Looking for something to sweeten your big day? A wedding sweet table might be exactly what you’re looking for. Sweet tables excite the child inside of all of us – and the grown-up with a sweet tooth.
A wedding sweet table is a great way to add a special touch to any wedding breakfast or reception. It provides your guests with some much-needed energy for evening dancing. And it’s perfect to satisfy the cravings of the inevitable few guests who aren’t big fans of wedding cake.
Whether you prefer sweet-shop pick ‘n’ mix or elegant French patisserie, you can make a wedding sweet table work with your style. Read on for our guide to the what, why and how of wedding sweet tables.
Why Have a Sweet Table At a Wedding?
A sweet table (also called a dessert table, candy buffet or dessert bar) is a relatively modern invention that has become hugely popular at weddings. It consists, as the name suggests, of a table topped with a variety of sweets or desserts.
The traditional dessert at a wedding is, of course, the wedding cake. But many people aren’t the biggest fan of fondant-covered sponge. So, this is why some couples choose to offer a range of sweets or desserts, presented buffet-style.
Sweet tables offer your guests a chance to choose their favourite treat, instead of being limited to cake. Sweet tables for the child-at-heart may hold things like lollipops, bonbons and boiled sweets. Others choose more ‘grown up’ treats such as chocolate brownies, fruit tartlets and mini cheesecakes.
You could present your sweet table after the wedding breakfast, as an alternative to wedding cake. But many couples have them during the evening reception, as an alternative to a traditional buffet table. Your guests can help themselves to sweets to give them energy for dancing.
What to Put On a Wedding Sweet Table
As the name suggests, a wedding sweet table is meant for sweet treats. But what sweets or deserts you choose to serve is completely down to personal preference.
Sweet tables tend to hold the kinds of sweets that you would find in a sweet shop. For example:
• Liquorice wheels
• Boiled sweets
• Sugar mice
• Dolly mixture
• Foam bananas
• Strawberry laces
However, you’re free to have whatever you’d like on your sweet table. Anything goes: as long as it’s sweet, it’s doable. The only thing you should perhaps stay away from is ice cream, on account of the fact that it melts.
If you’re not the biggest fan of actual sweets, think of it more as a dessert table. Go for donuts, chocolate eclairs, cupcakes, cookies or anything else you desire.
You can display your wedding cake in the centre of the sweet table. For more adventurous brides and grooms, a chocolate fountain makes a striking sweet table centrepiece. Your guests will have bags of fun dipping marshmallows, strawberries and pretzel sticks into the hot chocolate lava.
To add your own special touch, why not make some of the treats yourself? Things like brownies and marshmallow rice cereal squares are easy to make, and you’ll have fun doing it. It will also help save on some of the costs.
How to Style a Wedding Sweet Table
As well as the sweets and desserts themselves, most wedding sweet tables are highly decorated. Balloons and flowers are the most popular decorations, but your only real limit is your imagination.
The look and aesthetic of a wedding sweet table is almost as important as the treats laid upon it. The gaps between dessert plates or sweet bowls are perfect for adding personalised touches, to make your sweet table shine.
Coordinating the colour and theme to fit with your other wedding decorations is an obvious choice. For example, if your wedding is red and gold themed, choose only red sweets and serve them on gold plates to create a stunning impact.
However, some couples choose to let the sweet table shine on its own. Choosing an elaborate antique table, or even an old-fashioned vendor cart, will draw your guests’ attention. Some decoration ideas include:
• Rustic: arrange the sweets amongst wooden logs and greenery
• Floral: elaborate vases of flowers, real or artificial, that match your bouquet
• Vintage tea party: display cakes on antique stands and dot the table with teapots, cups and saucers
• Old-fashioned British sweet shop: striped paper bags, sweetie scoops and tongs, you could even add an old metal weighing scale and till
• Artisan or kitsch (perfect if you’ve made the sweets yourself)
It’s a good idea to include a board or poster letting guests know they’re free to help themselves. Otherwise, they may be afraid to disturb the display. A popular wording choice is “love is sweet, please take a treat”.
Wedding Sweet Table Serving Ideas
Once you’ve decided on the sweets and the decorations, the last thing to choose is how guests will serve themselves. There are several ways of going about it, depending on what kind of sweets you offer.
If you’re going for traditional sweet shop fayre – lollipops, bonbons, and the like - consider setting the table up like a pick ‘n’ mix. Serve the sweets in clear glass jars, each containing a scoop for easy selection. Place a stack of paper bags on the table, so your guests can fill them up.
This is a great opportunity to provide your guests with a souvenir of the big day. You could have each paper bag printed with your names and the date, and a thank-you message.
If your sweet table holds things like cookies, cupcakes and tarts, plates are a better option. Paper plates still provide that retro tuck shop feel, and make for easy clean-up as they’re disposable. However, china plates give off a vintage tea party vibe, and are more elegant.
Your guests will need something to eat with if you’re serving things like slices of cake, so provide cutlery. Again, while metal cutlery looks nicer, paper or plastic forks are cheaper and easier to deal with. And don’t forget the napkins (colour-coordinated, of course)!
At the end of the day, however, your guests will be happy just as long as they’ve got something sweet to tuck into.