I was lucky enough to be asked by my brother last winter to make his wedding cake, and he was lucky enough that it turned out well. I live a mere 950 miles away from his home in Atlanta, so it was my first time taking my baking on the road.
To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure it was all going to go as smoothly as it did, but don't tell my brother that. Or his wife.
I packed up my baking pans and piping bags in my suitcase, and sent my brother a big grocery shopping list ahead of time, which he was gracious enough to fulfill before I got there since I only had a couple of days to pull this off. He even bought a new KitchenAid stand mixer, which I have a feeling might have been returned to the store not long after the wedding.
Their two big dogs and our two little girls (ages 3 and 18 months at the time) were not instant BFFs, to say the least. So with all the distractions of little kids being scared of big dogs, the hazards of an unfamiliar kitchen, and an audience to boot,
I baked, torted and crumb-coated the nine cake layers in their little condo apartment kitchen in the two days ahead of the wedding. On the morning of the wedding, we drove the three tiers separately in our rented SUV to the wedding venue, just 5 minutes away.
As an aside, I'm not sure I ever thanked my awesome husband, who looked after the girls for essentially the entire time we were in Atlanta. I think he held 18-month-old Clara for 8 hours straight one day because she was so terrified of the dogs, while simultaneously jockeying with 3-year-old Stacey who was similarly scared out of her wits. We should probably get a dog one of these days to force these fears into submission.
Anyway, I had made a few batches of buttercream at their condo to decorate the cake with and brought them with me in big Rubbermaid containers, along with my piping bags and a whole mess of paper towels since I wasn't sure what the kitchen situation would be like on site.
I didn't take any pictures of the cake in process, unfortunately. In retrospect it would have been cool to re-live it being put together. But I do remember that it was surprisingly easy to stack and decorate the cake at the reception venue. It was a very casual reception, so there were no wedding planners or staff milling about, which took off the pressure of having to look like a professional of any sort. Not that I could have done that anyway. And to further simplify things, I had worked with my brother and his wife to choose an impressive-looking yet uncomplicated buttercream design. (Insert yet another shout-out to I Am Baker's rose cake.)
In the end, I was very proud of that cake, and so happy to be a small part of my only brother's and my new sister's big day. As affirmation, my brother (who typically reserves any sort of compliment or nicety for people OTHER than his little sister) actually said to me, "The cake looks great".
I couldn't have asked for higher praise from the guy I looked up to (and butted heads with) for all of my young life.
Very soon, my husband, my baking pans and I will be hopping on a jet plane and heading to California. My cousin and his fiancée are entrusting me with the privilege of making their wedding cake, and I am super excited to give the gift of cake to these two amazing people. Amazing as in biked-across-the-entire-continent-of-North-America amazing. These two started in Boston, took a "little" detour up to the Greater Toronto Area just to see us (and some other friends, but selfishly I'm not really counting them) and then proceeded to RIDE THEIR BICYCLES ACROSS THE ENTIRE U S of A, all the way to Baker Beach in San Francisco. There is nothing these two can't do.
May I be among the first to congratulate you, Sean and Megan. I'm so happy for you both and can't wait to celebrate with you!
At the risk of jinxing myself, I hope to report back soon that the cake went off without a hitch.