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Make a Dessert Table So Fabulous, Your Guests Will Forget the Wedding Cake

Make a Dessert Table So Fabulous, Your Guests Will Forget the Wedding Cake

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We all know by now how obsessed everyone is with the details of his or her wedding. One of those things is, naturally, the style and taste of the wedding cake. But if fancy tiers don’t really get you excited, there is an alternative: putting out a gorgeous dessert table that will delight guests even more than a wedding cake!

Elizabeth Chambers, founder and co-owner of the wildly popular BIRD Bakery in San Antonio, Texas, gave us a few very helpful expert tips for making your wedding day dessert table a cake-smashing success.

1. Mix Height, Texture & Color

When creating your dessert table, the most important thing is make it look interesting, inviting, and appealing. The more levels, the better! Have fun with different heights, textures, and colors and always anchor the highest pieces in the center, then work outward from there.

2. Keep Portions Manageable

Be aware of how guests will serve themselves. Smaller portions are easier to serve and eat; plus, they’re more inviting and less intimidating. Whether you're serving small truffles that people can pick up with their fingers or individual portions of trifle or pudding, smaller portions keep people coming back for more!

3. Make It Interactive

As long as the event lends itself to something more playful, make your dessert table interactive. Have a DIY cupcake-decorating station where guests can create and decorate frosting-filled cupcakes (à la BIRD bakery!). Cupcake-decorating gives people an excuse to get involved and a chance to get to know each other. It's a fabulous conversation starter and everyone loves to customize her or his own dessert.

4. Coordinate Color

Be aware of your event, your color palette, and the message you're trying to convey. If it's a formal wedding and your palette is monochromatic, stay true to that with your dessert table. If the vibe is more casual, play with color, but keep the tones in the same family. Remember that, first and foremost, food has to be visually appealing.

5. It's All In the Details

Once your dessert table is complete, give it a once-over and see if there are any empty spaces where you can add flowers or other interesting vessels. Is there something interesting with which you can garnish your cake — either on top or at the base — or could your macarons be dusted with gold? I firmly believe that gilding a few select items and adding peonies, white hydrangea, or just the right flower can make anything better.

Wedding Grazing Table

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure policy here.

This wedding grazing table is not only stunning but is full of delicious hummus, crackers, veggies, fruit and cheese. It is easy to put together, it’s economical and your guests are going to love it! It is the perfect way to celebrate your wedding day or any special occasion.

If you're thinking of having a dessert table at your reception, no one's going to argue against it! Who doesn't like to be given choices? Instead of a single slice of wedding cake, the offerings on a dessert table are varied and plentiful, giving your guests many delicious options so they're guaranteed to find a dessert they love. It also gives you and your new spouse an opportunity to personalize your wedding even more by having your favorite desserts on the menu.

For many couples, one of those favorites is cheesecake. Creamy and smooth, cheesecake is a longtime crowd-pleaser. It's so versatile that you can serve it a ton of different ways&mdashfrom bite-sized pieces to a drink! To inspire you, we've rounded up our favorite ways real couples served cheesecake at their weddings. (If you suddenly feel the urge to make a bakery run before you finish reading this, we understand.)

38 Cute Cookie Bar Ideas For Your Wedding

Cookies are great and tasty food at any time, especially for your guests at your wedding. So we offer you to think about organizing a cookie bar! No matter what wedding theme you have, cookies will be good for all of them! You just need to decorate your cookie bar according to your wedding theme. You can make several types of cookies: with chocolate chips, nuts or glaze. And that’s not all! You can display them on a table placing in jars or even create a cookie tower, for example, from Oreo. And don’t forget about milk, it’ll be a perfect addition to your delicious small desserts!

Cookie Types

What types of cookies to include into your wedding cookie bar? Anything you love! Pecan, chocolate chip, almond, peanut butter, lemon and vanilla and many others! if you are having a destination wedding or a theme one – an Italian or Mexican-inspired, why not choose the cookies that are traditional for weddings in these countries? Serve various types of them and don’t forget of vegan guests who come – they should be happy, too! Offer milk including lactose-free options for those who need it. You may also offer various types of sweets besides usual cookies like cupcakes, cakes, sweet rolls and others.

beautiful watercolor pink and gold wedding cookies are a great idea to personalize your desserts

choose something that matches your wedding style, for example, marble cookies for a marble wedding

Italian wedding cookies are ideal for a Mediterranean or Italian wedding

peanut cookies are another crowd-pleasing type of sweets you may go for

glazed cookies with monograms, hearts, letters and a wedding date are a fun and cool idea for your cookie bar

your may simple serve glasses of milk plus cookies placed on the glasses

Cookie Bar Styling And Decor

Choose your cookie bar decor and styling according to your wedding style and colors. If it’s a rustic wedding, think of crates, metal bathtubs and buckets, metal stands and even wooden boxes with cookies. For a more natural look, try wood stumps as stands and place plates with cookies on them. If you are celebrating outdoors, take a tabletop and place it on hay for a more rustic feel and use baskets for holding cookies. Add some thongs for comfort, candles or blooms around to decorate and voila! If you want something more neutral, think of traditional stands and maybe place your wedding cake on top. Another idea is placing your cookies on standard plates and in large glass jars with lids, which always works – just add little stands with the names of the cookies. You may create a cookie tower, too, it can be a nice idea to sustitute your wedding cake. If you are planning a modern wedding, choose a new and hot idea – a cookie wall. A cookie wall will feature some small shelves where you’ll place cookies and some tags to mark the types, you may also add lights, signs and flowers. It can be paired with a donut wall, which is a hot wedding catering trend. Get inspired!

store cookies in crates adding toppers to find out what type of cookies is where

a white round cookie display with sweets and cake pops with signs is a stylish modern way to show off your sweets

a wedding cookie wall is an ultra-modern and trendy take on a usual cookie bar, and is an edgy decor idea

a wedding cookie bar style as a men's one, with fun sweets that are styled for guys

a stylish navy cookie wall with shelves nd various types of cookies, each marked with a little sign

a shabby chic turquoise cookie display for a rustic and vintage-inspired wedding

a rustic wedding cookie bar with burlap banner, wood stumps with plates wit cookies and candles around

a mini cookie wall with various type sof sweets and fresh blooms and greenery for a romantic touch

a metal and wood box with cookies and small tags for eahc type of cookie

a large cookie stand with toppers and a wedding cake on top is a chic idea for any wedding

a vintage inspired cookie table with a tablecloth and lights plus simple stands with cookies and sweets

a small cookie bar ona wooden crate, with a burlap banner, elegant stone trays with cookies and berries and milkshakes

a simple rustic cookie bar with a small chest as a stand, large cookie jars with tags, a basket, candles and blooms

a tiny vintage cookie bar done with an elegant little table and some cookies in jars wiht chalkboard tags

a cookie tower instead of a traditional wedding cake is a cool way to save some money and make the crowd pleased

a rustic cookie bar with a stained wooden chest and a metal cookie stand plus a banner

a tray with milk in glasses and chocolate chip cookies that will please everyone

serve the cookies in large glass jars placing tags - this is a timeless way to serve them comfortably

a rustic wooden cookie stand with banners can serve a lot of pies, cookies and other sweets

a simple cookie bar with lots of open jars, tags and bows plus a glass stand with cookies

a cookie bar with large jars filled with cookies plus tongs to grab the sweets comfortably

large cookie jars with tags are a proper idea to serve your sweets for many wedding styles

a large cookie table with metal stands and large plates plus plates for putting sweets on them

mark your cookie bar with a large sign like this one, it may be easily DIYed

a rustic cookie bar with a tabletop placed on hay, wooden planks and a sign over it, jars with cookies and a wedding cake

rustic styling with large jars, burlap and lace for each type of cookie is a cool idea for a rustic wedding

a rustic cookie bar with a stained table and metal stands with milk glasses and cookies

a simple cookie bar with a crate, fresh cookies placed on fabric and some milk in glasses

a simple cookie table with metallic plates with cookies, sweets and cake pops to please everyone

place your cookies on plates and add cardboard toppers to create a cookie bar fast and simple

a simple wooden cookie stand with various types of them is ideal for a rustic wedding

cookies placed into metal bathtubs is a gorgeous idea for a rustic wedding

10 Alternatives to Wedding Cake

When it comes to wedding desserts, couples are breaking the mold (the cake mold, that is) and serving distinctive treats that reflect their taste and style. Assuming you haven't been dreaming of a fancy multi-tiered confection since you were five, these 10 alternatives will make you think twice about letting them eat cake.

Gluten Free Cake Recipes Collection

Gluten free cake expert Michele Owen shared her version of my coconut carrot and chocolate cake recipes with us. I have made the chocolate and it is absolutely yummy. Read what Tammy says about the coconut.

"The cake was delicious!  I'm making the glutenਏree coconut wedding cake for a nephew withꃎliac's, the sheet cakes for the guests will be the regular coconut cake, his fiancé & family tried both & loved them!"

Tammy of Sweet Celebrations

The APPLE CAKE is to die for. The recipe includes a caramel sauce that brings this dessert up quite a few notches. 

PUMPKIN SPONGE ROLL is delightful for a fall dessert. Fill it with whipped cream or cream cheese filling and tip it with ganache. 

There are no rules that say you can only cut into one cake at your reception. Take a cue from these couples and deck out your wedding dessert table with candy, donuts, and more. Your guests (and your sweet tooth!) will thank you.

Not a fan of cake? Serve a selection of your favorite treats, like cookies or brownies. Consider yourself more of a pie person? Slice into your favorite fruit-filled varieties, no matter what time of year you're tying the knot. Just like options? Load a perfectly-decorated table with tons of sweets your loved ones can enjoy throughout the night. And don't forget that you can still serve a traditional wedding cake in addition to your dessert melange. Choose a smaller confection or a few single-tiered cakes in a variety of different flavors, plus an array of other sweet confections, and you'll have the very best dessert spread around&mdashespecially if you dress up your table with blooms, lights, textured fabrics, backdrops, and more.

A dessert table is an especially great option for couples who don't want to stop the party to cut their cake. With a table covered with treats guests can grab between songs, you'll never have to worry about keeping the dance floor filled. If you're sold on the idea of serving an array of different treats at your reception and want to serve them beautifully, click through to see some of the best dessert tables from real weddings.

Wedding Entree Ideas

Whether you want to serve a plated meal or buffet style food, the entree is the toughest decision. The best way to go is to choose two or three main entrees and let your guests decide for themselves. This will allow them to enjoy their favorite item and cater to any dietary preferences that your guest might have.

11. Steak and Salad

Steak and salad is the perfect option for summer weddings when you don’t want to weigh your guests down with heavy sides. , talk to your caterer about infusing some fruit in the salad or dressing for a pop of color and flavor.

12. Kebabs

Kebabs are convenient entrees If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding. These tasty skewers allow your guests to enjoy their meal on the go.Try including a vegan skewer with mushrooms in place of beef or chicken to give your guests meatless options.

13. Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is a staple at weddings, especially in the south. This tasty entree is sure to fill your guests and remind them of home. Fried chicken is also great if you intend to serve each table family style.

14. Shrimp

This seafood favorite can be paired with various sides to create the perfect wedding plate any time of the year. Try adding rice, pasta, or grits for a southern twist.

15. Salmon

Fish has been a wedding classic for years. Customize the glaze based on the season for a fresh and unique twist. Try a bright lemon garlic glaze in the summer or something savory like a red wine mushroom sauce for the colder months.

16. Steak

This wedding classic is perfect for treating your guests. Talk with your caterer about different options for choosing the cut. Some classic choices include tenderloin, t-bone, rib-eye, and New York strip.

17. Lobster

If you want to serve your guests the best of the best, offer a lobster option. Place the lobster atop a bed of risotto or serve with butter. Make sure to include a second choice for those who are allergic to shellfish.

18. Lasagna

This Italian classic is perfect for weddings in colder months. One of the best parts about lasagna is the easy swaps your caterer can make to offer a vegan zucchini option so everyone can take part.

19. Spaghetti Squash

These amazing veggies can turn into a gluten-free pasta dish in under an hour. Ask your caterer what they can do with these veggies. Whether you serve spaghetti or chicken parmesan, your guests are sure to be thrilled.

20. Lamb

If you would like to serve your guests a nice entree and are tired of beef and chicken, try to incorporate lamb into your feast. Whether you choose to pair it with shrimp or veggies, this unique option will impress your guests.

Here are 20 wedding cakes with flowers to inspire your own dessert table.

Blue Box Bakery

Moody hues

This sultry color palette of dark teal, plum, and metallic silver is especially dreamy if you're having a fall wedding. Decorate your moody-hued wedding cake with ivory garden roses, grape bundles, and viburnum berries for a decadent finish.

Everbloom Flowers & Events

Dramatic cascade

A cascade of vibrant fuchsia and red ranunculus instantly pops against an otherwise white fondant cake. The best thing about this idea is that you can easily re-create the look using a different color flower that matches your theme or wedding aesthetic.

Cake Cathedral

Three-dimensional details

Sculpture-inspired details are one of our favorite wedding cake trends of the moment, and they're a perfect match for fresh flowers. Your wedding cake baker can create an ultra-romantic design by paring three-dimensional accents (called bas relief) with delicate blooms, such as rosebuds or lisianthus.

Sweetcakes by Bernadette Martin

Simple buttercream

If you're looking for a simple wedding cake with flowers, start with a white buttercream cake and add one or two blooms plus a few pieces of greenery. Place the flowers slightly off-center for the most modern look.

Crumb & Kettle

Trendy drip cake

A drip cake is already eye-catching as it is, but you can add a handful of flowers to include even more detail. This one-tier cake, which is topped with blackberries, spray roses, and ranunculus, is a mouthwatering pick for a rustic fall or winter wedding.

Brooke Aliceon Photography

Classic with greenery

White roses and greenery will never go out of style&mdashand you can quote us on that. This classic pairing is a go-to option if you can't decide how to decorate your wedding cake with flowers, because it works well for any style or season.

Precious and Blooming Floral Design

Romantic peonies

Peonies are one of the most popular wedding flowers for late spring and early summer weddings. As beautiful as they are, they're somehow even prettier when you add lush garden roses, especially when the blooms are trailing down the front of a four-tier cake.

Gathered Confections


We can't get enough of the citrus wedding trend, and dessert is no exception. Candied fruits and edible flowers (the dahlias and zinnias on this cake are totally edible, if you're into that!) are two eco-conscious ideas that also give your wedding cake a unique look.

Papa Kona Events

Garden roses

Turn your buttercream wedding cake into a dreamy masterpiece by adding pale pink garden roses, an antique serving set, and white taper candles.

epaga FOTO

Statement table

Sometimes, it's not only about the wedding cake&mdashit's about how you display it! Surround the bottom of multiple-tier cake with a lush halo of flowers and greenery to create a dramatic focal piece at your reception venue.

Nicole Wimmer Photography

Delicate anemones

This dainty flower typically blooms during the winter, but it's a beautiful blossom at any point of the year. Use a few pale pink anemones to decorate a fondant wedding cake with flowers, then add dark purple foliage for visual contrast.

Morgan Hunter Desserts

Pops of color

This cheerful two-tier confection embodies all sorts of trends we're loving right now: deckled (a.k.a intentionally uneven) edges, bright colors, and geometric cake stands. Flowers in punchy colors, such as orange ranunculus, yellow cymbidium orchids, and peach roses, look amazing at a summer wedding.

Kelly Lemon Photography

Modern and minimalist

When it comes to wedding cakes with fresh flowers, less can definitely be more. If you're having a minimalist wedding theme, all you need is a structured fondant cake decorated with a few well-placed blooms, such as these white anemones and eucalyptus.

Birds of a Feather Events

Floral prints

Double up on flowers by having your wedding cake baker decorate the bottom tier of your cake with a botanical pattern. We like this vintage-inspired floral motif, which is printed directly onto the fondant, but you can also opt for a hand-piped design or edible paint.

Hoste Events

Scattered blossoms

Channel a straight-from-the-garden vibe by finishing your wedding cake with small flowers scattered down the front. Sweet peas, forget-me-nots, and aster are just some pint-sized flower options, or you could use individual petals from larger blooms.

Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery Megan Kay Photography

Greenery wreath

Adorn a white buttercream cake with a Grecian-style laurel wreath made of olive branches. Then, add spray roses, blue thistle, and ranunculus in muted colors to complete the ethereal vibe.

Grace Lorenzen Event Planning

Sharp lines

Soften an angular wedding cake by adding pink roses and miniature pears&mdashthe green and blush color combination is oh-so pretty.

Girl Meets Cake

Contrasting tiers

Color-blocking is one of this year's wedding decor trends, and this four-tier cake is proof that the trend works for desserts, too. Alternate between different colored fondant tiers, or sandwich them in the middle of your cake for a bold effect. Finish with fresh flowers and greenery.

Erin Kaiulani Photo

Marbled effect

Marbled fondant brings a trendy, contemporary vibe to your wedding cake with flowers. This sky blue cake (complete with geode topper) looks amazing with the blush and peach blooms, but your cake baker should be able to recreate the marbled pattern in nearly any color you want.

Make a Dessert Table So Fabulous, Your Guests Will Forget the Wedding Cake - Recipes

Hello All,
I don't even know if this the right place to post but I need to know how to price a desert table. it might contain cupcakes, cookies, parfait, includes all custom decorations. Any help would be greatly appreciated

You know? I've asked this question before and got no response here. I don't think a lot of people here do dessert tables, and if they do they are not sharing their pricing.

I have just started offering dessert options similar to what a food caterer offers. I have no idea if it will be profitable or not. I also do not do the decorations,

first determine the size of the desserts you are offering. My tables were always in the bite-size range because people want to sample more than one. Full size cupcakes demand a higher price than mini cupcakes. (I know that's a "Duh!" statement, but sometimes its the obvious things that we miss!)

Then determine if you are charging per piece or per person, or a combination of both.

when I charged per person, I told the customer "You receive 3 pcs per expected guest" (So a dessert table for 100 @ $8/person would have 300 pcs of desserts.) Now, that's not necessarily 3 pcs of EVERY THING YOU ARE OFFERING. Maybe 75 choc covered strawberries, 150 mini-cupcakes, etc., until it totals 300 pcs.

Not everyone eats one of everything offered. The larger the variety, the more difficult it is to provide good quantities and keep your pricing under control. Keep it simple in product but wow them in the table set-up and presentation!

I didn't know. I sent you a friend request on facebook a couple of weeks ago. I was wondering how you were doing.

This has been one of those surprise turns in my business that I enjoy most of all. I have quite a few scheduled this year so far.

For anyone who wants to break into this business, I would suggest that you have an a la carte menu for individual desserts. Just price them the same as you price anything else, time and cost. Make a batch, size it smaller for a dessert bar, and count the pieces. Now you have a dessert bar menu with prices and count. This can now be plugged into IndyDebi's model above.

Sometimes people ask for things not on your menu, but you should be able to price and closely count what a recipe will make.

I have all serving pieces for a dessert bar in glass apothecary jars and white and various silver metal serveware. The three go together well. I also have all scoops and tongs that will work with the pieces. These will all be in my storefront. I'm just puuting them to good use before that time. When I do open the store, I'll just need more. I have all pieces displayed and clients can pick a style and do a mock-up while we plan. I do a final mock-up with their ideas and improve it. I take a picture on my phone and send it to them.

I offer all linens, material, candles, flowers, and professional labels. Each is again priced by time and materials. I have gotten familiar with what is available so I already know where thinds are that I suggest.

I ask for a budget. Before I get into any details, we have already established that a reasonable budget has been set aside. I then give the client plan I, II, and III. Plan I is a basic and just below the budget. II is on budget and Plan III is just above. On plan III is also a list of other items to consider but not priced.

So far, clients have gone with III and later keep adding a few of the list items as time progresses. They also seem to like to add a food item or two. I'm very up front about when they add too much.

I've dont this with a wedding cake as the centerpiece, six 6" cakes as features on the buffet, desserts only, desserts and candy, and I'm doing my first full candy only buffet in April. For that, you just have to be familiar wth the sources.

One big thing I have found. a dessert buffet takes at least one attendant from set-up to tear-down. If cakes need to be cut, punch served and maintained, two attendants are needed. If it is a wedding, one attendant and the bridal party can do it if money is tight. I personally don't like to put it all out at one time because it quickly looks empty and unkept. So an attendant is a necessity. My daughters do it for $25.00/hr each. They love the extra money. They dress in black dress pants, black shoes, and white blouses. I dress the same way if I go. I usually stay with them just because we enjoy doing it together.

I have a house punch recipe that works for champagne and rum too. If alcohol is added, they must provide it and I do not maintain the punch bowl. I have a neon colored card that shows how the ratios are added. If no alcohol, I maintain the punch bowl.

I rent the punch bowl and all serveware. I charge $5.00 per item, $10 for the punch bowl. This adds up when these buffets require 20 pieces. The pieces are not expensive and all can be replaced. I have boxes and paper that I reuse to pack. For cleanup, I put each in a clean kitchen trash bag. Then I just keep the bags to use as trash bags, so no waste.

I get serveware when I see it. They run $10 to $30 each. I have tiered, flat, pedestal, micro sized, and large. I just get them when I see them. I don't stock colored pieces, but I have the places where they can be purchased available.

I get the money just like you all do wedding cakes. Contracts are similar too. No deposit is required because the attendants set up and bring it home.



  1. Nantres

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  2. Tolland

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  3. Toxeus

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  4. Noah

    the very valuable information

  5. Gurgalan

    Yes! cheered up

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