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Issue 08 – Christmas 2021

The Jungle

Iced Bunting

On cakes capturing a moment.


During peak wedding season this summer in western Pennsylvania, the entryway of the wedding department of Bethel Bakery offered a cool respite from the heat. Inside, the chill kept the buttercream icing on the cakes firm and unmelted. In the window display, a white four-tiered cake had a garland of lifelike gum paste roses twined around it. There was also a cake with iced green vines cascading from yellow and white bouquets, and a cake dappled with strung edible pearls and wrapped with ribbon. In the walkway of the bakery’s wedding department were information pamphlets entitled “The Wedding Cake.”

When I was a bride-to-be, the wedding cake occupied less space in my mind than my dress selection and far less than the ceremony at my local parish. Still, it was difficult not to be somewhat captivated by the mythology surrounding the American wedding, an event young girls begin to envision after being introduced to Disney. The cakes in the window, vertiginous like castles, and with ornate ball-gown layers, recalled the enchantment on the faces of Drew Barrymore and her friends in The Wedding Singer.

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About the author

Marlo Slayback

Marlo Slayback is the national director of student programs at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Her writing has appeared in the Spectator, National Review, and other publications.