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Cake VS. Dessert Bar

Dessert at a wedding is always a MUST but have you ever thought about which type or style dessert you want? Have you always dreamed of that large tiered cake lathered in buttercream frosting and decorated with flowers? Maybe you want something more simple and convenient where you can offer your guests more than one option such as a dessert bar? There are many benefits to both however a choice will depend on the look, style, and feel that the couple wishes to go for.

Let’s talk about the differences and benefits of both options in hopes to help make a decision!


 Wedding cake is the traditional cake served at wedding receptions following dinner. The tradition of wedding cakes began in England and were traditionally made to bring good luck to all guests and the couple. Nowadays, cakes are more of a centerpiece to the wedding and are not always even served to the guests. Some cakes are built with only a single edible tier for the bride and groom to share to save on some money.

Wedding cakes have been a staple at weddings for as long as anybody can remember but what is so great about them?

  1. A cake is that large centerpiece dessert that will wow any crowd.

  2. A cake will feed many people with ease.

  3. A cake is absolutely gorgeous no matter how you choose to decorate it.

  4. A cake allows more room on the dessert table for decorations.

  5. The couple gets to cut the first slice of the cake together to symbolize that they support each other.

Though there are many pros to a large wedding cake, there are some also some cons.

  1. Cakes are extremely expensive and can sometimes cost over $500.

  2. Cakes have to be cut and there is usually a catering fee for cake cutting.

  3. Because cakes have to be cut, guests have to wait longer to enjoy dessert.

  4. Cakes do not offer options and some guests may not like the flavor that was chosen.

Dessert Bar

Dessert bars have only come about in the last 15 years or so. Dessert bars are a great alternative to the traditional wedding cake. Essentially, a dessert table is a large table full of various desserts instead of doing a full wedding cake. Dessert bars can include any type of dessert that you wish. I often see cupcakes, cookies, brownies, lemon bars, pies, donuts, etc. There is no limit to what you can include. This is a great new tradition because it allows for so much variety and is a great way to keep dessert costs down. Many couples still opt to have a small cake for the traditional “cake cutting” photos, however that cake is generally not served to the guests.

Why have couples decided to switch over to a dessert bar instead of doing the traditional cake?

  1. A dessert bar offers your guests a large variety of desserts where they can find something they like to eat.

  2. There is no cake cutting fee because there is no cake to cut.

  3. A dessert bar generally costs less than a tiered cake because they are simpler to make.

  4. Dessert bars fill in the dessert table so much more and it looks stunning.

  5. Risers are often used on dessert bars to showcase each dessert and a different level which makes everything look extremely appetizing.

  6. There is no limit to what can be included.

What might be some downfalls of opting for a dessert bar and not a wedding cake?

  1. You are straying away from tradition and some people don’t like that.

  2. Getting a dessert bar together can be more tedious and stressful because there are so many elements.

  3. There is no wow moment when guests see that large tiered cake.

  4. It might be difficult to know how many desserts you’ll need.

Though there are differences or pros and cons to having a wedding cake or a dessert bar, it is ultimately up to what you want and what you are able to afford. They are both fantastic options and will provide dessert for your wedding guests. Some people even choose to do both a wedding cake and a dessert bar. Combining the two can mean that your cake is just there for the cake cutting or some couples choose to have the cake served as well as offering the other desserts.

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Friday: Hiring a Florist

Tuesday: Photo List for Wedding Day

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