Professional cake decorator helps a couple DIY their dream wedding cake after Covid-19 forces them to cancel their plans
(CNN) -- When the coronavirus pandemic forced Erin and Ben Cohen to change their wedding plans, the New York couple thought their wedding cake dreams were over, until Publix stepped in to help them make their own.
Erin and Ben got engaged on February 29, and were planning a perfect, big summer wedding. Being from Florida, Erin had always dreamed of having a Publix cake for her reception.
"Every celebration had a Publix cake," Erin said. "When Ben and I started dating I brought him to Florida and our first stop was to Publix."
So, when Ben proposed, the couple knew they wanted that specific brand of cake. The problem is, they planned to get married in Minneapolis, where the Southern supermarket does not exist.
How to get a Southern cake up North
The original plan was to get a family member from Florida to bring the cake for the wedding, but when Covid-19 hit, they had to come up with a Plan B.
The couple started experimenting with recipes to see if they could reinvent a cake that would resemble what Erin dreamed of, but none of them were doing the trick.
After Erin shared her story for an article, Publix jumped in to help make their dream a reality.
"We heard about Erin's dream of having a Publix cake at her wedding and we wanted to help make it happen, so we reached out to see if they'd be interested in doing a wedding cake decorating session over a video call," Brittany Lavallee, a professional decorator at Publix told CNN.
"We sent them a box with all the ingredients which included the buttercream icing, cake layers and decorative gum paste flowers from our headquarters in Lakeland, Florida."
They also sent the Cohens a list of supplies that they would need to make the cake.
Making their own dream cake
The Friday before their August 16 wedding, Ben and Erin hopped on a video call with Lavallee and went to work constructing their very own DIY wedding cake.
"Doing the consultation and tutorial with Brittany and the Publix team became the kickoff to the wedding weekend, and making our own cake has become a big memory for us," Ben said.
"We can't do all the things most couples would imagine doing when they get married because of the pandemic so we looked for unique and different ways to celebrate so it was truly special."
And according to Ben, the results were "perfect."
"It was beautiful... honestly, it brought me back to my childhood. Each bit of the cake made me feel like I was home," Erin said.
And since Erin's family in Florida couldn't attend the ceremony in person, Publix provided a replica of the cake to them so they could all eat the same cake together on their wedding day.
Erin's mom even froze the top of their Florida cake for the couple's first anniversary.
"Many people have had to make major changes with special life events like weddings, so we are grateful we could help be a part of their celebration and make it a little more special," Lavallee said.
"The true icing on the cake for me was seeing the love and laughter that the couple shared while creating these memories that will last a lifetime."
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