So, the big day is approaching and you've decided to tackle your own wedding cake for a truly DIY experience. If you're a pastry chef, then you're probably going to be OK. If you aren't, that doesn't mean that you can't still pull it off in grand fashion. There are just a few things to keep in mind. First, you should definitely try a test run a few weeks before your wedding day. Don't wait until a few days before, because there are going to be too many things on your list as the big day approaches. Of course, there's no guarantee that the dry run means a 100 percent success rate on the wedding day, but it will definitely help. For this reason, the second bit of advice is to have a backup plan in place. Check with a local baker about their timeframe and have a worst-case-scenario plan at the ready. You may not be able to get the fanciest cake last minute, but at least you'll have something.
Next, you need to pick out a recipe that's within your skill range. Fondant is beautiful, but unless you've successfully worked with it before, you may want to stick to a more basic recipe. This means you probably shouldn't try to tackle a four-tier cake that looks like it rolled out of the royal wedding. Be honest with yourself about your skills and go for a recipe that's doable but can still impress your guests. Remember, the goal is something that looks nice and tastes great. You don't have to knock everyone's socks off with a complex design.
Finally, if you have time, take a pastry or cake decorating class beforehand as well. Even if you're a fairly experienced baker, you could learn a lot of tricks of the trade from a professional. If you don't have time for a class, get on the Internet and peruse the scores of Web sites and video tutorials that could help you along the way. There are plenty of articles about DIY cake making, and you might find a recipe, as well as tips and inspiration. It also doesn't hurt to get some help from friends or family that have more experience than you do. In the end, it can be a lot of fun baking and decorating your own wedding cake, so we say, go ahead and give it a shot.