WEDDING CAKES vs. DESSERT TABLE (or both?)

I’m back – sorry for the delay in writing the second blog!  I think spring fever took hold of me!  But Dave (my kitten and trusty side-kick) and I are back to share our thoughts on the age-old question of wedding cakes vs. dessert tables.  Dave prefers cat treats to chocolate treats, so she’s not much help…

As almost everyone knows, searching for ideas and inspiration on Pinterest has become a way of life for a lot of people – especially brides and grooms.  As my first post explained, brides and grooms these days are taking a more personalized approach to their weddings and receptions, especially the food.   Over the past year, for example, studies show a significant increase in requests for dessert tables instead of wedding cakes, featuring couples’ favorite desserts – oftentimes from their first date or desserts that represent both families’ cultures.

Dessert tables are becoming more and more popular at receptions for many reasons.

For one thing, wedding cakes can be incredibly expensive — and incredibly limiting, as they offer just one flavor for what can sometimes be hundreds of guests with different tastes. If a great aunt is allergic to chocolate cake or the kid cousins are not a fan of strawberry jam filling, they’re out of luck when it comes to satisfying their sweet tooth.

Dessert bars are fun, and they cater to your guests by offering options: small pies chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, and other varieties of yummy tarts and treats.  Variety is the spice of life, right?   A dessert bar is a sweet and simple way to please your guests, and who doesn’t like having their pick of desserts?

However, tradition is important to many couples.  If a couple feels tradition rules when it comes to choosing between a wedding cake vs. a dessert bar, the choice is simple-have both!  In 2018, more people are mixing tradition with their own personal spin by adding a dessert bar to their wedding. Having a wedding cake and a dessert bar adds flare.

Don’t want a lot of different desserts, but want to add something for your guests to choose from other than cake?  Why not add a cookie table?  Order two or three varieties of cookies to be placed on platters surrounding the cake.  Or, serve the cookies at a separate table with little milk shooters (the kid cousins will be sure to love this).

Many couples still include a small wedding cake in their orders. Ask your wedding caterer to prepare a wedding cake for 50%-70% of guests and 60% for the dessert bar. Traditional wedding cakes serve as a centerpiece, surrounded by plates of your favorite treats.  Go ahead and add a dessert from your culture or a favorite childhood treat (for me it would be whoopie pies (or gobs as we called them) and shoefly pie for my husband).  It’s your day!

WEDDING TRENDS FOR 2018 – PART 1 – RECEPTION FOOD

             One question I am often asked is “are there any new wedding trends for this year”.  As we all know, trends come and go (that’s probably why they are called trends).  For the next few weeks, I am going to cover the current trends in the wedding industry for this year.  This week I am talking about one of my (and I’m sure your) favorite subjects – food – specifically wedding reception food.

             Couples are shying away from traditional sit-down dinners and are getting creative with fun and light-hearted wedding fare.  Buffets have always been popular, but instead of pasta, chicken and a carving station, new ideas are emerging that are fun and are sure to satisfy your friends and family. 

            Here are a few of the food trends for 2018:

  1.  Food trucks – this trend is still growing in popularity. They work very well at outdoor weddings and there are many different styles of food to choose from.  Most popular food truck offerings are barbeque, tacos, gyros – yes messy, but great food!  If your wedding reception is indoors and you go another route for your meal, a food truck is a welcomed addition late in the evening – think donuts, ice cream – your guests will love it! 
  1. Grazing Table – instead of the traditional veggie and cheese spread, present a good cheese and charcuterie board of cold meats, cheeses, antipasti, dips, breads, crackers, salads and fruit. Displayed on rustic wooden boards, marble slabs, glass platters or porcelain bowls, a grazing table will create a show stopping look. 
  1. Brunch receptions – this trend is also gaining popularity. Not only can a brunch reception save money, who doesn’t love breakfast food?  A mimosa bar, Bloody Mary station, along with an omelet bar, crepe station and a pancake bar will delight your guests.  Be sure to add a lovely fruit display along with assorted muffins and pastries for your guests.  Oh – don’t forget the bacon!  
  1. If you or your fiancé grew up in either the Northeast, South or Midwest, etc. and now live elsewhere, why not serve foods that are synonymous to that region? For example, if you grew up in New England, why not serve lobster rolls or chowder?  Are you a southerner – your guests will love peach cobbler on your dessert table.  I’m originally from Pennsylvania and think pierogis would be a great appetizer!  Mini Philly cheesesteaks would be great too – the list is endless. 
  1. Food stations will add interest to the boring traditional buffet choices. Try a pizza buffet bar, tacos and nachos, an oyster bar, Asian noodles served in take out containers, chicken satay, dumplings, crab Rangoon, spring rolls (now I am getting hungry), the list is endless!  Hire a sushi chef to roll fresh sushi for your guests.  Not only are sushi chefs fascinating to watch, but most people love sushi.

 The secret is, provide different flavors and varieties of food and creative displays.  By incorporating just a few of these ideas into your reception, you are guaranteed there is something for everyone to enjoy.  Also, having different food stations located around your reception room ensures that guests will mingle as they fill their plates. 

            Next week – dessert trends for your reception – cake or no cake?  Until then, enjoy each day and blessings to you all!

 

            Susan