Natasha Thomas


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Wedding cake set up advice (eek!)

Hi everyone

I have my very first wedding cake order coming up in the next few weeks and I’m hoping to get some advice on setting up at the venue. The cake will be a three-tier rustic-style buttercreamed cake (not nerve-wracking at all for a first timer!). I think I’ll have to take the tiers separately and set up on site (too nervous to travel for an hour with it stacked), but I’m wondering how far in advance of the reception it would be normal to do this. I’ll chat to the venue too, but I wondered what most cake makers tend to do. I suppose I’m slightly concerned about a buttercream cake being left out for a quite a while too (not in terms of the buttercream, just because it seems a bit unhygienic to have it sitting around uncovered) – is that normal? The wedding itself is at 3.00pm. Thank you SO much in advance for any advice. By the way, any tips on stacking a buttercream cake on site without totally ruining it (with massively shaking hands I imagine) very welcome :).

Tash, Go Go Sugar xx

-- Go Go Sugar (www.facebook.com/thegogosugarco)

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Sharon

From looking at your facebook page you do very nice work and it looks like you’ve stacked some cakes. I deliver stacked even if an hour away. I make the cake the day before and place in fridge which keeps the buttercream real firm for delivery. I about two hours before the start of reception to give it time to come to room temp. But, if you’re not comfortable with that, then give the venue a call and ask them what is the earliest time you can get in to set the cake up. Allow yourself a good amount of time so you’re not rushed. You’ve got this!!!

June ("Clarky's Cakes")

Natasha.
In my experience you have to #1 check with whose in charge of the event at the venue. I use to call about 2 wks ahead and speak to them. Explain I’m the “cake lady” and to find out when I could come set up….sometimes there’s a certain window of time they’ve set aside for people like us to come in and do our thing. I always got there name, and they got mine. You don’t want to show up with your cake and the doors are locked!! I have set up a hour before the dinner and as early as 10 am day of. Stacked, not stacked that’s your choice. I’ve done both. If your cake is well doweled and boxed…it can be stacked. I always put grippy rubber under my cake board in the box. Then more grippy rubber in the trunk bottom, then the box on top. The box won’t move anywhere with that rubber underneath. The few times I didn’t stack, I found the venue had stairs, no elevator. Wasn’t carrying a 3 tier stacked cake up 2 floors!! I also always brought my handy decorator kit with me. In it bc icing in bags, with a freezer pack, piping tips, paper towels, palette knife …you know whatever you think you’ll need. Agreed as Sharon said, leave yourself enough time to set up, no rushing. Most venues, if warm weather, have AC, so your bc cake will be fine. In the fall/winter, it’s usually not a problem. Another hint….take a picture after setting up your cake. Hope your camera has time stamp. Of course for yourself to have, but most importantly, if for whatever reason your cake is damaged, by staff, whomever, you have proof of exactly how you left the cake. That you didn’t “screw up”. Could save your bacon!!
Hope this has been helpful.

Natasha Thomas

Thank you both so much for taking the time to reply – I really appreciate it, that’s very helpful. xx

Sharon

High five jchuck on mentioning taking a photo. I always do as well!

Nijo

The taking picture advise is super. Comes from experience I am sure

June ("Clarky's Cakes")

Actually, Nijo. Fortunately, I never have had a cake-tastrophy. This advice came from a very wise & experienced cake decorator…..

Nijo

Oh that’s very nice… No one wants to be in such a sticky situation.

Sharon

Love that word cake-tastrophy, jchuck!! LOL! I’ve never had one either. I started taking pictures many years ago when wedding cakes were done with those high pillars. The higher the better, back in the day! When you left the cake and there were people setting up in the room….the dj’s or band etc….I just felt more comfortable with proof that the cake was standing when I left it. Last weekend I delivered a cake to an outdoor park venue without a soul in sight. I sure hope a raccoon didn’t have a feast!!

June ("Clarky's Cakes")

Ha Ha….you needed to plant a hidden camera at the park to see if the squirrels or raccoons had a picnic with your cake!!!!

Sharon

LOL!! I probably would have heard by now if there was a cake-tastrophy!

Sally Jane Cake Design

Have you seen the new tiered cake stacker? May be worth purchasing to ease your worries on travelling with a stacked cake?x

Mandy

Totally agree with all of the above. Most importantly don’t forget your repair kit, and if you do need to touch up on site, don’t get flustered. If you accidently knocked or marked it in the kitchen, you would handle it no problem, so if it does happen in transit, just treat it the same. I would also say the rubber grippy stuff is invaluable. I don’t deliver without it. Make sure you allow for any roadworks or accidents that can stop the traffic, and make things a bit slow. It is better to get there earlier and be all set up. than to have to rush around at the last minute.
The only other thing I can say, is something I have been thinking about doing, is to have a sign in the back window of your car (a bit like the baby on board ones) saying that you have a cake on board. This way when you crawl around roundabouts or take turnings slowly, anyone behind you can see why and hopefully won’t stress you out. Good luck.

Natasha Thomas

Thanks again everyone – I love the idea of popping a sign in the car to warn other drivers :) Will definitely do that I think! xxx

Am still torn about whether to stack or not to stack…..yikes…..I think I’m leaning towards stacked. I’ll try and be brave :)

June ("Clarky's Cakes")

Stacking depends on how far you have to drive ….condition of the roads etc…..only you can determine that Natasha. Best of luck….and let us know how you got on…..

Sharon

Natasha; do what you feel comfortable doing. As you become more familiar with delivering cakes, you’ll know just what you need to do. Err on the side of caution until then. In the past I’ve use a sign that said CAUTION Wedding Cake In Tow by Camerons Bakery! A little bit of advertisement goes a long way…..LOL! I need to have a new one made as I can’t find mine….. It was a magnetic sign I had printed at vistaprint.com.