Wedding Cake: How “We don’t care…” leads to a committee meeting.

In celebration of my husband and I’s three year wedding anniversary tomorrow, May 26th, I thought I would share a funny story from our ‘wedding planning days.’ We truly wanted our wedding to be simple and we didn’t have this huge need for traditions that we didn’t understand the purpose of… (It took me a looong time to explain the purpose of the “unity candle” to my husband) One realization I had, as a bride, is that being indecisive and TRULY not caring can sometimes lead to even MORE stress in the wedding planning process.

My husband and I aren’t HUGE fans of wedding cake… but one kind of cake we REALLY love is ICE CREAM cake. I am not sure when this idea hit us, but we were like “Ah, let’s have ICE CREAM cake and serve that to our guests.” The more I looked into the cost of ice cream cake, the more I realized that we would SAVE money by getting the dessert that we would truly enjoy. That said, some wonderful parents (who shall remain nameless) really liked the idea of us having a traditional wedding cake to cut. (We were going to just get a bunch of ice cream sheet cake to serve) Tony and I thought it would be RIDICULOUS to have both a regular cake… or PAY for a FAKE CAKE in addition to ice cream cake. (Can you see where this is getting a little more complicated?) So, we started talking to Coldstone Creamery in Holland, Michigan. The wonderful husband and wife duo suggested that they could make so many of just plain ice cream sheet cakes, but also, they could make different size round ice cream cakes that could, maybe, be stacked on top of each other and be decorated in the ‘traditional’ way. Everybody wins, right? Now… we just needed a decorator. Fortunately, we had previously talked with the decorator at Deboer Cafe and Bakery in Holland, Michigan about decorating the cake if we would have gone the cake/cake route. So, we gave the decorator and call and said: “hey, we don’t like plain cake and are hoping to have an ice cream cake at our wedding. Is there ANY possible way that you could decorate an ice cream cake?” The Coldstone Creamery owners suggested that we have a joint meeting with the decorator from Deboer… and then the owner of Deboer came along just out of curiousity and to offer her feedback.

A few weeks later, there were 6 of us sitting around discussing the creation of our wedding cake, that we didn’t care about… (don’t judge!) It was decided that it could be done, but the decorator would have to decorate the ice cream cake INSIDE the freezer and use a different kind of icing… She happily agreed to the cold challenge… and then, the final issue involved only being able to have the cake outside the freezer for a limited time at the reception so we could have it displayed, cut it, feed each other, and then have it rolled back into the freezer to be cut and served. The beauty of this plan was that no cake would be wasted and we wouldn’t waste our money on a fake cake…. Plus, it actually ended up being LESS EXPENSIVE (dare I say AFFORDABLE) than doing a traditional cake – cake decorating cost and all! As ridiculous as it felt to have an entire committee meet to discuss the cake we didn’t care about, it was fun to see those involved from Coldstone and Deboer Cafe and Bakery truly enjoy this creative new idea. Now, I don’t know if they ever decided to offer this as an option to new brides and grooms… but we were certainly appreciative to find a less expensive, more creative option to the traditional wedding cake option while still having a ‘traditionally’ tiered cake to cut. sigh. Would you believe me still if I said we didn’t care either way?? =) Anyways, here’s an image of the infamous Coldstone Ice Cream Cake decorated by Deboer Cafe and Bakery in a really cold freezer…. (image taken by Paul Retherford)

Next time you think you don’t care about a wedding detail, think about a way that you might actually be excited about how that detail can portray you and your fiancee’s personality while still honoring the traditions and wishes of your family members. I will forever have that image in my mind of us sitting just inside the big windows of Coldstone Creamery on 8th street in downtown Holland… and listening to two different business owners discuss how they could make this ice cream wedding cake work… The up side of this is that we had a mint chocolate chip ice cream cold stone cake, and we served that along with their oreo ice cream cake, and strawberry passion cake… So, we even had a fun variety of cakes!  It just goes to show that you truly CAN have your cake… and eat it too… (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

(Image credit belongs to Paul Retherford)



  • Mom - Happy Anniversary Tony and Christen. I so loved reading your rendition of ‘the wedding cake’ story. It brought back great memories for me and made me laugh. You have to admit the cake was beautiful and it made for some really nice pictures of you and Tony. Love you both and thinking of you during this time of year. Celebrate your love and life together. You are special and blessed!

  • Eric - As a fellow traditional cake non-lover, I was a HUGE fan of your wedding cake. Thanks for the back story…it made me long to be at your wedding again! Happy anniversary you two!!!ReplyCancel