So I made my first, and likely last, wedding cake for my niece, Keegan's wedding. There was a fair amount of angst, practice, thinking and trial and error that went into the whole process. At the end of the day it was scaled way back. It turned out to be close to the right amount. The top cake was saved for the bride and groom to enjoy on their first anniversary. The 12" round, 8"thick bottom layer was used to serve the about 50 guests present. We cut and served the outer round of the cake. The inner core went home with the grooms family.
Some of the things I learned:
1. It's difficult to manhandle layers that big by yourself without breaking them.
2.It would be prettier and nicer to split the layers and fill them, but see one above.
3. I've noticed that a lot of wedding cakes aren't even cut and served to the guests anymore at weddings. A lot of time they serve cupcakes, cookies or some other sweet. This one was cut and served.
4. You need either a huge empty refrigerator/freezer to make and store a big wedding cake or have access to one (thank goodness I could use those at the church).
5. I probably put too much filling in this cake. I noticed that after the top layer sat on the filled bottom layer for a couple of days and then was put out for the wedding, you could see a band that "pouched" out where the weight of the top layer had pushed it.
6. It takes all day to make and frost a "simple" wedding cake.
7. I did learn a technique to make the outside look like a log, but I am glad I had a couple of opportunities to practice before I did it for her cake.
8. She vetoed several things that I thought would have looked nice on the cake, but at the end of the day, I think the cake looked simple and elegant and she loved it.
9. Don't do this again.