Cake Decorating truly is a process. You can't just wake up the morning the cake is due and begin. It takes time! You spend a good amount of time designing what the cake will look like and figuring out every single thing you are going to need (and then you actually go purchase those things) from the boards to supports to ingredients. There is a lot more math involved in baking a large cake than you might think... you have to calculate EXACTLY how many boxes of cake each pan will need and figure out how to bake them the in such a way that all the batter gets used. If the 12" cake needs 3.6 cake mixes, you just hope the 6" only needs .4 of a cake mix and you actually get the make the same kind of cake for both layers! Then I also have to figure the right proportions for all the other "extra's" I throw in. It's fun though, thankfully I have always liked math ;-) Yes I do use boxed cake for a majority of my cakes- but trust me, my cakes don't taste like boxed cake when I'm through.
You also really have to schedule your time well. For this cake, I had to make a lot of fondant flowers that had to harden so I had to make sure I started a couple days before the wedding so they would completely set up and to make sure I made enough (I overshot a bit and made a little too many but better to have extra than not enough!)
The two different flavors I got to make for this cake were Strawberry Supreme and Vanilla Chai. The Chai was fun to do and a little intimidating at the same time because I could not find a recipe for this cake ANYWHERE that actually created a cake of wedding cake consistency. All the recipes I saw were like coffee cakes. So I had to experiment and create my own. Jen's favorite chai mix is David Rio so I made sure to add a lot! I really wanted it to have that distinct flavor.
For the Strawberry cake I used fresh strawberry's in the cake and then I had a strawberry filling and I added fresh strawberry's to that too!
I had to bring the cake to the reception in two separate pieces, the top two tiers and the bottom two tiers and assemble the cake there. I also had to put the flowers and branch on there as well. This was the first wedding cake I had ever done all by myself so I was a little nervous. This is the final result! As always, you are your worst critic and I always think of other things I could have done after the fact, and I kinda wish I had someone there to give some advice, you know, add a flower there, you should make another small branch, whatever. But it's ok. The Bride and Groom seemed to like it and everyone seemed to like the flavors, so that always makes a decorator happy!