Everyone likes options, but you definitely don't need to go crazy.
wedding reception petite desserts treat bar
Credit: Alp & Isle

Planning your wedding dessert menu can be a difficult task, as you may not be sure about the type of sweet treats to share with your guests. Is a wedding cake enough, or do you need to put out a full spread of small bites? This question becomes even more difficult to answer when you have guests with food allergies on the guest list, as you'll definitely want to make sure that everyone has a delicious dessert they can enjoy.

To help you make the right dessert choices, we spoke to an expert wedding planner (plus two caterers!) about how many different dessert options a couple should serve during the reception. Below are some important things to keep in mind if you are indeed having trouble picking some final options.

Review Your Guest List for Dietary Restrictions

"Review your guest list for any particular dietary restrictions and food allergies, and then provide enough options to include something for everyone to enjoy," suggests Billie Jo Kunkler, an event planner with Michelle Leo Events. If no one has allergies, you'll be completely fine to serve a single-flavor wedding cake—if it's not everyone's favorite flavor, it's really not that big of a deal.

Consider Serving Mini Desserts

"Keep in mind that you don't have to serve full serving sizes of each selection," Kunkler says. Mini desserts help keep costs down while enabling you to offer a variety of choices so everyone can find something to enjoy.

Stick to the Four Bite Per Person Rule

"We stick by the four bites per person rule," suggests Denise Smith, director of sales and marketing at Catering By Design. That seems to be enough to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth, providing one option for chocolate lovers, and typically one dessert that is a fruit-centric option, she says.

Keep Your Budget in Mind

"The majority of our clients choose three to five desserts for their station, says Caroline Hummer co-founder and creative director of Fogcutter Catering. "However, I think that five is the perfect number if it's within your budget," she suggests.

Keep Your Dessert Options Balanced

"We love a balance of different desserts," Hummer says. One should ideally be gluten-free (we lean towards jarred desserts like our white chocolate pot de creme with brown butter persimmons and ginger crumble); and another vegan (like our vegan sticky toffee pudding bites), she suggests.

But Make Sure You Have Plenty of Variety

"I like different options on a dessert table," suggests Leah Berhanu, director of sales and marketing for Pigéon Catering & Events of New Orleans. It helps with having different colors, heights, and textures, and the table really comes together with so many options on it, she says.


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