Your wedding is a day that’s all about you as a couple. Celebrate your love with wedding decor that shows off your personality, and incorporates the things that make you and your partner different. A special way to show off your creativity and individuality is with your wedding dessert.
If the traditional wedding cake isn’t your jam and you’re gravitating towards a unique option, we have 31 dessert alternatives to inspire. From rustic pies to elegant macaroons, there’s an option for any wedding theme or style. Once you’ve designed and sent out your wedding invites, let the fun of planning your wedding reception begin.
1. Healthy Fruit Table
For the health-conscious couple, celebrating love means ensuring you’ll be around a long time! If you’re planning a wedding menu by season, a selection of berries or exotic fruit is a fun way to pay homage to the season, and to one another’s hearts. Add a selection of yogurts and homemade granola to your dessert bar to allow guests to create their own delicious healthy sundaes.
2. Ice Cream Extravaganza
When thinking about wedding desserts, don’t forget a return to the basics with ice cream. From elaborate sundae bars to simple mini ice cream cones, there are many ways you can incorporate this frozen dessert into your wedding day bliss.
3. Superb S’mores
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, a s’mores dessert table may be exactly what the event calls for. Let guests make their own, or design an entire table premade with this classic crunchy treat. Be sure to label each station so your guests can help themselves when their sweet tooth is calling.
4. Casual Churro Station
If you’re looking for reception ideas that focus on a Spanish heritage, churros are a fun way to give your family a shout out. Hire a food truck to make fresh churros and set up a table for all the fixings. These delectable, easy desserts are simple to make, but loads of fun to decorate.
5. Waffle Bar
For morning weddings, a waffle bar may be exactly the right way to celebrate! Waffle bars are as exciting as you want them to be. Consider adding fruity syrups and savory toppings like bacon to complete the display.
6. Gourmet Popcorn Bar
This trendy dessert is a great way to bring a new tradition to your new family. Popcorn is a treat that nearly everyone enjoys, and it creates a perfect, eclectic display in place of a cake. If you’re planning on an extended cocktail hour, be sure to add some savory popcorn selections like chocolate or caramel popcorn.
7. Cookie Shots
If you prefer something less messy than a wedding cake, cookie shots may be the perfect solution. Cookie shots are cookie shells filled with delicious cream. Ask your baker to prepare some samples in a variety of flavors and designs to accommodate all guests.
8. Croquembouche Tower
Known as croquembouche or Croque-en-bouche, this towering display is made from piling cream-filled pastry puffs into a cone and binding it together with rich, golden caramel. It is a fun alternative to traditional cakes and especially wonderful for formal weddings.
9. Personal Pies
What’s sweeter than a mini apple or pumpkin pie? Pretty much nothing. Pair them with mini forks for guests to grab and go. These are the perfect option for a fall or winter wedding celebration to celebrate the season.
10. Cue The Cupcakes
The sky’s the limit when planning a cupcake table or tower. Not only does this help cut the costs associated with a wedding cake, but it also allows for any flavor variety that guests will love. Toppings can range from savory to sweet to fit any guest’s taste preferences.
11. Traditional Fare
Weddings are steeped in tradition, and depending on your theme, you may want to focus on a classic dessert. For example, a Greek wedding cake consisted of honey, sesame seed, and quince. Not only does it set you apart from the crowd, but it also adds a little family history.
12. Dippin Dots
This ice cream snack is created by flash-freezing ice cream in liquid nitrogen. Not only are they fun to eat, but they are also available in more colors, flavors, and designs than nearly anything else. Create your own custom flavors like mint chocolate or moose tracks for the reception.
13. Cake Pops
For a unique approach to a wedding cake, ask your baker to create individual cake pops. These can be created in a variety of flavors and colors. Die cuts can be used to create special decorative symbols or even the couple’s initials.
14. Colorful Candy Bar
Colorful candies and confections are the themes of this delicious tabletop! There are thousands of customized candies you can order. Simply pick up bags of the couple’s favorites and distribute them in elevated bowls with tiny scoops. Your guests will love it.
15. Individual Bundt Cakes
For something fun and delicious, let each person take home their own bundt cakes. They also make beautiful centerpieces and can be created in any design and flavor. Put them in custom boxes topped with a wedding sticker.
16. Chocolate Fountain
Waterfalls of chocolate, delicious dipping bases, and pure bliss. Chocolate fountains can be an amazing close to a fabulous wedding. Pair a variety of fruits, shortbread, and treats with fountains that spill out up to three types of chocolate.
17. Royal Tea
Royal afternoon tea may be the perfect way to close out the wedding. There is a dazzling array of possibilities in finger sandwiches, individual desserts, and a variety of English-style scones. Be sure to include lemon curd, handmade jams, and clotted cream to keep it authentic.
18. Mini Tart Table
From fruit tarts and berry cakes to mini apple pie bites, these delightful mini desserts for weddings are the perfect way to bring some creativity to your wedding day. Select a variety of flavors for some extra color, or ask your chef to create a theme with your wedding color scheme.
19. Petit Fours
Petit fours (meaning “small oven”) are similar to cakes but in a much smaller size. These bite-sized cakes can be created in a variety of colors and textures, making it easy to match your wedding colors.
20. Pop Tart Bar
Take a ride back to nostalgia with a tasty pop tart. Get creative and offer different flavors like s’mores or strawberry. These treats are classic American and fit nearly any casual or laid back wedding theme.
21. Tasting Plates
Tasting plates can be as simple as a variety of lemon squares and mini eclairs, or as complex as Scotch truffle hearts and mint macarons. Work with a pastry chef to create plates that reflect your special day.
22. Donut Wall
Donuts can be arranged into clever designs like a donut wall or stackable tower. The best part is they’re casual enough for a backyard wedding. Pair some beautiful florals with a towering design to design a look that’s as special as the love you and your partner share.
23. Many Macarons
Macarons are little cookies that make delicious additions to any wedding. These light-as-air French treats contain a delicate cream filling but generally require a skilled pastry chef to make. There are thousands of color palettes, designs, and flavors to choose from.
24. Crepe Bar
Whether you prefer sweet or savory, a crepe bar can be designed for your special day. These luscious thin french pancakes can be served with light sauces like chocolate or raspberry, simple fillings like Nutella or bananas, or a collection of both.
25. Rice Krispie Treats
What is more durable than rice krispie treats? For the outdoor wedding or a low-key destination wedding, this is the perfect dessert. They require very little skill to assemble into a stunning design with just a little creativity.
26. Homemade Cookies and Milk
One of the simple joys in life includes a homemade cookie followed by a glass of milk. Use a variety of different kinds of milk for lactose-intolerant folks—nut milk makes a great alternative!
27. Whoopie Pies
Made with two soft cookies, these delightful treats have a creamy filling sandwiched between them. Easily made and packaged ahead of time, these delicious pies are perfect for guests to take home and enjoy.
28. Baked Alaska
Baked Alaska is a stunning dome-shaped ice cream dessert that is set aflame in a magnificent delivery. If you want to end the nuptials with a bang, this is a wonderful way to do it. Ask your chef how you could have flaming baked Alaska cupcakes or just go for broke with tableside desserts.
29. DIY Marshmallows
Treat your guests to the pleasures of mallow at your wedding. Gourmet marshmallows give guests lots of flexibility and something very different. They can be easily packaged for guests to take home from a rustic wedding.
30. Pudding Parfaits
Individual pudding parfaits are delicious ways to draw an end to the night. Display on long tables and color coordinate the puddings and cake. There are hundreds of varieties and plenty of time to come up with a custom taste. Don’t forget to create menu cards that identify the flavors.
31. Mini Mousses
While mousse may look intricate, it’s an easy dessert to prepare, and it can be dressed up or down in a waffle cone to work with your wedding day theme. Best of all, mousse can be made in any flavor you love.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by dessert options when you’re looking beyond the traditional wedding cake. But don’t let that curb your creativity. Choose a dessert that is distinctly you to share your happily ever after.
These dessert ideas for wedding receptions can be made by you or delivered by a chef. Whatever your plan, your guests will not soon forget the wedding event of the year, just don’t forget to order personalized napkins for the desserts.