A bride who went viral on social media recently for making her own wedding cake — and who faced criticism from strangers — is not letting unkind comments bring her down.
Lilly Mendoza, of Washington, D.C., married her husband, Dennis Mendoza, an active-duty service member, in Altamonte Springs, Florida, on May 14.
Hours before she said, “I do,” Mendoza assembled and decorated her five-tier wedding cake.
It featured swirling white and blue icing, gold flecks, a cascading vine of blue flowers that ends with a small grouping of white blooms and accent leaves at the base.
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The middle tier was a clear acrylic cake separator that held additional white flowers and greenery.
“I thought my design out by doing something that would be easy but unique to us,” Mendoza told Fox News Digital. “The colors of the cake — blue, white and gold — were our wedding theme colors.”
Mendoza, who is also a U.S. Air Force veteran, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in April with a bachelor’s degree in applied food studies and a focus on baking and pastry.
“This was the first wedding cake I have made and served,” she said. “It was such an amazing experience.”
Making her own wedding cake not only offered Mendoza a chance to save money — it provided her with a chance to showcase her newly acquired pastry skills.
“I honestly thought it would be fun to make my own wedding cake and share something I have liked to do since I was a child,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza never could have predicted that a 27-second video of her and her two bridesmaids, Laura Stakes and Katherine Hernandez, as they assembled the cake would go viral on social media and be seen by millions.
Daniella Koontz from Complete Weddings Orlando, Mendoza’s photographer, recorded and uploaded a snippet of Mendoza’s cake-making process to Instagram on May 15.
“POV: You’re a pastry chef, so you make your own wedding cake,” she captioned the clip — which has received more than 7.8 million views, 815,500 likes and 2,050 comments.
Mendoza’s wedding hair stylist, Adrianna Thomas, also shared the clip to her TikTok account on May 20. There, it received over 8.4 million views, 593,800 likes, 12,500 saves and 1,800 comments.
“We were on our honeymoon when the video went viral,” Mendoza told Fox News Digital.
“We had no idea. We were on a cruise, and we didn’t pay for the internet package, so I found out when we stopped at a port and had cell phone service again.”
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“One of my friends from culinary school sent me the video, and she was like, ‘You look so beautiful. Your cake looks so amazing,’” Mendoza recalled.
“I clicked on it. But then I started looking at the comments, and I was shocked. Some of these are nice. Some of these are mean. I started telling my husband about what I saw, and he suggested I put my phone down.”
Negative commenters wrote that Mendoza’s wedding cake looked unfinished — and discussed how they didn’t understand the textures and colors she chose.
Commenters who supported Mendoza’s choice to make her own wedding cake argued that the only opinions that should matter are the bride’s and groom’s.
“What better way to celebrate your union than with food made by your own hand,” one Instagram user wrote.
Mendoza told Fox News Digital that some commenters accused her of making her own wedding cake to “become famous” — but that was never her intention.
“That claim doesn’t make any sense,” she said. “We didn’t even pay for a videographer. Our vendors put up the videos because they wanted to,” she added.
“It was a little upsetting. But I have a lot of supportive family,” Mendoza continued. “I feel like people forget that there are real people attached to viral videos.”
To Mendoza’s knowledge, her 125 wedding guests enjoyed the vanilla cake she made, which had a caramel extract icing with simple syrup for moisture.
Mendoza noted that she baked the four tiers of her cake in advance — and froze them until they were ready for detailing and decoration.
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Each cake had to be thawed before it could be iced — and they were all then placed back into a refrigerator.
“It took a lot of prep work,” Mendoza said.
“I didn’t have any fruit fillings, so that was a blessing because that prevented the cake from ‘sweating,’” she said in reference to Florida’s humid climate. “I didn’t take the cakes out of the refrigerator until the very last moment.”
Mendoza’s sister, brother and sister-in-law delivered the cake to her venue — and it was set up in an air-conditioned room until it was ready to serve.
“My husband and I saved a slice of cake and froze it instead of taking the entire top tier,” Mendoza said.
The pair are planning to eat their preserved cake slice on their first wedding anniversary.
Sampling a frozen wedding cake on an anniversary is a wedding tradition that was popularized in the 19th century, according to Brides magazine, an American bridal publication.
Mendoza said she’s grateful to her bridesmaids, Stakes and Hernandez, and her brother, Terrence Kinman, for helping her make her wedding cake plans a reality.
In light of all the viral discussion about her wedding cake, Mendoza has launched a social media account – LilDozaBakes – on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
There, she can address the frequently asked questions about how she pulled it off.
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“Everything was beautiful, just how the customer ordered,” Mendoza said in her video debut.
Source: Fox News