This afternoon’s feature revolves almost entirely around cake. You’re welcome.
My one personal wedding day regret was not incorporating a beautifully styled dessert table into the proceedings. Not only do they make a statement piece of decor for your guests to admire (and a super talking point) but your nearest and dearest also benefit from having the choice of their favourite something sweet.
We’re going to show you some of the easiest and most effective ways to give your dessert the “Wow” factor with minimal fuss and a small budget. We’ve even created a special graphic within the post that incorporates all of the ideas so you can pin it to your big day inspiration boards. Did we say you’re welcome?
It seems that Winter might actually be on its way at last. The temperature seems to have dropped in the last few days and I actually had to scrape ice off my car windscreen this morning which wasn’t exactly ideal given that I was wearing stilettos and a whisper-thin silk shirt. I know – completely practical right..?!
I don’t know about you but these colder days make me want to indulge in comfort food – creamy, marshmallow-laden hot chocolates and steaming sticky toffee puddings – and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the EPIC pie dessert table that we created as part of our Autumn editorial – The Fall – last year.
It appears that we weren’t the only ones smitten with this cornucopia of edible delights – a fair few of you lovelies professed your love for it too as well as pinning it within an inch of its life.
We like this very much indeed.
And so it felt right to share a ‘how to’ this afternoon with you gorgeous lot so if you should so wish, you can create a pie dessert table of your very own. Obviously the sunlit glade is optional…
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…
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.
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.
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….
Welcome back and prepare to be absolutely blown away by this afternoons visual feast. Autumn brides take note and be inspired, flower fanatics enjoy with tea and cake. Scottish brides make note of all the suppliers involved (they are the best!) and cake-lovers, decor fanatics, colour scheme enthusiasts everywhere just enjoy the stunning wedding Gemma created, all captured perfectly by Blue Sky Photography,
On the walls we hung malus apple wreaths with velvet ribbon – I just adored all the textures!!
Again in the room we had our drinks reception we wanted it to be relaxed and autumnal!! The room had no furniture so we brought in a huge wooden side board unit and filled it with apothecary jars filled with autumn goodies like leaves, physalis, cinnamon sticks and malus apples.
We added lots of candles and vases full of malus apple branches, with the addition of a few personal touches like photos of our parents on their wedding day, some Old Letterpress Printer Blocks and framed poems written by grandmother it was such a great focus in the room.
I made huge wreaths of autumn leaves, physalis and birch that we hung around the room too – I am in no way a romantic but I read somewhere in one of many wedding magazines(!) that the wreath is a symbol of eternity and it just stuck with me so I decided to make as many as I could!!
As I am a wedding florist it was really important to me to do something different that I hadn’t seen before for the reception tables – the best way was to seat our guests on a long table – creating “tablescapes” for long tables is probably one of the most enjoyable things for me.
Having all that space just for me to play with is a joy! As we had chosen gorgeous dark grey linen from 88 events and had designed material ruffles for the back of the chairs I knew what ever we did it would have to be dramatic! We switched the autumnal vibe a little and although we still used lots of leaves and trees we turned it around and painted the branches grey.
We took the colour from the plum coloured plates and bowls we hired from 88 events and filled the table with plum carnation balls, vases full of callicarpa and black mamba orchids. Every other detail we made grey – all the candles and moss/ leaf details all grey.
I wanted it to be so full and abundant, so there was never a bare space – every time you could look at something different.
I know so many absolutely amazing photographers so this was the hardest thing to choose! When I thought about what we wanted from a photographer we knew we wanted lots of relaxed shots nothing posed or formal.
As I am a details girl and I knew I would be doing a lot of DIYing it was important that our photographer understood that I wanted a picture of all my little details that I worked hard on.
Lastly it had to be someone fun and someone that made us relaxed and that we were completely as ease with – before Chris even met Blue Sky I knew he would love them and how chilled out they were! Niels and Alie could not have done a better job for us; they really truly were part of the whole days experience.
It was like we had two more guests at our wedding that wanted to experience the day as much as our family did! We had such great fun wandering around the Hopetoun Estate – seeing parts we had never seen before.
They didn’t miss a single detail or moment that I wanted to remember.
Both of our families are cheese lovers so it had to be a cheese stack that our caterer Heritage Portfolio organised rather than a cake! I made a flower base for it to be stacked on and finished it with two personalized mice from The House of Mouse via Etsy.
I love Amy Atlas! I have been following her work for years so when the opportunity came up to do a dessert table I grabbed it with both hands! I decided I didn’t want to go for the normal sweetie table and instead wanted to make it more of a dessert table.
Using the ruffle idea that we had on the back of our chairs we created a huge back board for the table which we clothed in the grey again. I wanted to build it up with lots of heights and wanted to keep everything really neutral in colour letting the stationary bring the colour in. I knew for sure I HAD to have a macaroon tower but other than that I wasn’t too sure. The macaroon tower sat on a grey plinth my dad made to give it height rather than using a cake stand. All the other cup cakes, cake pops and meringues were made by the super talented Nicki at Cup Couture. She is absolutely full to the brim with dessert ideas! Everything tasted A M A Z I N G!! I didn’t want to ruin all the hard work that Cup Couture put in by putting everything on plates that didn’t fit in with the scheme so I went to TK Maxx and bought a load of random large really ornate photo frames which I lined with biscuit coloured paper and spray painted grey.
The result was excellent and they really looked the part – we placed these on different heights of flower pillars and along side the ceramic that we also painted full of cake pops it was finished 🙂 Susan from Knotty Stationary made signs for all the bits and pieces bringing the plum colour back on the table.
We decided to have an acoustic guitar and solo singer through our ceremony and drinks reception – giving that informal rustic vibe. At the evening reception we had a live band to get everyone up and dancing! We also hired an air hockey table from Night Train Productions for the night reception. It was a huge hit and there was pretty much a queue all night to have a shot 🙂 such a brilliant ice breaker!
Neither if us are big dancers so we decided to have a party song instead that everyone could get up to! My mum loves Barry White so we had “my first my last my ev erything” as our first dance. We put far more thought into our ceremony songs than our evening music – we just felt it was better letting the band doing what they do best!
A Personal Touch
We didn’t really have any favours, I suppose I felt the dessert table would do that job. Although I embroidered everyones names onto their napkins rather than having place cards and all the guests seemed to take them home if that counts!
The Finishing Touches
The venue lined the courtyard with fire buckets – with us getting married the day before Halloween they gave the fireworks night feel.
At the end of the night we had a sparklers farewell which looked brilliant and was one of my favourite moments of the day. We had baskets of blankets ready for guests to wrap up and keep warm with.
Our mini groomsmen held our rings in a personalised ring bowl from Paloma’s Nest – it was so cute, plus side is I have a ring bowl that can sit on my dresser now as a reminder of our day.
Instead of a guestbook we had a finger print tree where guests could “leaf their print” it went so well with our style and looked great hanging on the wall once everyone had left their thumb print.
We really wanted to have no stationary on our table so our great stationary lady Susan from Knotty Stationary designed a menu come escort card all in one – I loved them so much! We used an old mirror frame and hung them in the wall so guests could find their table and see the menu all in one 🙂 Knotty also used the same handwriting design to make all our signage around the venue.
The food was seriously delicious our guests were blown away by the meal that Heritage Portfolio provided.
Advice from a Super Bride!
For me my day was made special by all the amazing people involved. We were extremely lucky as we knew so many brilliant suppliers in the industry. I suppose my advice would be once you have chosen your suppliers put your trust in them let them do what they do best as you will get so much more out of them that way.
We made our wedding as personal and informal as we could keeping things relaxed and I think that’s what made it for me seeing everyone laughing and smiling and being altogether.
You know what though, for all of you sitting there thinking that you just don’t have the budget or the contacts for this, then start thinking laterally. If there are elements of this wedding you absolutely love and can’t do without, then budget for them, great floristry, photography, stationery and catering can’t all be DIY’d this well. However, if you can be sensible about what you want, prioritise your must haves, then think about DIY-ing the rest… Lots of the wreaths here are made of dried seed pods and leaves so could be made well in advance and I’m just loving the symbolism attached to them. Pumpkins and squashes can be grown easily on a big patch of land and if a cake table is a must, think about asking friends and family to contribute then pulling it all together with DIY plates and chargers like Gemma did. Add small touches that make a big difference like the ring bowl, tiny mice and straw flags for drinks.
Thank you so much to Gemma for choosing Rock My Wedding to showcase her insane talent and beyond beautiful wedding. We are inspired and hope all our lovely readers will be too 🙂
Welcome back for Part 2 of this gorgeous Canadian wedding. Once again all the beautifully stylish images are by Brett Harkness Photography with his signature saturation of colour. Although we can often only dream over here of marrying in such a jaw dropping location (certainly while the sun shines!) there are lots of steal-able ideas here – I particularly love the chandeliers – something that could definitely be done on a budget, or try hire companies to create a single focal point for your day without racking up the pounds too much.
Through all the bridal and flower magazines I looked at, I always liked roses the most. So I chose to have mostly roses with a few little additions in the centre pieces such as Queen Anne’s Lace (I’m not sure of the names of the other little flowers in the table centres).
My bouquet was all ivory roses and spray roses with pearls, the bridesmaids were a mix of ivory and mauve roses, and the tablecentres were mauve roses (not sure of the exact colour name). My wonderful florist was Ellen from Ellen’s florist in Moose Jaw.
The choice of photographer was easy and a very lucky opportunity for us, I grew up dancing with Kristie in Moose Jaw.
Our wedding planner told us that Kristie and Brett (Harkness) were going to be in town around the time of our wedding to shoot Kristie’s brother’s wedding the weekend after and they agreed to do ours the weekend before. We were very lucky to be able to have them.
We didn’t have a cake but had a dessert buffet instead with many tasty delights made by our chef, Sarah Moore. They included chocolate truffles, chocolate covered strawberries, lemon poundcake with a lavender syrup (we also served prosecco with lavender for our signature cocktail), and some others I can’t remember.
We also had Saskatoon berry pies made by my grandma!
Making it ours
I think I would say a lot of the décor was the general beauty of the surrounding lake. My favourite special touches were the chandeliers we hung from the trees and lit up over the ceremony site and the black and white wedding photos we hung on a tree trunk bythe guest book of our parents and grandparents.
I also collected several lace table clothes and vintage silver pieces to go on the various tables (appetizer, dessert, gift, guest book, etc) to add to the vintage feel. There were also chandeliers in the tent set up by the rental company.
We did not have any favours as we both felt they weren’t important.
Our very good friends made a slide show of photos that went with a narrated story and music that played after the speeches, and we had a band that got everyone up on their feet on the dance floor which was very important to us to have people dancing. The first dance was to the song “Picture in a Frame” by Tom Waits but sang by our band. This was my surprise to Andy as he is a huge Tom Waits fan and I am not as I don’t like his voice. However, I do like his songs so to have it sang by someone else was perfect.
A Perfect Day
What made our wedding special to me was that it was such a good time and everyone at the wedding had a great time as well. After all the work of planning every little detail for over a year, it was just so much fun! My advice to future brides would be to do what you and your groom want and having a wedding planner, at least for the day of the wedding, takes a lot of stress off you and frees you up to just enjoy!
Simple and Beautiful.
Thank you so much to Brett and Kristy from Brett Harkness Photography for submitting this beautiful day to us and also to Kerri and Andy for allowing us to feature it.