Dessert Only Wedding Receptions

Written by on August 1, 2012 in Wedding Food, Wedding Reception with 0 Comments

dessert only wedding receptionsAnother unique wedding idea is that more brides are opting for a dessert only wedding receptions. This is for a variety of reasons and definitely has pros and cons. You have to weigh what’s most important to you and decide if this is a good idea.

Pros for a Dessert Only Wedding Reception

  • Saving money on your budget — a dessert only reception will allow you to serve some awesome confections to your guests but at a much more budget friendly price than a 3+ course meal.
  • It’s easier to satisfy everyone with desserts than it is with a meal — Chicken, fish, beef or vegetarian? With an array of desserts to choose from, most all your guests will find something they like!
  • You can still have a wedding cake, just offer a lot of other dessert choices as well. (Believe it or not, some people don’t like cake. Gasp!)
  • Time of Day  — You can still have an afternoon or evening event. A dessert only reception is usually held between traditional meal times. With a reception start time of after 2PM or after 8PM, you are safest in holding a dessert menu.
  • You can Invite More People — With a dessert buffet, you can be more lenient with your guest list. Bite sized desserts will go farther!
  • Less time spent with guests glued to their seats — A plate served or buffet style meal both take some time. Guests are stuck at the table seats. With a dessert buffet or stations, guests can roam, mix, mingle and get on the dance floor that much faster.
  • Assigned seats is not mandatory — A dessert reception still needs tables and chairs but assigned seating is not necessary since no meal will be served. It can be open seating or just assigned tables as the wait staff won’t need to know who ordered chicken or fish.

Cons for a Dessert Only Wedding Reception

  • Some guests expect a meal at a wedding reception — period. (However, keep in mind, you can’t please everyone!)
  • Should not be held during a normal meal timeso, between Noon and 2PM or 5PM to 7PM, it’s best to serve some sort of meal or heavy appetizers since this is when guests are used to eating their meals.
  • Earlier or Later Ceremony — Since you won’t want to cross the meal time mark, you ceremony will need to be earlier or later than a traditional ceremony time. 2 PM is perfect for a short, afternoon ceremony and reception. If you want a party that goes into the night, consider a 7:30 or later ceremony with the dessert reception immediately following.

Dessert Reception Myths

Just because you have opted to hold a dessert only reception doesn’t mean you have to give up class, beauty, or anything else you would have at a traditional reception. Band/DJ, dancing, garter toss, cake cutting, first dances, toasts can all still be done at a dessert only reception. And, actually, you will have more time to accomplish them since you don’t need to carve out a couple of hours for plate served meals.

Centerpieces, vignettes and all other decor can still be used — just like a traditional wedding. You have just made yours unique — more like you!

Caveat – Remember, you should include dessert choices so that any guests with health concerns can still enjoy your offerings. Sugar free desserts and fresh fruits will appeal so don’t forget to include some!

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About the Author

About the Author: With 20+ years in the wedding and event industry, I have seen a lot of unique, unusual and funky weddings. Every one of them were a journey of discovery and a reflection of the bride and groom. I had a ball and am now passing along some of those pearls of wisdom to today's brides and grooms. A wedding is personal -- it's about the two of you and your relationship -- let's make it as unique and offbeat as you each are! .

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