• Photograph by Darci Dalton Photography

IF ASKED TO NAME THE THINGS one associates with a wedding, most people would say "wedding cake." It's a symbolic tradition that dates back thousands of years but in the last hundred or so, wedding cakes have come to look much the same: three-tiered sponge and white frosting, topped with a plastic miniature of the betrothed. However, more and more couples are making room for new traditions, creating unique and memorable experiences for themselves and their guests. Love Mini Donuts, a family owned and operated mobile donut fryer business, can help you do just that.

Consider the donut. An American way of life. A treat beloved by all. But on your wedding day? The answer is an emphatic "yes."

For those of us who have spent time browsing the internet for wedding inspiration, donuts are not an entirely new wedding dessert option. A simple Pinterest search returns dozens of ideas — baskets of donut holes, donut boards, donuts on the wedding cake. And rightfully so. Donuts are a perfect handheld treat, no extra cutlery required. A variety of donuts gives guests the ability to pick a dessert in a flavor of their choosing. While they can certainly be made formal with the right display, donuts are a great addition to a rustic wedding and a fun, relaxed way to serve your guests (or let them serve themselves) something tasty.

click to enlarge Joanna Ortiz and José Luis Garcicnuño of Love Mini Donuts. - PHOTOGRAPH BY DARCI DALTON PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Photograph by Darci Dalton Photography
  • Joanna Ortiz and José Luis Garcicnuño of Love Mini Donuts.

It is excellent news, then, that you can have fresh, beautifully decorated donuts catered for your big day right here in Humboldt County. Founded by local husband and wife duo Joanna Ortiz and José Luis Garcicnuño, the Fortuna-based Love Mini Donuts has been piping out these tiny fried frosted morsels for more than 10 years. What started as a dream on San Francisco's Pier 39 transformed into a way to help support their son's traveling soccer career and blossomed into a bustling side-business. If you're local, you may have already seen Love Mini Donuts embraced by the community at the Humboldt County Fair, local fundraising events, the Eureka Friday Night Markets and the Something Blue Wedding Show.

While love is certainly the most important ingredient in the recipe for these bite-sized desserts, Joanna says all other ingredients are organic and locally sourced when possible. Love Mini Donuts start out as a simple homemade batter, which is then circled carefully into a mobile deep fryer, cooked to golden perfection and blanketed with sweet glaze. Love Mini Donuts' glazes also are handmade, and come in an array of classic flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, caramel and red velvet, and unexpected ones like lavender or margarita. Topped with edible pearls, golden candy leaves, fondant bumblebees, sprinkles or hearts, these itty-bitty confections pack a delightful visual punch as big as a three-tiered cake.

  • Photograph by Darci Dalton Photography

There are a few ways to incorporate Love Mini Donuts into a wedding menu and itinerary. For extra-fresh, piping-hot mini donuts, Love Mini Donuts offers on-site donut service. Joanna and José will bring everything needed for an event, including mobile fryer, a donut bar cart with sauces, toppings, cups, forks and napkins, and two hours of unlimited freshly made mini donuts. Unlimited. Mini. Donuts. These DIY treats offer an interactive element, keeping guests (both mini and adult-sized) entertained between events and freeing them (if only temporarily) from assigned seating.

The last wedding they catered "was really fun for everyone," says Joanna. "We had a great time being there and interacting with guests, and you could tell the guests were having fun and enjoying the service, too."

If a preplanned donut display is preferred, couples can order donuts for pick-up or delivery to the Humboldt County venue of choice. Flavor combinations and decorations can be customized to match the color or suit the theme of the wedding, as well as the palate of the newlyweds. Donuts are made fresh day-of, so guests get the crusty crunch expected of this classic treat. Love Mini Donuts has catered weddings with guests numbering from 50 to 300.

  • Photograph by Darci Dalton Photography

"We like to keep it simple. We keep it small and focus on quality," says Joanna. "We make them fresh. Decorate them. Deliver them." Perhaps simplicity is the secret to the universal appeal of donuts and why they make an excellent addition to a wedding day menu.

Those of us who have spent time dreaming up our big day have certainly toiled over dessert. Many have come to the conclusion that it can be remarkably impactful to do things a little different. A DIY donut bar might be the element of surprise that makes your special day all the more special. This doesn't mean you have to completely abandon the traditional wedding cake in favor of its more portable pastry cousin. As it turns out, you can have your cake and donuts, too!

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