Wedding cake is one of the most recognizable traditions in modern wedding culture, and recently, there has been an increase in the extravagance of wedding cakes. Oftentimes the elaborate dessert is more of a work of art than a tasty treat.
But while this may be a surprise to some, not everyone likes cake – or perhaps you're hosting a large wedding in which a cake big enough to serve everyone would be unwieldy. Not to mention, sometimes it’s just nice to have options.
So whether you’re eschewing cake altogether, or you have a sweet tooth and want a reception full of desserts, take a look at the delectable options below. These appetizing sweets are all from real weddings, so be sure to click the images for further inspiration from the celebrations!
There are dog people and there are cat people. Similarly, there are cake people and there are pie people. Though typically not as beautiful as its counterpart, wedding pie is on the upswing as engaged pie fans decide against purchasing a cake they’re not going to enjoy. Photo by Laurie Bailey Photography
2. Milk and Cookies
This homemade dessert is perfect as a post-dinner treat or a midnight snack. Young and old alike will smile as they enjoy a freshly baked chocolate-chip cookie with a cool glass of milk. Photo by KingenSmith
3. Fruit Tarts
Perfect for a colorful wedding, fruit tarts look beautiful and taste great. Focus on fruits in the same color scheme as the wedding for a more polished look – or enjoy a bright dessert featuring all the colors of the rainbow! Photo by Marc Royce Photography
While this fried dessert may conjure up images of simple donut shops, gourmet donuts have become increasingly trendy and popular at weddings. Donuts of all flavors, colors, and toppings can make for a fun display at the dessert table. Photo by Caroline Tran
5. Crème Brûlée
There aren’t many desserts more chic than crème brûlée. Ideal for a Paris-inspired wedding, but perfect for every wedding theme, guests will delight at cracking the hard caramel before savoring the delicious custard. Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography
6. Lemon Bars
Evoke nostalgic memories of bake sales with this sweet-and-sour treat. Lemon bars are light enough to not bog down your loved ones and keep them from dancing, but delicious enough that they won’t feel cheated out of dessert. The fresh flavor is a delightful match for a summer wedding. Photo by Yvette Roman Photography
Surprise your guests after dinner with a frosty milkshake! Not as messy as ice cream, cooler than baked goods, and easy to provide multiple flavors, it’s almost a surprise that milkshakes aren’t served at weddings more often. As a bonus, they can easily be paired with other desserts like cookies or donuts. Photo by KingenSmith
This layered dessert can feature customized ingredients to match the color scheme of your wedding. The alternating patterns of a parfait will make it a favorite subject of your guests’ Instagram accounts. Photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography
9. Pâte de Fruit Another French dessert, pâte de fruit is made from fruit puree to make a sophisticated jelly candy. The use of real fruit makes this a fitting choice for an eco-friendly or health-conscious wedding. Photo by Hoffmann Photographer
10. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
This special treat will add a flair of romance to your celebration. Though fresh strawberries and chocolate are really all that’s required, chocolate-covered strawberries can also be decorated for a more gourmet touch. Photo by Dalal Photography
11. Candy Bar
For a more whimsical dessert offering at your wedding, consider a candy bar! The colorful display looks fantastic, and it allows guests to customize their dessert by offering a wide variety of choices. Offer take-home bags for an instant wedding favor! Photo by Images by Berit, Inc.
12. Caramel Apples
While it’s a delicious and somewhat healthy treat for any wedding, caramel apples are a particularly apt choice for an autumn celebration. As rustic elements continue to be popular, a caramel apple may be the dessert to tie your theme together. Photo by Dalal Photography