If it is, then you go right ahead and make it! There's always a use for that.

    I don't know about other people, but the kind of bride I was a couple of months ago can be best described as 'indifferent'. I couldn't care less about the attendees, the dress, the theme. All I wanted was to get married and, since we were very pressed for time, I didn't want to stress over countless details (hence the need for a wedding planner) or go over budget (hence not having a wedding planner). My friends were a great help during this time, throwing ideas my way until a few stuck.

    In a few months, your bride may be a little frazzled too. If the groom knows the theme (and he should, or so help him), you can get started with planning a few choices for her. You've definitely got more specialties up your sleeve, so you're better off showcasing your talents. That way, when you meet up with her, you've got samples which A) make you look professional; B) takes away her stress by giving her options that you know you're good at and; C) gets some yummy deliciousness in her that will calm her down. A happy bride is always a good thing :)
     
    JGPangi, May 20, 2014
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  7. H.C. Heartland

    H.C. Heartland Well-Known Member

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    Here is a link for a recipe for Rhum Arrange: http://www.dimasharif.com/2013/05/rhum-arrange-infused-rum-as-done-in.html It is infused Rum (or sugar cane liquor). If you prefer a schnapps taste, then you put less sugar. My husband likes liquor's, so I use a 1/3 ratio: 1/3 fruit, 1/3 rum, and then 1/3 sugar syrup (I make my own). Some are under the opinion that after 10 days, the fruit has infused. Others say it takes up to 3 months before it is ready to drink. I am not sure which I prefer, but they are ready to drink after 10 days but seem to improve after a couple months. Some things like vanilla pods can be re-used. Some keep the fruit in there, while others extract it. That is why I think that might be a good way to make my dried fruit for the cake before hand. We spoke with the groom today and he was thrilled with the idea but I strongly encouraged him to check with the bride. He has found the facility though and there is no refrigeration. If you were a bride a couple months ago then congrats are in order: Congratulations! Did you have a cake? If so, what flavor was it? Did you order it or did a friend make it? If you don't mind me asking. I am going to ask the groom the theme the next time we see him, which should be this weekend. That will determine the color of the cake decorations. We did discuss the two large sheets, then a tiered one for them, then he would like a two small rounds to say thank you to both parents. My husband also suggested one small round for 'tasting' to make sure it is good. Convenient. ;-)
     
    H.C. Heartland, May 20, 2014
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  8. H.C. Heartland

    JGPangi Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like so much awesomeness. It makes me want to find the local equivalent of rum so I can test it out. Pineapple and oranges, yum! And guava... That would be interesting, I've never seen guava-infused liquor here before.

    Thank you very much for the well wishes. We did have a chocolate cake for the reception, but it was store bought. Sounds like a huge crime I know, but our commercial bakeries here in the Philippines churn out cakes that are near identical to homemade. Not many people bake here since everything is so expensive, and buying a cake is considered a lot cheaper and way less hassle.

    Sounds like you've got things well in hand. Have you decided on decorations yet? If you decide to use gumpaste flowers, will you be making them yourself?
     
    JGPangi, May 21, 2014
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