I think one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding is picking your food. It’s officially “in” to be a foodie, and weddings are fantastic occasions to come up with interesting menus and really please the palate. While (thankfully) engaged couples are starting to move away from the standard chicken/steak/pilaf standards, dessert still seems to be rather boring.

We discussed in another article, wedding cakes can really be hit or miss. There are certainly ways to ensure a cake tastes better, but what about your guests who don’t like cake? Yes, as crazy as that sounds, there are people who don’t like cake. I actually know one.

This is why the new, trending option of dessert bars are so appealing. They are not yet widespread enough to be generic, so get on this trend while it’s still something new and exciting for your guests!

Infinitely Customizable

Your dessert bar is a great place to showcase a little originality if your wedding tastes are more on the traditional or formal side – or if your mother wouldn’t budget an inch on any of the other decisions. Use this opportunity to offer your favorite sweets to your guests – a framed notecard explaining that this saltwater taffy is the groom’s favorite, and his mother brought it all the way from the family vacation spot is a nice bit of intimacy at the end of the night.

Again, this is an infinitely customizable idea. Want to go gourmet and have truffles, cakes, pies, cake pops, cupcakes, macaroons, etc? Caters will be more than happy to put that together for you. Alternatively, why not ask your mom, aunts, family friends and relatives to each donate a dessert for the table? Have your maid of honor collect the recipes for you, so you can make those desserts again anytime you like – perhaps a different one for each of your first five anniversaries!

Go with a theme: cookies, candies, desserts only in one color. Get fun with it! Check out your local listings for candy suppliers and make sure to bring along a friend for a taste test.

Subtly signal to your guests that the night is wrapping up

We’ve all been to those weddings where you never quite no how long the hall or reception space is rented for, and how long you’re supposed to stay. Cake cutting can often be left pretty late, especially for guests who have brought their children with them. Setting up a dessert bar 45 minutes after dinner has been served will let your guests decide how long they want to stay, whether it’s partying until the staff kicks them out of the banquet hall or right after dessert is served.

Save the cake for yourself!

Let’s face it: when choosing a cake for several people, you’re far more likely to go with the standard choices, in an effort to please as many people as possible. You end up getting chocolate cake with white frosting, when what you really want is carrot cake or lemon-strawberry. Cap your night with the sweet you really want: create a small cake, pie, crumble, or whatever, and have it packaged separately from the dessert table. You can choose to cut into it at the ceremony, or just take it back to your hotel for a wedding night aphrodisiac!

Helpful hints

Make sure you label all the goodies on your dessert table, and make sure anything including nuts is marked as such. Maybe consider having a few Diabetes-friendly, gluten-friendly, or vegan options, too. Your thoughtfulness will be well-remembered.