Of course, there's no prescribed or exact timeline because everyone's engagements are different lengths—and you can successfully plan a wedding in as little as a few months if that's what you want to do. But we're here to give you a little snapshot of all your wedding to-dos to steer you in the right direction (especially if your engagement length fits the bill as "average," which is a little over a year).
Buttercream or fondant? Buttercream is often much more scrumptious. But if you love the graceful, nearly surreal-like look of fondant, think about frosting the cake in buttercream first and then including a layer of fondant over the complete confection. Whatever kind of icing you select, stick to colors your guests will want to eat. In case your wedding hues are blue and inexperienced, go for a white cake with delicate green-frosted accents.
In terms of ornament, adornment costs run the gamut. Probably the most inexpensive option is fresh fruits or flowers that, in some cases, could be applied by your florist for a minimal fee. On the high finish are delicate gum-paste or sugar-paste flowers, that are constructed by hand, one petal at a time. However this is the bottom line: All add-ons—together with marzipan fruits, chocolate-molded flowers and lace factors—will raise the speed. (For the record, we expect it’s price the cost.)
Will a faux cake or a faux tier save you money on your wedding cake? I’m sorry to say, but the answer is no. It seems like having a chunk of Styrofoam vs. a piece of delicious cake should cost less. I know logically, it sounds like it should. So in an effort to dispel that myth, I will explain why it’s not the case. A faux tier, or cake dummy, as we call them, costs about the same it does to bake the actual cake. So, no cost savings there. Second, I personally find cake dummies more difficult to work with then real cake, so I’m my opinion, it actually takes longer to decorate them then it does real cake. So the time that it typically takes to decorate can actually be longer, which means, you guessed it, no cost savings there either!
Considering I've made quite a few wedding cakes, my procrastination on putting together this instructable is slightly shameful. Making a wedding cake is fun, boring, painful, exciting, tiring and something that will fill you with pride, whether it's for yourself or a friend. There's little better than watchign people enjoy something you've created.
You should use a recipe specifically designed to be a wedding cake as it will ensure that it is sturdy enough and that it makes the right amount of batter and icing. For a three-tier cake, you need to make three cakes of 12", 9" and 6", as well as a massive amount of icing. Most three-tier cake recipes have a step-by-step schedule for when you will need to bake and assemble each part.