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Contributed by ZoLu Photography / Chattanooga residents David Mayo, left, and Marissa Helms feed each other bites of their wedding cake following their Oct. 24 ceremony in North Carolina. Hellmann's mayonnaise provided the cake, shaped and decorated like a mayonnaise jar. The company also provided the personalized bomber jackets the two are wearing, along with a year's supply of mayonnaise.

How do you make a wedding memorable? If you're Marissa Helms and David Mayo, you fully incorporate Hellmann's mayonnaise.

The Chattanooga residents were married Oct. 24 in North Carolina with an assist from Hellmann's that included a designer cake baked in the shape of a mayonnaise jar.

Helms said she and Mayo had long been amused by the quirky connection of their names to the popular brand. While planning the wedding, they mustered the nerve to reach out to the company.

"We had already been thinking about hashtags like #spreadthelove," she said. "Then the pandemic hit and really threw our plans off course."

Like many couples with 2020 weddings, Helms, 29, and Mayo, 36, encountered multiple challenges as they planned their nuptials. With each setback, they scaled back.

"We had so many versions of this wedding," Mayo said. "At one point, we thought maybe we should just have a wedding parade and get sponsors."

Eventually they decided on a small ceremony for about 40 attendees on the Mayo family farm in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Mayo, an award-winning architect, cleared an area in a meadow and built an arbor as a backdrop for the vow exchange. They rented an outdoor pavilion at a nearby camp for the reception.

That's where they got their first glimpse of the cake, an oversize replica of the iconic jar, created by Gateaux Cakes & Pastries in Hendersonville. The layers were baked with mayonnaise for moistness, said Helms. The elaborate frosting fashioned a blue lid for the top and a label on the front bearing the couple's last names and the year they were "established."

"They told us they wanted to take care of the cake for us, but we didn't know what it looked like or where it was coming from," said Helms. "Then we walk into the reception and see this huge mayonnaise jar."

The company also provided a year's supply of mayonnaise and matching bomber jackets, customized with their names and the words "Real Love," a nod to the condiment's "Real Mayonnaise" branding.

Helms and Mayo met through mutual friends in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2015 after she moved into his old apartment. They settled in Chattanooga in June 2019 as a halfway point between their two families — Mayo's in western North Carolina, Helms' in southern Kentucky.

For Mayo, Chattanooga is also a good regional hub for his firm, Studio Mayo Architects. Helms has a background in nonprofit administration and is studying to take her LSAT next week with plans to enter law school this fall.

They said they are grateful that Hellmann's helped them start their married life in such a big way.

"It truly made our wedding an unforgettable day," said Helms. "It seems like everything is on fast-forward [on your wedding day], and you don't really get a lot of moments to slow down and take in what's going on around you. Hellmann's made that part of the wedding possible."

Email Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com.

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