Warning! Your stomach may be growling by the end of this blog!
One wedding tradition that some brides and grooms love is cutting the cake. They take elegant pictures while slicing a beautiful, elaborate cake, and then smash it in each other’s faces. If that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is! Cake is one of the oldest and most popular dessert choices when it comes to weddings, to quote Donkey from the animated movie Shrek, “Cake! Everybody loves cake!”
But perhaps you are the exception to the rule. That’s okay! The good news is that cake isn’t your only option. More and more brides and grooms are taking alternative routes when choosing a wedding dessert. It’s their day, and they want their choices to reflect who they are as a couple.
Here at Weddings in Vieques, we’ve seen numerous dessert options. Most recently the bride and groom decided to have a dessert bar. They picked some of their favorite sweet treats (the key lime pie bites were to die for) to offer a variety of options to their guests.
Dessert bars are great because each couple can customize it to their taste, and guests can find something they like or try a bite of everything. If you like brownies then you choose brownies, perhaps you’re a mousse person, scotcharoos for my Midwesterners out there, or maybe cookies are what trip your trigger (I mean who can say no to a chocolate chip cookie?). Any or all of the options could be included in your dessert bar.
Other dessert options we’ve seen included a pie extravaganza with 16 different kinds of pie. Can you say yum? Ooey gooey s’mores bars are a popular way to take things outside if you’re having a fire pit, but they’re also elegant when served on a fancy s’mores bar in a venue. One bride had a cheesecake spread with tons of flavors each looking spectacular and another a chocolate fountain with a plethora of dip-able goodies (though not an easy feat in the Caribbean). Those didn’t even include possible alternative cake options such as cupcakes or cake pops. These are great if you want cake, but don’t want to deal with slicing and serving it. All of the above are perfectly acceptable to offer as dessert at your wedding reception.
An ice cream sundae bar is another option that has been requested before. This is a fantastic idea in theory, but can get real messy, real quick here in the Caribbean. It’s hard to serve ice cream to a large group before it melts. Unless ice cream soup is the look you’re going for, you may want to rethink that one. It is probably be better suited for the indoor, air conditioned venues up north. And no, you can’t have an ice cream cake down here either.
Many brides and grooms who choose one of these dessert alternatives still want to participate in the cake cutting tradition and they still can. “Cutting cakes” are small, still beautiful, cakes that can be used to slice, take a first bite out of, and get some great pictures. Then it is whisked away and wrapped up to enjoy later. It allows them to have the best of both dessert worlds!
If you want to keep the traditional cake at your wedding, but like the idea of alternative desserts too, why not tie them in at another event during the weekend? S’mores bars make for a great welcome party or even a rehearsal dinner add on. If you’re staying at a villa it can be an easy way to get everyone outside and hanging around the bonfire. Changing up the dessert at your rehearsal dinner could provide a little variety for your guests, especially those who have to attend each event. You don’t want to offer cake at everything.
The bride and groom may want to choose an alternative dessert option in lieu of the traditional cake in order to tie in their theme. Dessert bars can help make your theme more prominent without being tacky or spending more on decor. Who wouldn’t love a chocolate buffet for their Valentine’s Day wedding? Maybe the couple is looking for a Paris-themed reception because that’s where they got engaged or are headed there on their honeymoon. Offering a colorful spread of macaroons or a build-your-own-crepe dessert bar would be a hit with the guests. If you are planning a destination wedding to get away from a cold, snowy climate back home, it could be cute to have snowman cookies on your dessert buffet to pay tribute to the fact that you aren’t freezing your butts off – just dress them in bathing suits! It all depends on what your theme is and how prominent you want it to be.
There are so many options to pick from and so many different directions that a couple can go with their wedding dessert choices. If you don’t want to break the wedding day tradition, then don’t. You can always add it in somewhere else or build upon your theme, and let your dessert reflect you and your partner. Everyone has a different guilty dessert pleasure, and you should indulge in your favorite treat on your wedding day.
You can have your cake (or pie, or bars, or s’mores, or mousse) and eat it too! There are no rules.
Kayla Seeger, Intern at Weddings in Vieques