I find making sugar flowers calming, there's simething quite zen about the repetetive task of making petals, and it gives a great sense of achievment, but it does take some time. If making your own flowers it's best to start early. The cake I made uses my friend's favourite flowers, poppies, made from sugar, and making 12 of these took me a good couple of days. The method for the poppies can be used for other open petalled flowers, such as open roses and anemones.
Next work out how you will dry the flowers. The flowerpaste will take a few hours to dry out enough to not lose it's shape (longer if the room is humid). It is often best to dry flowers hanging upside down so the petals fall nicely, though this does depend on the type of flower. To do this bend the end of the wire a little and hang them off whatever you have handy. The could be a rail, jewellery stand, tacked up piece of string or my latest discovery, a martini glass.
Royal icing is made with sugar and egg white or meringue powder. It hardens to a firm finish that can be piped or thinned for "flood work". It hardens fast and is ideal for making detailed shapes ahead of time. It can also be piped directly onto cake tiers and works beautifully for delicate work. a few things to consider when working with royal icing: You must use grease free utensils. Humidity also affects the consistency of royal icing. a well known British cake decorator uses royal icing as a medium, Joseph Lambeth developed a style by creating layered scrolls with Royal Icing.
This is a great white wedding cake for those of you who like it plain. When I was a child, one of my neighbors who was elderly made a lot of wedding cakes for family and other people, and she took great pride in her work. She used fancy staircases you get in cake decorating stores, and even crocheted certain decorations. All is in your imagination. No professional baker did what she did. Be creative.
For this particular cake, both the flowers and the cake can be mad quite far in advanc, which removes a lot of stress from the weddng week itself. Like all traditional fruit cakes the cake is made in advanced and soaked in small amounts of liquor ( I used brandy) over a few weeks or months. This will be familiar to anyone who has made a christmas cake.
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.