Thankfully, this was a cake where it was not the end of the world that it leaned - it was not a wedding. I made it for my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary. I poured a lot of love into the cake because they had a very small wedding and she never had any of the "extras" like a fancy wedding dress, bridesmaids, cake, reception, etc. Then she had four sons, no daughters, so never got to help a daughter plan a wedding. However, because I made the cake at a location 250 km from my house, when I had all the supplies there I realized I didn't have a saw to cut my dowels down. I had to improvise, and chose the wrong material to improvise with! I had some really thick cookie pop sticks that I *thought* were coated in plastic - they weren't! They soaked up the moisture and bent under the weight of the cake overnight. My in-laws saw the cake before it leaned. I was so mortified I didn't want anyone to call attention to the cake at the event, and was feeling a bit better after two of my nieces (both in their twenties) didn't notice it was leaning until after I pointed it out, but then the MC made a huge big deal in front of the crowd about how the cake thought it was in Italy and was leaning, blah, blah, blah. I didn't have the heart to take a picture afterwards. No money ever changed hands, and my in-laws were appreciative of the time I put into it, and they had seen it before the lean, etc. It was a good learning experience. I still feel bad about it, but live and learn I guess! I will be purchasing a small saw to keep in my cake kit!
K8Memphis - my mother-in-law designed the cake table covering - I really liked the way it looked with the cake when she was done! That is lace, not fondant!