Shipping a cake? Suggestions, please!!

I’m planning a destination wedding in a few months, and I’ve got a bit of a problem about the cake. My grandmother used to make wedding cakes pretty regularly, and she’s damn good at it. Her cakes are moist, delicious, and absolutely beautiful, and I’ve always wanted her to make mine. The trouble is, I don’t know how we could get the thing from Kentucky to New Orleans without it getting destroyed.
If anyone was driving down, it wouldn’t be a problem–you just pack it very carefully and tightly into a box and make sure you don’t slam on the brakes. However, everyone is flying down rather than making a ten or twelve hour drive. Personally, I don’t see any way in hell she’d a cake onto a plane with her, especially with current security measures.
I was wondering if she could make it, freeze it, pack it with ice packs, and ship it overnight. Theoretically, that ought to work, but I have to wonder how rough FedEx would be with it. Does anyone out there have any insights or suggestions for us? It really means a lot to me to find a way to do this.

OK, so I was in Australia, and it was 7 years ago (ie. long before the terrorist attacks) but my cousin made my cake, and had another cousin bring it over on a plane. From Sydney to Perth.

It was a three-tiered cake with icing flowers on top. Each tier was packed in a separate box. Being a traditional wedding cake, ice wasn’t needed.

I can’t imagine there would be security problems, though. Security could pass the cake through the x-ray machine (they did that with my top tier when I brought it to Japan with me), and it can go through metal detectors too.

I hope someone comes along with better advice for you Merkins!

Could she make it in New Orleans? I imagine you might have to get her down there a little early, and she’d have to round up supplies, but it seems do-able. I guess the biggest problem would be where she would prepare it.

Do you know anyone in N.O.? If not, I assume you will be working with a catering company, and spending a lot of money with them. Perhaps they’d do you a favor and let her use their facilities.

Hrm. I had another thought. Will any high school or starving college students be attending? You could pay them to make the drive. Maybe 200 dollars for the round trip? You’d also have to pay gas, and maybe supply a car. However it would solve your problem, and a student would jump at the chance. At least I would, at that age.

Tsubaki, did your cousin have to check the cake with the rest of the luggage or was it a carry-on? Airline regulations in the US currently limit you to one personal item (like a purse or briefcase)and one piece of carry-on luggage, so the layers would have to travel with multiple people. Still, I would feel much better about that than trusting it to baggage handlers.
Zuma, we don’t know anyone who lives in Louisiana at all, but we have no intention of using a caterer. We’re taking our immediate families and a few friends down for a few days as a sort of mini-vacation where we just happen to get married. The ceremony will be in Jackson Square, and we’re taking all 20 or so people to the Gumbo Shoppe for dinner afterward.
Actually, one of my aunts went to Tulane, so some of her old friends probably still live in the area. If it came down to it we could probably commandeer someone’s kitchen, but I’d hate for Grandma to spend her vacation cooking.
Thank you both for the feedback, and if you have any more insights on the subject or ideas that you think would be fun for a wedding please let me know.

If you can comendeer a kitchen, it dosen’t have to be “granny spends her vacation cooking”, it can be “Granny teaches me and (4 or 5 people) how to make her wedding cakes” I think being in on it would be a heck of a lot of fun.

On the other hand, my sister had the butterflies for her wedding overnghted, and that worked ok, so why shouldn’t a cake be good? You could send a “tester” cake across the country now and see how it turns out.