Sugar For My Baby

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago Adam, Charlotte and I wrote this post about our favourite sweet treats.

It appears that you lot are quite partial to matters of the confectionery persuasion given the amount of discussion that followed the post…seventy-eight comments and counting folks!

It also gave us here at RMW towers an enlightening glimpse into what makes YOU tick.

For me personally though, it was Charlotte’s comment about the popularity of sweetie buffets and the perception held by some that they are ‘overdone’ or ‘so last year’ which really made me think.

As you already know, we fully endorse the ‘your day, your way’ mantra. It’s important that you really love your wedding given the amount that you have invested in it both emotionally AND financially.

So if you adore the idea of a dessert table, and hell who doesn’t given that they’ve taken the wedding world by storm, then ruddy well have one on your big day. This post not only intends to present you gorgeous lot with some creative alternatives to the traditional wedding cake but also to show you the huge number of ‘buffet’ options at your fingertips.

Shall we start with some hard candy then…

Sweet Love

A candy bar stuffed full of jelly beans, gummy sweets and tangy treats is the perfect late night snack for hungry guests. Opening essentially what is a free tuck shop is also a splendid opportunity for you to share your favourite childhood sweet choices as well as entertaining your friends and family too.

I have to confess though that the aspect that I really love about sweetie bars is not derived from their gastronomical delights but from the details and colours that they offer up as part of the overall wedding decor.

A successful sweet bar is one that has variety – both in the type of sweets that it offers to guests and in the vessels that said candy is contained within. Tall apothecary jars look fantastic when contrasted with smaller vintage dishes and prevents the table from looking too flat. Opting for containers made from different materials and textures adds interest too.

One other trick I use to help pull together a great table is by paying attention to the finishing touches. Designing ‘pic n’ mix’ bags with the wedding date inscribed on the front, adding miniature banners depicting confectionery names and adorning the table itself with bunting and glitter in the couple’s colour palette adds pizzazz and vibrant pops of colour to the overall decor.

Easy As Pie

Yes, you heard me.

There’s a new cake in town and it’s called Pie.

Like almost all of the most popular, modern, wedding trends, this craze has come from our cousins across the pond and demand for it is quickly growing.

Pies are the ultimate in comfort food and represent a refreshing alternative to the traditional wedding cake, not to mention they’re much kinder on the pocket too. Don’t they just remind you of going to your nan’s house when you were a wee one.

To this day, the smell of freshly baked apple pie instantly conjures up happy memories spent with my grandparents.

Choosing a pie-based dessert provides you with oodles of variety. The list of fillings is seemingly endless – cherries, berries, apples, pumpkins and pecans are just some of the options available to you – which means that there should be something to please even the fussiest of eaters.

Look for interesting cake stands to proudly display your pies on. Check out eBay, secondhand shops and even the unlikeliest of places…tin cans from the recycling box anyone? Try also to create depth within your pie table by using stands of different heights and/or styles.

I’m currently smitten with images of open dressers stacked to the rafters with pie and other knick-knacks. They look so good, it almost seems a shame to eat the crusty treats.

Don’t forget to label your pies either especially if any of your guests have food allergies. Flags, in the same style as the rest of the event stationery, popped into each pie is a cute way of getting the message across.

Lastly I love the idea of involving your nearest and dearest in your big day by asking them to cook a pie for your dessert table. Why not hold a baking competition with the winning pie claiming the coveted title of the ‘Official Pudding of the Bride and Groom’ to be consumed every year on your anniversary.

Raise The Bar

Not all buffet tables need to be food-based, in fact setting up an interactive drinks bar for your champagne reception can be the perfect tool for encouraging your guests to mingle.

If your event is taking place outside then I’d suggest setting up your bar on something other than a standard table covered with a tablecloth. This is a fantastic opportunity to be creative and reflect the wider wedding theme in some smaller key elements of your decor.

Perhaps you could spread some scaffolding planks across a couple of old barrels for a raw and rustic theme like the top image here or even have some pieces made for you which you can then use later in the home.

I particularly like the exposed wood trays on stilts here which would be perfect for displaying potted plants in the garden once your big day is over.

Lemonade stations are easily the most popular type of drink displays but expanding the theme to a tea pit-stop or a milk and cookies bar is just as effective. FYI – I am so having a milk and cookies zone at my wedding.

Imagine the photos with all those milk moustaches.

Your glasses needn’t conform to the norm either. Old jam jars accompanied by a jaunty straw and labelled with your guests’ names mean that drinking vessels won’t get mixed up as well as doubling up as a small memento of the day once it’s over.

I Want S’more

And frankly who doesn’t…

This part of the post is all about the weird and wonderful variations on the dessert table theme and boy have we got some things to show you. For those of you enticed by the dessert table concept but who want to do something a little bit different – this is for you.

Think velvety madeleines, elaborate croquembouches, decadent s’mores, customised cookies, perfectly popped popcorn and melt-in-your-mouth macaroons.


This is all about elevating the dessert table from a three-tiered cakey affair to an art form.

Perhaps you’re having a rustic, outdoorsy do where a toasted s’more will go down a treat or maybe you and your beloved are movie buffs so setting up a popcorn bar is the only way to go. Whatever your interests or wedding themes are, there’s just so much you can play with so I encourage all of you to really embrace it.

Remember it’s your day, your way.

My favourite dessert table ‘variation’ is the self-serve ice-cream parlour and I particularly love the vintage setup at the bottom of this board complete with all the necessary trimmings for the most amazing iced treat.

Opting for a slightly different dessert concept doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Toppings, cones and ice-cream can be purchased from your local supermarket and dishes and containers for the set-up can be found at Ikea for bargain prices.

Remember that presentation is paramount to making this set-up, look and feel amazing – don’t put too much out at the same time otherwise it can appear sloppy. Equally make sure that someone is nominated to keep an eye on spills and to top things up if necessary.

All that there remains for me to say is, sweet toothed connoisseurs – eat your heart out!

Let Them Eat Cake

Lots of it. Lots and lots of it!

At RMW HQ we’ve noticed more and more brides are opting for an opulent dessert table instead of the wedding cake and the more conventional pudding.

Frankly why wouldn’t you – you can have your cake (and then some more) and eat it.

For me, dessert tables have two stages to them.

Obviously there’s the actual sampling of the culinary delights but it is the visual impression of the delicious display that comes first. Long story short – if it looks good then you can guarantee it will be a success.

Opting for a cakey buffet is the perfect opportunity to continue your wedding theme. Try to bring together the design of your table, your florals and your wedding stationery to produce a single cohesive look that packs a punch.

Lavishing attention on the backdrop of the table, the colour scheme and the dessert menus are all surefire ways of giving your table pizzazz.

And if you really want to flex your creative muscle then why not take your table to the next level. Upturn bowls and place cloches on top to give height to your displays. Collect antique dishes for a vintage feel, or encase your cupcakes in gold for a dose of luxe.

If you’re confused about the number of portions a dessert table should provide for your guests then I’d follow this rule of thumb. If you’re choosing to skip cake and will just provide mini puddings instead, then I’d recommend approx 3 desserts per person.

Something else to consider is the number of different types of treats that you’ll display on your table. Too many and you risk overwhelming your guests, too few and the aesthetic impact of the display will be limited.

Aim for about 4-5 different choices for a happy medium.

So is anyone else hungry now?

All that talk about foodstuffs of the cakey variety has left me in need of a major sugar fix. I’m not fussy – right now I’ll eat just about anything…but I do like chocolate.

So have you thought about incorporating a delicious dessert table into your big day?

Perhaps the idea of organising one more thing is just too much to bear?

We want to hear what you have to say guys and gals….

All my love Lolly xxx

Author: Lauren Gautier-Ollerenshaw
Lolly is a self-professed frustrated florist and styling maven with an endless passion for all things pretty.

32 thoughts on “Sugar For My Baby

  1. Oh Lolly, I’m trying to be good & not eat naughty stuff & once again you lot have made me want chocolate!!! haha :-p

    I am with you on the aesthetics of a sweet/dessert table, they just look sooo pretty! All those cute little labels, stripey paper bags, gorgeous glass dishes….I could go on!

    As for our own wedding, thanks to your Charlotte’s comment last week Dave & I will now be featuring a chocolate table!! I cannot tell you how excited I have got about this idea….I nearly popped when telling Dave all the chocolates I wanted to include (there’s just too many)! I just hope I can make it as pretty as any of these pics! 🙂 x

  2. Wow now this is making me hungry – I wonder how many sugary treats were consumed putting this post together? Glad to see a popcorn buffet made it in the line up – I need one of these in my life! I was trying to persuade Charlotte and Adam that Pretty Naughty needs one! xx

  3. Ah Lolly, it’s like you’re inside my mind!! Yes, I would LOVE a full on, piled high dessert table with a range of treats. On the other hand, I know how much of a nightmare I’m going to be and that organising something like that (because I am unable to trust anyone else to do it properly) would sen me over the edge!

    It’s just far too much hassle.

    Now I want cake. xxx

  4. @Matthew good to see a man commenting on the blog. Though you can’t go wrong with cake can you. Hello to you Sir.

    @Gabi I would never have put you down for a popcorn fanatic. Not really sure what a popcorn fanatic looks like actually but nonetheless I was surprised. We could try to sneak a popcorn bar into Pretty Naughty somewhere – where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    @Karen I hear you on the organisational front – it does take time and effort. I had a mini tantrum with my mum on Saturday about the whole control freak/not trusting anyone else to do it properly thing that I am prone to. Apparently I am not allowed to go and do final checks on the table settings and aisle the morning of the wedding. I stomped my feet and she suggested plying me with wine to stop me thinking about it. All in a day’s work eh?!

    @Rebecca. Are you a Becky or a Rebecca? And I am ECSTATIC about your chocolate table news. You go girl! Will you be having stripy bags and cute labels or will you be letting the chocolate do the talking?

    1. Yep absolute FANATIC! it seems to span to all ‘air’ based treats like maltesers, cheesy puffs…now I wonder if you could get away with a crisp buffet!! xx

  5. @Karen – I’m the same with the wanting to organise everything, but I am having to let others (incl. Dave) set room up as it has to be done the morning of the wedding. eek!!!
    So there is only one thing for it – I will be doing mock tables & taking photos of how each table should look!!
    I WILL get it looking how I want!!! ha ha ha 😉 x

  6. I’ve just squealed a little bit with excitement! We’re having a cake table and a sweetie table at our wedding and now I’ve got piles of new inspiration for them. The cake table is mostly going to be made up of cakes made by our friends and family – we’d originally thought we’d get cakes from local bakers and Costco but we had so many kind offers – it was overwhelming how much people want to contribute – I’ve even got 2 bridesmaids who are going to bake the morning before the wedding, bless them! I’m now scouring ebay for stands but your post has given me a few alternative ideas.

    The sweetie table is going to be run by my 9-year-old godson and he’s very excited about his responsibility. He actually asked if we would let him dress up as Willy Wonka for the day! So far I’ve got zebra-print and leopard print paper bags plus stripy bags in our colours of red and grey, plus a load of those wire-closure jars from Ikea – but now I’m thinking some little glass dishes and pretty trays could also work, specially for the macaroons which I’ve recently got into and will be putting on the sweet table come hell or high water!x

  7. @Gabi – put your foot down and make demands. Semi naked men serving popcorn (or ice cream…) would go down a treat! I’ll bring my scoop.

    @Lolly – NO!!! Im in the same boat, Im not being allowed near the venue on the day itself until im supposed to be there. I cant cope, as if we’re supposed to be able to trust the venue staff to recreate the abstract image montage of our minds! dear oh dear. I might need a proper discussion with you about all this, from a ‘styling guru’ point of view some day soon, its stressing me out just thinking about it! xxx

  8. @Lauren – heehee! glad you’re excited 🙂
    Probably no stiped bags – am thinking people won’t be able to wait to eat the chocolate!
    But will definitely be making some cute little labels (with obligatory art deco fonts! eeee) and arranging in all manner of glass dishes. 😀

    Ps. I’m more of a Rebecca or Becca girl 🙂 x

  9. @Lauren/Karen – just think of me not being able to have any input in the preparation of the venue! eeek! I have all these plans & I have to rely on someone else to execute them all – stressed isn’t the word!!! 🙁 xx

  10. Ooooh cake and treats – how I love them!

    Great post Lolly, always full of good ideas! I love the photos and think the dessert tables look absolutely spectacular – I’d love to have one but with so much else to do co-ordinating all those cakes and the decor is just a bit much.

    If we had more money and could afford a wedding planner I’m pretty sure we’d have a whole table of desserts! x

  11. I really really wanted a sweetie table (and we did have one, colour coordinated and everything) but … a word of warning …. its not necessarily the hit that is talked about on blogs.

    Very few of our guests actually tucked into the sweets and it definitely wasn’t the popular dessert option that I thought it was going to be. We spent about £100 on sweets, laid out less than half of them (with a view to filling up as things got emptied) and ended up refilling sweet boxes at the end of the night because there was so much left over. I sold the leftover sweets to my kids school for the summer fete (fortunately!) but at a massively reduced price from what it cost us.

    Even our cake pops were met with some confusion – most people hadn’t seen them before and thought they were simply decoration, or giant gobstoppers (which they didn’t want!). We ended up taking handfuls of them and walking round our guests offering them and explaining what they were! And we still had some left over at the end.

    So, if you’re not sure about a sweet table … then don’t feel you *have* to have one, just because they’re in fashion on the blogs at the moment – they’re not necessarily as popular as you may be led to believe!

  12. @Lauren, I am SO glad you did a post on this! We’re having a dessert table and a cheese table at our wedding and I was starting to think that it was all a bit “over” but then I remind myself that all those 50 folk at our day don’t spend months looking at wedding blogs! And they’ve probably never seen anything like it. Most of the folk coming have never been to an outdoor wedding!

    We’re having lemon meringue pie, macaroons, brownies, welsh cakes, cupcakes… literally cannot wait!


  13. This was the perfect antidote to my crying fit earlier… now I’m excited about the cake! (As I said – emotionally unstable!!)

    We’re having our wedding cake as dessert during the Wedding Breakfast so we are setting up a ‘cake buffet’ for the evening. It’s going to be made up of cakes brought by particular friends and family who have a flair for baking and want to be involved. It’s totally cost effective and fun to involve people (plus you have to taste them beforehand, of course). It is putting it in the hands of others but I have total faith…hopefully it will pay off!

    Happy cake munching one and all.

  14. @Shirley – I have seen the same thing a few times before
    Am thinking of putting a note on all the tables that the chocolate table is not just for looking at!!!

    Maybe incorporating the sweetie/dessert table into the buffet area may encourage people to actually tuck in?!

    ps. luckily (or unluckily) for me a large number of my family & friends have sampled my cakepops & so have insisted I make them for my wedding!! haha

  15. So…… suddenly I want a sweet, chocolate and cake table at my wedding?! I havent budgeted for these goodies!

    I’m on a diet, was doing so well and then I read this and now I’m dribbling! Thanks guys!
    Seriously though, been admiring from afar and LOVE this site (it might get me sacked!) xx

  16. We’re putting sweets (flying saucers, refreshers etc) on tables, and making rich truffles to put into brown paper bag DIY favours to take home. Our wedding is late so we’re not doing canapes or snacks, especially as we know we’re serving a huge three course meal. Instead we’ll serve out the (again home made by groom’s mum!) wedding cake at the end of the evening. Plus, for guests staying in our hotel with us I’m going to make Brownies, maybe something else as still undecided, for them to tuck into when they get to their room if they still have the munchies! Bit much?! I don’t want guests to go hungry and home made treats will hopefully be less expensive and nice…here’s hoping! We’re putting sweets on tables as my groom can’t get enough of them, so if there’s loads left over he’s happy to eat them all post wedding diet! Go all out on the cakes and treats for your guests I say. You don’t have to break the bank either.

    @Lou I think that’s a fantastic way to get your godson involved in the wedding, genius!

  17. @Karen / Lolly – if you’re being banned from any organisation on the morning of the wedding (I was too!) then I highly recommend getting an ‘on the day coordinator’ just to make sure that everything goes to *your* brief. That way you don’t get random things set up in random places and it all happens the way you’ve spent months planning it. And your inner control freak is satisfied 🙂

  18. @Shirley – you’re absolutely right! But, how much does one of these humans cost? I could REALLY do with someone!! x

  19. Oooohhhh, I so want to go to a wedding with a sweetie table. I’d like to have one at ours but fiance says emphatically no. Probably just as well, I’d probably eat myself into a sugar frenzy.

    @Shirley (hopefully): any of those cake pops left that you want taken off your hands (dribble)?

  20. @Karen – with regards to the mock ups….I am even considering asking the venue if I can go in one afternoon & do the mock up on their tables!!! xx

  21. Oooo am now thinking maybe we also need popcorn instead of canapes?! especially considering our venue? just imagine the cute little popcorn boxes lined up on the bar!……..(eek too many ideas!) xx

  22. I bloody loved my sweetie table. And so did the guests, not a sweet left at the end of he wedding 🙂


  23. Hiya Lovelies!

    I’m actually designing a table-o-goodness for my little sister’s wedding on October..

    So far it’s castle and sunflower theme, so yes, I will be there at 7am building a castle out of JENGA BLOCKS.

    This book by Amy Atlas came out a few months ago and is the source of many of my ideas so far, I’d really recommend it – Amy Atlas, Sweet Designs. (it’s on Amazon)

    Love! Jxx

  24. I LOVE dessert tables, that nutella smores on is just genius! Not so much into sweety tables. I get why Shirley says hers didn’t go down so well, I mean how many penny sweets can someone really eat?

    NOBODY can say no to a table of cakes and pies and tarts unless there’s something really wrong with them…

  25. One of the photo’s under “Let Them Eat Cake” is sourced incorrectly – Third Row Top Right: Image via Ruffled. That is actually a photo from Sweet and Saucy Supply’s website. I recognized it as soon as I saw it. They have the most darling cake stands.


    (Note: Sourcing has now been corrected)

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