How To Safely Transport a Tiered Wedding Cake

Planning questions to ask in advance

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Ask the bakery… 

 

Ask the venue…

 

If a friend/family member is transporting the cake, ask them…

Get the exact dimensions of the cake from your baker in advance of transporting

You’ll need this for two reasons: to make sure the car you’re driving has enough space to transport the cake, and also, to share this info with the wedding venue to make sure they have sufficient space to refrigerate the cake before the reception.

Most wedding venues have a refrigerator large enough to store a wedding cake, but some venues may not be used to hosting weddings and may be caught off guard by this detail. That’s why having the dimensions will prove helpful because you can coordinate a plan of attack with the wedding venue as far in advance as possible. For example, if the venue doesn’t have a refrigerator large enough to store the fully assembled, tiered cake, it may be possible to transport the separate tiers to the venue, store it in a smaller space, and then assemble the cake closer to the time of the wedding.

Think inside the box

The box that the baker places the cake into for transport really can set you up for success or failure during transportation. For many bakeries, this isn’t their first rodeo: they have thick, corrugated boxes that are sturdy and can easily support the weight of the cake. 

But one underrated hack for transporting the cake in a box: adding a nonslip material to the inside of the bottom of the box, underneath the cake. This could be as simple as a towel or other padding – just enough to provide some extra cushion and friction.

Cake emergency kit

No, we’re not talking about that cake emergency we all feel at 11pm when we’re staring into our refrigerator looking for a snack. Let’s be honest – that’s a real emergency too. But we’re talking about the unthinkable accidents during or after transportation of the wedding cake (gasp). A professional bakery may offer a cake repair kit to handle emergencies during or after transportation, like a shifted tier, a crack in the icing, or a smear in the design due to contact between the cake and the box. A cake repair kit can help you deal with these issues. 

That kit will typically include extra icing in the same style and color as the cake’s exterior, piping bags, gloves, a spatula knife, and more. Depending on the level of detail that kit may also include smaller adjustment tools like tweezers, toothpicks, and paint brushes to handle those finer touch ups and re-stabilization. This kit can serve as a great insurance policy to make sure that everything looks perfect from transportation to presentation!

Photographers these days are amazing and their cameras catch incredible detail. In fact many photographers get detailed shots of the cake during their process to make sure everything is remembered forever. That’s why you’re going to want to make sure all those little details are covered. We’re not trying to scare you – we want you to be fully prepared!

4 tips for inside the car

  • Keep the AC running! Cold icing is your best friend, so if a friend or family member is driving the cake, be sure to ask them how strong their AC is!
  • Consider driving in a team of 2 – with one person sitting near the cake for extra stability
  • Don’t place the cake on a seat – opt for stabilization on the car’s floor. The car seat presents too many challenges: not enough width to support the whole base, uneven seat angle, and higher up off the floor means higher up the car’s rotational axis which could lead to more shift in the cake’s tiers. That’s right – there are physics to consider here!
  • Keep the sunroof closed – letting in extra sunlight could bring unnecessary heat into the car

 

Timing is everything at the venue

These are the factors that most impact timing for your wedding cake’s transition from a baker’s ovens to your guest’s taste buds:

  • Distance between your bakery and the wedding venue – many couples choose a destination wedding or are willing to trek further out of town to get that perfect location. The further away the bakery is from the wedding venue, the more important
  • Cold buttercream is key – almost every wedding cake has buttercream as an ingredient, and bakers recommend refrigeration of this until about 3 hours before serving. In fact, the longer that you chill a cake before transporting, the more the buttercream becomes like a protective shell that holds the tiers together, preventing them from sliding slightly during transport. So if you know that the transportation process is going to be a long one, you may want to ask for longer refrigeration from the bakery before you pick up.

 

When in doubt, ask your bakery what the cost is for them to transport the cake for you

Usually a bakery will charge a premium to transport a wedding cake for you, but based on the logistics of your big day it may end up being the best option. If they offer delivery, this could be a nice comfort to have in the back of your mind for multiple reasons: they’ve done this before, and they assume all the liability. 

Let’s start with the fact that they’ve done this before: they likely have a cake repair kit on hand so that on arrival, they can cover any small imperfections that may have appeared in the icing during transportation. Also if they offer delivery they likely have a catering van or larger vehicle that could end up being ideal in size for safe transportation.

Also, think about the liability: if your mom or friend is transporting the cake, any mistake made during drive time is all on them. But if the bakery is handling delivery, mistakes are covered and typically the bakery is better suited to solve problems for you as they might arise. 

For more top tips on how to handle cake transportation, reach out to our team today! We offer full and partial wedding planning services to meet any of your needs, and our whole goal is to reduce your stress leading up to the big day and nail the details so you can cherish the big picture. Work with Eventfully Designed today!

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