How a Fall River Bakery Made Sweet History on JFK’s Wedding Day
John F. Kennedy and Jaqueline Bouvier got married 70 years ago this week in what was called Newport, Rhode Island's, biggest wedding ever.
A big Fall River connection was front and center that day.
According to The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Jackie was walked down the aisle by her stepfather, Hugh D. Auchincloss. "The reception was held on the terrace of the 300-acre Auchincloss oceanfront estate, Hammersmith Farm, for more than twelve hundred guests."
After dinner at the reception, the couple cut a 4-foot-tall cake to serve to guests for dessert. The wedding cake was ordered by JFK's dad, Joseph P. Kennedy.
Kennedy Wedding Cake Was Baked in Fall River
Which bakery did Kennedy, a man who could afford virtually any price for his son's wedding cake, call upon for his son's big day? The future president's father called the now-closed Plourde's Bakery on North Main Street in Fall River.
In it's heyday, Plourde's Bakery was located near Fall River Public Library at this spot:
The Story Behind Why President Kennedy Ordered His Wedding Cake in Fall River
Below is the written transcript of an interview of a Fall River man named Edward Berube who worked on Kennedy's U.S. Senate campaign. This interview took place nearly four years after the president's 1963 assassination. Berube talks about how he got Kennedy down to Fall River to campaign. They were walking past Plourde's Bakery when he convinced him to go in and get a cupcake.
You can hear the entire Berube interview here, courtesy of the JFK Library.
In 1952, I think, early ‘52, we were campaigning up Main Street here one day. And, of course, this Mr. Plourde [Babe Plourde] runs the baker shop right across from the Fall River Public Library. So we’re going through there, and I says to him, 'Gee, I’d like you to meet a friend of mine.' I says—I knew that Mr. Kennedy loved sweets; he loved to nibble on a cupcake or a cookie or something like that—I says, 'Would you like to go in and meet my friend, Mr. Plourde?' I says, 'Maybe you can get a cupcake off him.' I’m kidding him. So he says, 'Fine, let’s go. We’ve got a few minutes.' So we went in. We walked right in the back shop where the baker shop was and talked to the bakers and the waiters, you know, the counter people, and there were a few people in the store at the time. So, of course, Mr. Plourde was very happy to see him. So in the conversation—he’s got pictures all over the wall of cakes that he made, you know, for different kind of people—so kidding, I said to Jack, 'When you get married, he can make
your wedding cake.' He says, 'He certainly can. He’s got good stuff here.' Well, that was the end of the conversation. Nobody thought of nothing.
Berube said that a couple of months before the wedding, Jackie Bouvier reached out to him to ask about the Fall River bakery. She wanted to visit the baker to meet with him and discuss what they were looking for in the cake.
"Now he must have known a lot of bakers in Boston or Washington who would have
been tickled to death to make his cake," Berube said. "And, incidentally, he paid for the cake. There are a lot of rumors around that the cake was donated, but he gave the check. It was a check of $250. The man got the check."
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