Dessert Table Ideas for Your Wedding Reception

Luxurious dessert table at a wedding

If you think desserts shouldn’t be a centerpiece at your wedding reception, think again! The dessert table has transcended from a mere section of the reception to a focal point of gastronomy and artistry. No longer confined to the traditional wedding cake, these tables have become a canvas for couples to express their personalities, share their love story and indulge their guests in a confectionery journey.

The concept of a designated space for sweets is not new to weddings. Historically, desserts were considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity, with the wedding cake embodying the essence of the celebration. However, as weddings have become more personalized, so too has the approach to dessert. The modern wedding dessert table takes inspiration from this tradition but expands it in creative and inclusive ways.

When designing your dessert table, be sure to offer something for everyone. Include at least one gluten-free option, a dairy-free option and a nut-free option. If you have a loved one who is diabetic, have a special dessert set aside.

Gluten-free dessert on a dessert table wedding reception
By Yevnig | Photo: Xander Casey Photography

Desserts should always be labeled; tented place cards with the description are an easy way to do this. Signs allow guests to make informed decisions about what to put on their plate. At the dessert table also include small plates, dessert forks, teaspoons and cocktail napkins. If you are not offering espresso catering, a self-serve coffee/tea station should be made available throughout the evening.

Here are some amazing options to consider adding to your dessert table to impress your guests.

Petit Fours

Petit four dessert table for luxury wedding
By Yevnig | Photo: Xander Casey Photography

The best dessert tables offer an intriguing variety of options. By our definition, “petit fours” can include mini desserts of all types—chocolate dipped cake bites, mini berry tarts, bouchon, mini lemon merengue tarts, chocolate dipped strawberries, macarons in assorted flavors, mini gourmet cookies, hand-rolled truffles, mini tiramisu, pots de crème, crème brûlée, lady fingers, fruit cups with Gran Marnier or Cointreau, etc.

Many regions have French patisseries that can produce the majority of these treats, but if that is not the case in your area, connect with your caterer. Caterers often have a dedicated pastry chef or work with a local specialty bakery.

Another option is working directly with your wedding cake designer. London-based bespoke creative director Yevnig Davis of By Yevnig passionately designs and handcrafts bespoke wedding cakes and show-stopping dessert tables as shown here, providing the ultimate indulgence for guests.

Toward the end of the evening, set out carry-out boxes to encourage guests to pack up desserts as they head back to their hotels or home.

Carry-out box of desserts from a wedding celebration
By Yevnig | Photo: Xander Casey Photography

Assorted Specialty Cakes & Cookies

Assortment of desserts at a wedding sweet table
By Yevnig | Photo: Xander Casey Photography

Having a visually inviting assortment of artisan cakes, macarons, iced donuts, cake pops and single-serve miniature tiered cakes elevates the sweet table and complements the star attraction—the wedding cake. These handcrafted desserts are miniature works of art and not only serve as a feast for the eyes, but also ignite a sense of wonder and excitement among guests.

Single-serve miniature tiered cakes is a great addition to a dessert table
Photo: Flourish Cake Design (IG)

Candy 

Candy bar at a wedding dessert table

This is hands down a favorite dessert table inclusion, when done properly. You’ve just got to work toward the right assortment of yummy stuff. Hard candies, caramels, chocolates with and without nuts, licorices, citrusy candies, mints, etc. There are numerous websites to purchase bulk candy. Arrange to have it sent directly to your wedding planner, venue or caterer to avoid having to ship things twice. You can also purchase attractive and inexpensive apothecary jars, candy scoops and candy bags with drawstring ties online. The bags make it easy for guests to take leftovers home.

Specialty Dessert Vendors

A gelato cart is a great addition to a dessert table at a wedding
Sospiri | Photo: Hunter Ryan Photo

There are many wonderful specialty dessert vendors out there and these can be a real treat for your guests. From custom gelato carts, do-it-yourself frozen yogurt sundaes, made-to-order dessert crepes, and assorted pies and berry tarts with local made ice cream your guests will enjoy. Another big hit are espresso carts, which can pump out custom drinks for guests all evening.