1. When modifying a recipe, and it turns out awesome, WRITE IT DOWN, so you don't have to create said awesomeness twice. Golly!
2. When traveling with butter cream in pastry bags, keep it at room temperature. I put mine in a cooler. DUMB. When I got to the reception hall, my beautiful, smooth icing was a hard lump in a plastic bag. I was filled with panic, massaging the icing bags to warm them up. (Didn't help that there was a former professional cake maker hovering over me as I tried to look like I was in complete control.)
3. On a related note - do not use disposable pastry bags with real butter cream. Real icing demands real tools. Nothing so confidence inspiring as your pastry bag popping as you try to pipe a straight line.
4. Buy a refrigerated van. My friend Christy and I just about froze to death on the hour long drive to the wedding location. We had the air on full blast to keep all parts of the cake cool on the drive.
5. Warn, warn and triple warn brides and wedding planners: Real butter cream MUST stay relatively cool. A hot reception = a hot cake = a melted cake = tears and possible cursing = someone is mad at the cake maker who warned everyone not to let the cake get too hot.
6. Measure everything nine times. My tall tier was not centered. I did not like that.
7. Stop using plastic seperator plates, woman-up, and learn to stack a cake with the ginormous sharpened dowel.
8. And use more dowels.
9. And bring scissors, a knife, a plastic drop cloth to protect the serving table from butter cream...and if at all possible a very understanding friend or sister-in-law (or both) to keep you calm.
10. Make more cake...learn more...do more...enjoy it all!!!!
11. Yes, because we all know things are better when they go to 11...PRAYING REALLY HELPS.
Apparently the reception hall got rather warm and the big, beautiful, bridal cake started to lean precariously. Yikes! I was mortified until I was reassured by multiple eye-witness sources that it was all okay.
And I think this last comment from the bride says it all:
"Amy, our cake was FANTASTIC!!!!! So gorgeous, and amazingly tasty :D Thanks again!!!!!"