Your wedding is an important milestone in your life, and it’s natural to want everything to be perfect on the big day. You and your partner need to select a picturesque venue, find the perfect attire, and organize a delectable menu that includes dessert. The ideal dessert will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth and add to the overall aesthetic of your event. To help you decide what to serve, we’ve detailed various tips for picking a dessert for your wedding.
Begin Planning Early
Every aspect of wedding planning takes time, and the earlier you start, the easier it is to focus on the little details. Proper planning is the key to a successful wedding, and it’s never too early to begin. You can start brainstorming ideas for your desserts any time after you get engaged, although you should begin getting more detailed with your plans about eight months before the wedding. Most wedding planners recommend ordering from your preferred bakery six months before the wedding to ensure everything is set well before the day of.
Collaborate with your partner to decide on the types of desserts you’d like to serve. When doing this, consider the sweets both of you enjoy most, the prices your bakery charges for each type, and the theme of your wedding. Elegant events may call for more extravagant desserts than rustic-chic ceremonies.
Everyday Bride Tip
If you choose to order from a small bakery or get married at a busy time of year, such as December, you may need to begin planning earlier and submit your order at the eight-month mark.
Establish a Dessert Budget
Before creating a dessert budget, decide how much you want to spend on the entire wedding. Most wedding budget breakdownsrecommend that couples allocate around 2 percent of their budget toward dessert. Of course, the amount can vary depending on your priorities. Couples who absolutely love sweets may opt to splurge here in order to offer a wider variety of desserts. Likewise, an ornate, multi-tier cake will cost more than simpler options because it requires more work from the baker.
As you decide on how much you’ll spend on dessert, you also need to consider how many guests you’ll have at the wedding. Asking a large number of people to attend your big day will require a higher dessert budget, as you’ll need enough food to serve everyone.
Consider Your Preferred Sweets
After deciding how much money you want to spend, the next tip for picking a dessert for your wedding is to determine what you’ll serve. Some amazing sweets for weddings include:
- Ice cream
- Hot chocolate bar
- International desserts
There are endless options for choosing the perfect wedding desserts—explore each choice in more detail below.
Wedding cake is a timeless tradition and the most popular dessert choice for weddings. The towering tiers, elegant designs, and flavorful fillings make standard cakes excellent options to impress guests. Most guides totraditional wedding cakes explain that this dessert has three layers. Couples often remove the top tier to put in the freezer so they can enjoy it on their first anniversary, and they serve the remaining layers at the reception.
Cupcakes are a popular alternative to traditional wedding cakes. They offer the same flavors as a cake but in an individual serving size, making them easy for guests to grab and go.
Similar to cupcakes, cake pops come in individual servings and are easy for guests to eat as they mingle at the reception. Some couples set up self-serve stations with various cake pop flavors so friends and family can enjoy the treats at their leisure.
Ice cream is another classic dessert that works perfectly, especially for outdoor weddings when it’s hot outside. You can offer a variety of flavors and toppings that allow your guests to create sundaes. Consider delectable toppings such as:
- Crushed cookies
- Chocolate candies
- Gummy worms
- Chocolate syrup
- Caramel syrup
- Whipped cream
This interactive option is enjoyable for all age groups and allows guests to customize their desserts.
Hot Chocolate Bar
While ice cream is perfect when it’s warm, a hot chocolate bar is ideal when your wedding is held during a colder month. Put out options for white, milk, and dark chocolate, as well as fun mix-ins. To make your hot chocolate bar truly gourmet, you can offer toppings such as whipped cream, peppermint sticks, and wafer cookies.
Looking to serve a beloved sweet that’s delicious and affordable? Cookies could be your perfect option. They come in various shapes and sizes, making them ideal for any wedding theme or aesthetic. And you can provide multiple flavors for guests, including classic chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and even gluten-free options.
Everyday Bride Tip
You can also order cookie flavors that align with the season. For example, if you’re having a winter wedding, consider mint chocolate, gingerbread, or holiday-themed spritz cookies.
Donuts have become a trendy dessert option for weddings in recent years. You can get creative with flavors and pick unique designs for display, such as donut walls or towers. Donuts are also easy to serve and perfect as a late-night snack for guests.
Some couples may want to draw attention to their heritage at the reception. What better way to showcase this than through the power of sweets? If some of your favorite desserts come from your cultural background, offer them on your big day for friends and family to enjoy.
For example, if you or your partner are Polish, you could serve kolaczkis alongside other cookies or desserts. Likewise, if you or your partner are Italian, consider serving cannolis or tiramisu at your wedding.
A Sweet Bonus: The Dessert Table
If you can’t decide on just one dessert, consider offering a variety of sweets on a dessert table. This allows guests to choose from various options and try different treats throughout the night. You can mix everything from cake to cookies or even add some non-traditional desserts like pies or cheesecake.
Search for Local Bakers
Once you know the dessert you want to serve at your wedding, you can start searching for local bakers. This is especially important if you are planning a destination wedding where you may not be familiar with the bakeries in the area.
Ask friends and family for recommendations or do some research online to find highly rated bakers in your area. Look through each portfolio or website to get an idea of their style and see if anyone aligns with your vision for the wedding. Don’t be afraid to reach out and request a tasting so you can try their desserts before making a final decision.
Before booking an appointment for a tasting, read the dessert vendor’s reviews. This will give you a better idea of their work quality and customer service. Look for consistency in customer feedback and pay attention to any red flags mentioned.
Prepare for Tastings
Tastings are an important part of the dessert selection process for your wedding. Make sure you schedule tastings with a few different bakers and make note of their pricing, flavors, and design options. And be prepared to discuss any dietary restrictions or allergies you or your guests may have so the baker can accommodate them.
To prepare for your tasting, do the following tasks:
- Bring photo inspiration
- Ask the right questions
- Explore various flavors
Going to your dessert tasting prepared will help you decide what to serve. While you don’t need to make any decisions on the day of your tasting, you should note which options you like and dislike.
Bring Photo Inspiration
When meeting with potential bakers, bring photos or inspiration ideas for your wedding dessert. This will give them a better understanding of what you are looking for and help them create something that fits your vision.
Ask the Right Questions
As you prepare for the tasting, jot down any questions you want to ask when you meet the baker. For instance, some important questions to ask your wedding cake baker revolve around how they price their cakes and when they recommend you place your order.
No matter what dessert you choose to serve, you should ask the vendor if they have photos of their past work that you can review. Also, inquire about their experience creating desserts for weddings and if they have any suggestions based on the size of your wedding.
Explore Various Flavors
If you opt for a traditional dessert and serve cake, try to evaluate a range of flavors. On a multi-tiered cake, you could have each layer made with a different flavor to offer more variety to guests. Other desserts, such as cookies or ice cream, also offer plenty of variety and numerous flavor combinations. Create a list of several flavors you want to try based on what the vendor offers for your selected dessert to help you make your decision.
Serve What You Both Love
Remaining mindful of what guests would like is important, but it shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor when selecting a dessert. The options and flavors you and your partner prefer should always be the priority. Your wedding day is your opportunity to share your favorite sweets with the people you treasure most.