Wedding Cake

I know that posts about our wedding might feel a little dated now, but there were a lot of interesting food issues that came up while we were planning and although I didn’t have the time to write about them then, I still think they’d be relevant and helpful to people now. So we’ll do a few “flash back” posts.

Jason and I got engaged nearly a year ago on the day after Thanksgiving in Las Vegas. We were there with his family for Thanksgiving. Only an hour after we came home and announced our engagement to his family and started making the calls to everyone else, some people started asking me when and where the wedding would be. This question might have been a little premature (I’m not “that girl” after all), but in all honesty I did know where I wanted to have the wedding. I’d known where I wanted to have it since I was about 13 years old and although I still wanted Jason to have plenty of input in the planning process, I was pretty sure that we’d be going to Mackinac Island, Michigan.

This “back-in-time” island with no cars and lots of fudge shops in Northern Michigan seemed like the perfect place for a wedding. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that the first people I contacted about having a wedding on the island were bakeries. There are only two on the island and cake is very important to me after all. My first job when I was 15 was working at a place that hosted weddings and one of my favorite memories was eating the left over and mis-cut pieces of cake. I had been thinking about how my wedding cake would taste for a long time.

I emailed the bakeries a short note explaining that we needed a vegan cake and what that meant. Within a couple of days I was turned down flat by both bakeries. One of them told me that she didn’t have any idea how to make a cake without sugar or flour. I wrote back telling her that that was fine, but just so she knows, sugar and flour actually are vegan. I had explained what she’d have to leave out and I understand that trying to bake without eggs is intimidating for many, but where she got the idea that she had to leave out sugar and flour I just don’t know. However, we really didn’t need to be paying a prime rate for someone who’d never baked a vegan cake before.

When we got the second “no” she had a suggestion for what we could do instead. “I can bake a beautiful cake for the rest of your guests,” she wrote, “and then you can bring a smaller cake from your favorite vegan bakery and set it next to the big cake.” Real nice. This is the GROOM after all, not just some random guest. So we’ll all eat a big beautiful cake and say to him, “here Jason, you can eat this little stupid cake.” A good image for starting married life.

While I didn’t have any desire to argue with these people or try to convince them to try something that I do all the time without much trouble, I admit that I was discouraged. I knew that it was impractical to think that I would have time to do the cake myself, and Mackinac is a good 7 hour drive and a ferry ride from my mother’s house so I couldn’t see how we’d be able to get a different cake up there either.

I began to see my dream of having a wedding on Mackinac disappearing. After all, if we couldn’t find a place to make us a cake, what hope would we have for a caterer for the reception? For a place to host the rehearsal dinner? This road block felt like it was going to be too much to overcome and representative of other problems.

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