The cake is an interplay between architecture and aesthetics. I didn't want everything to collapse in on itself so I was sure to use cake rounds for each tier and a good amount of straws as columns of support.
My cake was 14, 10, 6. I had an overhang of 2 inches per tier. For effect, I have shown size the cake compared to a moleskin.
I used regular straws because they are very sturdy. While purveying the maid of honor offered us some free straws... but they were leftover form the bachelorette party. Suffice it to say they were more than just a little festive...phalluses. We gracefully declined.
I used 8+4+1 straws for the 14 inch tier as shown below. 8 in a 9" circle, 4 in a diamond, and one at the center. I set the 10"cake upon these tiers. To ensure that everything is level, I literally used a carpenter's level. Where there was a tilt, I adjusted the height of the straws.
For the 10 inch, we just used 4+1 straws. We used flaked coconut to line the point of contact between the tiers. This prevented the tiers from sticking. Later when cutting the cake the frosting will not stick the bottom of the next layer.
Stacked with care.
The cake was going to be classic and simple. I, myself, wanted to decorate it with marzipan sculptures of flea market finds such as fabrige eggs, scones, roosters, and keys. In the end I lost this battle to a simple arrangement of ginormous fresh orchids my homemade marshmallows.
Ariana had an eye for taste so she decorated the cake by cascading group of mallows down the cake and then piercing them with orchids.
Holy crap I'm almost done!
Once we put on the last orchids, there was not much to do but talk to the caterers about cake size, number of straws etc. We stored our cake at room temp because it was winter and there was no fear of melting.
With only two hours until the wedding started we finished the cake. We ran walked home, tools in hand, and showered and changed. The rest of the night was a blur. Me, my friends, scotch, dirty martinis, endless declarations of how I love jews, posing with the cake, dancing, stumbling home exhausted.
The next morning I woke up feeling a little without. No cake mission. Just this: