Norasmom & Smckinney07 and the few others with useful info, Thank you for your comments.
Just to make something PERFECTLY clear to everyone: I know this is a huge deal, I don't want to ruin anyone's day. I've already told the bride about the feed back I have received, and If my test run doesn't turn out I'm not going to make the cake. Her reply? Ignore all of you, it will be fine. If I can't do square do round. If I can't do fondant do BC. If I don't make the cake for her, she will.
Sorry, that may have been out of line, but seriously. I know I'm not going to make a competition quality cake here, never said I could. I simply asked for a few pointers. Instead I get attacked, called a troll (whatever that means, as far as I'm aware trolls are green and live under bridges) and told I'm going to make national news and end up on Ebay. This wedding is being thrown together in under a month. Her flowers are coming from the grocery store, her aunty and a few cousins are making all the food. This isn't a 40K wedding, it's probably going to be under 2K all said and done. She is borrowing a wedding dress from another cousin. Her other aunt is taking pictures. So, unless one of you intends on driving to Montana and baking her a cake for free, the responsibility has fallen on me. I simply want to do the best job I can - which is why I am purchasing about $250 worth of stuff I may never use again. I do appreciate constructive criticism & comments though - for instance I didn't realize square would be much more difficult than round, didn't know to use the flower nails to help it bake better.
Thank you VERY much for the recipes and cups per pan chart. I have been wondering how I was going to figure out that. I thought I would have to use a measuring cup and add water to the pan cup by cup until I had the pan about 2/3 full.
I have been looking at Red Velvet recipes online for a few days, this one looks the best. Is there an easy way to look at a recipe and figure out how many cups of batter it will yield? Do you add up the dry cups?
Oh - Fondant - So Satin Ice is a yes or no? I read a thread last night where people are having cracking issues. Being in MT our humidity levels are pretty low.
Also - I used the fondant chart on GSA and came up with just under 10 lbs of fondant for 8" 10" & 12" square cakes. Is this correct? Should I get a different brand of fondant? I don't want to deal with cracking issues - I know the more you knead it the better - but still. If Fondarific or FondX is way better I will go that route. Also - someone said fondant dries "hard" how hard is hard? Like a crunchy candy coating? I've never had fondant, don't know what it tastes like or how it dries. Should I get a silicone mat, or can I roll it on the counter top? (laminate counters)
Ok, I'm going to try stacking a cake with plastic dowels today.. we will see how that goes. I'm off to the grocery store and craft store for fondant. Wish me luck.. I'll post pictures this evening.
And again, thank you to those who have offered some much needed advice.