Compare Wedding Insurance's Guide to Dessert Buffet Tables

Here at Compare Wedding Insurance we have noticed that in recent years there has been a shift towards dessert buffet tables at weddings. Rather than offering a choice of two desserts followed by a slice of wedding cake more couples are breaking with tradition and opting for serving a variety of desserts at their wedding reception.

Most couples opting for a dessert buffet table at their wedding reception also have a small wedding cake too for the traditional cake cutting. Setting up a table with a selection of delicious desserts alongside a smaller wedding cake will not only complement your wedding cake but is also sure to shave money off of your wedding costs. Your guests will be more than happy to fill up on sweet treats from your dessert table.

The cost of a traditional wedding cake is a major expense during wedding planning. Most bakers charge per piece of cake and prices usually start at £2 - £5 per slice. Depending on how many guests you are inviting to your wedding reception this can soon add up. Most couples set aside £500 for the cost of a wedding cake which is a large proportion of the typical wedding budget. If you are on a tight budget then by arranging an assortment of mouthwatering and eye-catching desserts you can make your wedding stand out for a low cost. (Don't forget to look at Wedding Insurance as well!)

Decadent desserts such as chocolate gateaux or fruit trifles are normally available from local grocery stores, cost around £10 and can serve 10-12 people. If you opt for a selection of gourmet desserts such as this for the guests at your own wedding then you could have save yourself well over £400. It’s no wonder dessert buffet tables are fast becoming the newest trend in wedding desserts – they are a much cheaper option!


Besides the financial savings setting up a dessert buffet table at your wedding reception will give you, there are plenty more advantages for jumping on the bandwagon of this growing trend:

  • If you want to encourage your wedding guests to mingle then what better way than to have them converge at the dessert buffet table. This will allow them to chat and get to know one another whilst choosing their sweet treats from the assortment on display.
  • Whilst almost everyone loves some type of dessert, there are many people who don’t like wedding cake. You are sure to receive grateful comments from non-cake fans and your younger guests too if you serve a selection of desserts at your reception.
  • You can carry your wedding color theme or style through into your selection of desserts.
  • You can personalize your wedding by incorporating varieties of desserts which represent you or your fiancé’s ethnic background, family traditions or the region you are from. You could even choose desserts which are native to your chosen honeymoon destination.

Which Desserts?

When deciding upon which sweets to include on your dessert buffet table remember that they do not have to be lavishly expensive desserts. Whether you choose your wedding desserts based on your color theme or your personal favorites, here are some of the most popular dessert buffet choices:

  • Chocolate cheesecake
  • Torte
  • Gateaux
  • Profiteroles
  • Fresh fruit flan
  • Fruit tarts and pies
  • Soufflés
  • Trifle (very British!)
  • Bundt cake
  • Pavlova
  • Almond slices
  • Chocolate mousse cups
  • Bite sized mini cakes and desserts
  • Cupcakes
  • Petit fours and truffles
  • A cookie tray assortment
  • Platters of fresh fruit

Sourcing desserts

There are a few options for where to source an attractive array of desserts from:

  • If you are having your wedding catered, check with the caterers if they would be able to provide an assortment of desserts for your wedding reception and discuss prices with them. As far as transportation and setting up of the dessert table is concerned this would definitely be the easier option.
  • You will probably have your own favorite local bakery so why not try there as your first port of call. You could order desserts from them to be delivered to your wedding reception.
  • If you are on a tight budget you could pick up tasty desserts from your local grocery store. Remember to discuss this with your wedding caterers at the outset of your wedding planning so that it is clear they will not be expected to provide desserts.
  • Alternatively, if you have the time, inclination and culinary expertise you could make your own desserts or ask a friend or family member if they would be willing to make their signature dessert for your reception.

Dessert ideas with a fun element

All bride and grooms want their guests to have fun at their wedding reception and I think that if you provide an interactive dessert station then you will be encouraging them to join in with the celebration and create a lighthearted atmosphere.

  • You could choose to have ingredients set out for guests to get stuck in and create their own ice cream sundaes. Bowls could be laid out with toppings such as whipped cream, sprinkles, mini candy sweets, chocolate flakes, fruit and sauces to top them off.
  • Another popular dessert choice is a chocolate fountain surrounded by fresh fruit and other sweet dipping items.
  • If you have a lot of children attending your wedding reception you could set up a cookie decorating station. It might be a bit messy (depending on the age range of the children) but it is a surefire way to keep them amused!

Remember that your choice of desserts is just that - anything you wish! You can be as fun and innovative as you want. Your wedding guests are sure to enjoy sampling a variety of gourmet desserts whatever you choose.

Tips for setting up your dessert table

We know that huge wedding cakes can make a great focal point at a wedding reception but there is no reason why you cannot achieve the same effects with a sumptuous dessert buffet table. Here are some top tips for arranging your dessert table.

  • If you are decorating the dessert table yourself have some fun dressing it up. Use plush swathes of your favorite fabric to match your wedding colors as a backdrop.
  • To add visual variety to the table make sure that the desserts are not all displayed at the same height. You can insert stacked plates or a small sturdy box underneath the tablecloth to elevate some of the desserts to create different heights at the dessert table.
  • Present the desserts using a variety of serving dishes to add a colorful and interesting element to the layout.
  • Add elegance to the dessert table by decorating it with flowers and floral trims in colors to match your wedding theme. Scatter flower petals around the cakes on the table.
  • How about placing a large colorful floral arrangement as the centerpiece to the table. Just make sure that foliage is not going to come into contact with the desserts.
  • Bowls of fresh fruit such as lemons, limes, apples or tangerines would make a vibrant and fragrant addition to the table.
  • Think ahead with the layout of the dessert table. Place items such as dessert plates, napkins and forks at one end and then position the desserts in the order that you prefer down the center of the table. If you decide to go with the interactive dessert table it would be advisable to place the chocolate fountain or sundae making station at a separate table.

And Finally...

However simple or sophisticated your dessert buffet table ends up being, it is sure to be a feast for your guests’ eyes and stomachs and they will certainly appreciate your efforts.

Like everything with wedding planning the decision of whether or not to venture into the world of wedding dessert buffet tables is subjective. It comes down to your own personal tastes and your budget. Whilst we are not advocating shunning the traditional wedding cake at wedding receptions, here at Compare Wedding Insurance we believe that dessert buffet tables are an exciting, versatile and inexpensive addition to the traditional wedding cake (not to mention yummy!).


We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here. OK