Is it open bar at the Dessert Bar?
If you've been to recent weddings or browsed through those fancy magazines, you too might have seen and fallen in love with the whole dessert bar concept. It really is beautiful. But literally, what's on the table to do a dessert bar?
We get a lot of inquiries and orders for dessert bar. If your priority is good tasting treats and elegant presentation of the treats, we're the bakery for you. But if you're looking for the latest trend from donut walls to ice cream bars, or just to be able to serve as many variety as possible, we're probably not the bakery for you.
From our experience, the biggest question we get about a dessert bar is, "where do we start". Yes, it's not quite a piece of cake as getting a traditional cake. But with a few main things to consider, the extra planning will be worth it come the day of your wedding!
With our couples, whether cake or dessert, we always recommend for them to taste our offerings. We truly believe taste should be priority of all consideration. If you like our offerings, the main things to lock down in your planning are quantity and display.
I am totally guilty of this but when I go to any event and see a full spread of different treats, I will grab more than I can eat; or at least should eat. So always keep in mind, the more variety, the more total count. We recommend 3-5 pieces per guest. If you decide to do just lemon cream puffs and salted caramel brownies along with your cake, you really just need to account for 2-3 pieces of each per guest. If you decide you want lemon cream puffs, salted caramel brownies, fresh fruit tartlets, and mini cupcakes, then account for 4-5 pieces per guest.
So the next question is, "do we need a cake?" We truly think whether a single tier or small 3-tier, a wedding dessert table should have a wedding cake. For one, you need a cake when it's cake cutting time for your photos. Not quite the same when you're hand holding a cream puff to feed each other vs a fork with cake to feed each other. A wedding cake also adds a focal point to your dessert bar! What size the cake should be is really up to your guest count and how you want your table to look. The single tier gives the table a more settle vibe. 2-3 tier cakes gives the table a more "this is a wedding" vibe. So what are you vibing?
Now the display! OMG the possibilities are endless. The most popular the past few wedding seasons have been the rustic theme. Imagine touches of wood elements and just simple and soft displays. The plates and stands are usually white or neutral and florals accent the table. We've seen colorful vases of flowers to simple greeneries and vines and they all look good. If you are working with a planner, this is where they will shine. They bring in your florists, bakery and venue into one beautiful display - with all the yummy treats! If you don't have a planner, no worries. Take it one step at a time. This is our formula when our couples asks us to set up the dessert table:
1 - take a deep breathe.
2 - make sure all linen or runners are on, if any.
3 - place the empty stands, coasters or trays on the table giving the table varying height, gap, and keeping the cutting cake somewhat towards the edge. This is so when the couple is ready to cut the cake, they're not reaching into the middle of the table to cut. That would make for an awkward photo. The cake placement on the table should allow the couple to look natural with the table when cutting. You can shop for your own stands and plates or rent them from rental companies for a style that you like.
4 - spread any florals in clusters around the table, tucked between the stands, on the cake (if that's part of your cake decoration) and next to any signages. Couples usually like to write the flavors offered on cute little boards or signs.
As your imagination is running wild, just a few more do's and don'ts from our experience. Fruits can be desserts! We think adding trays of fresh strawberries is a great visually and tasteful (literally). Play with your theme and incorporate fresh clusters of grapes to add to a greenery heavy floral display or if you're getting married at a vineyard. Allocate enough time to finalize the display, We usually block off an hour when we have a dessert bar set up. There really isn't a lot of don'ts except - keep your cake and desserts out of direct sunlight!
So though a little more work than serving a traditional wedding cake, when the music starts playing and your guests are having a good time; the dessert bar will be a popular stop and gathering!