Tips for Creating a Wedding Dessert Table

As we started the planning process for our New Year’s Eve wedding, there was one thing we definitely knew we wanted. Both of us love sweets (for better or for worse) and we knew we wanted to have an insane wedding dessert table.

Mike’s mom lovingly baked most of the treats for our table. (Thank you!) We kept an eye on prices over the months leading up to the wedding, and knew where to shop for the best deals. We used dishes we already owned and scoured thrift stores for candy jars, cake plates and serving platters. By shopping sales we were able to keep the cost of our dessert table to less than the per person dessert price offered by our caterer even though we stocked our dessert table with enough to feed twice as many guests.

Sweets table - tips for setting up an insane treat table for your wedding
sweet & salty popcorn for a late night wedding dessert snack

Create levels:

A variety of heights is the key to making your wedding dessert table really stand out.

  • Use cake stands and jars of different heights and sizes.
  • Create platforms. Place several boxes underneath a table cloth, or wrap them in gift wrap that matches your theme.
  • Accessorize your table with props such as tall candle holders or vases to add visual interest.

tips for setting up a wedding dessert bar

Stick to a theme:

Give your wedding dessert table a cohesive look by tying it in with the rest of your wedding decor. There are a variety of ways to do this without resorting to only including candy in your wedding colours.

  • Match the table linens to your decor, and then tie coordinating ribbons around candy jars and cake stands.
  • Create a backdrop. Hang coordinating streamers or banners to make your dessert table a real focal point.
  • Be consistent with the styles and colours of your serving platters. Stick to only white or clear glass. We kept to our metallic New Year’s Eve theme and used foil doilies to pull the look together.
  • Use flags on toothpicks or skewers to decorate desserts and tie in your wedding colours and theme.

mini oreo wedding cake - tips for a wedding dessert table

tiny donuts for a wedding dessert table

Easy-to-serve:

If your guests are going to be serving themselves at your dessert buffet, make sure that treats are easy to reach and eat.

  • Provide the right utensils. Make sure to have tongs, scoops, and knives for each dessert.
  • If you’re serving up gooey fudge bars or fresh-cut fruit, make sure to have dessert plates and not just napkins for your guests.
  • If your table is too wide, you might have your guests leaning over it to get to the treats at the back. Desserts shouldn’t be placed more that 2 or 3 deep.
  • If you’re placing candles or flowers on the table, make sure your guests won’t be reaching over them to get to that brownie to avoid burns or spills.
  • Rather than slicing into a full-sized pie, individual pies or tarts are easier for your guests to select. Cake pops instead of cake slices are cute and easy to handle.
  • Keep things pretty, but accessible. Guests might be hesitant to pick desserts out of an intricate arrangement. You don’t want your guests wondering if that beautiful chocolate tower is just for decoration, so a little bit of purposeful disorganization can welcome your guests to dig in.
  • Use candy jars with wide openings to make the candy easier to scoop.

fererro rocher tower for wedding dessert table

The selection:

We didn’t show any restraint when it came to our dessert table. We went with the more-is-more philosophy, but you don’t need to go that far. A selection of 6 to 8 different desserts will satisfy a wide range of tastes.

  • Some people don’t enjoy sweets (crazy!), so you might consider including a fruit or cheese platter.
  • A sparse or messy table is a sad sight, so keep things looking appetizing by assigning someone to tidy up and replenish your table throughout the night.
  • There are no rules! Couples are moving away from the traditional wedding cake and serving up towers of donuts instead. Do you love cookies? Serve up a cookie bar. Love pie? Include all your favourites flavours. How about make-your-own ice cream sundaes?

The takeaway:

  • Not everyone will want to eat dessert right then and there, so give them an option to pack up a treat by offering takeaway boxes and bags.
  • If you don’t want a few little piggies to raid your dessert table too early then just have someone put the baggies out later in the night.

cute candy bags for wedding dessert table

homemade buttertarts for a wedding dessert table

What treat would be a must-have at your wedding dessert table? Comment below to share!

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