Instead of posting a finished cake, I thought I'd try photographing the process. I see from these photos that I should have taken a few more as I was doing it, but I was so in the moment that I forgot. At any rate, here is what a wedding cake looks like at the start. This is a 10-inch cake that is actually one and a half cakes iced together to make 3 layers.
Then you ice the outside of it.
The top of the wedding cake was an 8-inch round cake, cut into three layers and iced.
Before placing the smaller cake onto the bottom cake, I inserted 8 lollipop sticks into the bottom cake to support the weight of the top cake.
Shells were piped around the edges of the cakes. I also placed the bride and groom to see how much room there'd be for roses...and generally how the cake was going to look.
I had piped red roses out of buttercream. These were to match the bride's red dress -- and apparently they matched perfectly! I froze them to make them easy to handle, and then placed them around the perimeter of the cake.
I piped some small, green leaves around the roses and voilà! The cake is done.