What's the Difference Between a Viennese Hour & a Sweets Table?

One thing is for sure... both a Viennese table and a dessert table are delicious!

If you’ve started meeting with caterers while wedding planning, you may have heard of a Viennese hour. Similar to a sweets table, a Viennese table is another type of dessert buffet. So what’s the difference between the two?

Photo: Brian Leahy Photography

If you’ve been browsing the wedding section of Pinterest, which you probably have been, you’ve likely seen tons of pictures of delicious and darling dessert tables at receptions. While sometimes they take the place of traditional wedding cake, these spreads are more often supplementary. You can also have to-go boxes or goody bags to help the treats serve double-duty as wedding favors. However, if you’ve started visiting venues and meeting with caterers, you may have heard vendors ask about your interest in a Viennese hour. Similar to a sweets table, a Viennese hour is another type of dessert buffet for you and your guests to enjoy. So what’s the difference between the two?

wedding sweets table dessert table viennese hour

A dessert or sweets table is on display throughout the reception, usually in an aesthetically pleasing way that makes it feel like part of the overall décor. The table is often geared more towards candy than heavier, more filling desserts or ice cream. If there are pastries, they are usually very small, such as cake pops or miniature cupcakes. An especially popular choice is to have everything, or at least most of the items, in the same color palette as the wedding. This is part of why candy is frequently used, as it’s available in a wide array of hues. Frosting can also be utilized to make other treats match. 

The Viennese hour typically occurs after the cake has been cut. It is meant to be an opulent and lavish display of just about every dessert item imaginable with the idea that it will not run out while your guests enjoy the offerings. In some cases, servers are available to assist you friends and family. Viennese hours typically lean more on gourmet pastries such as creme brûlée, napoleons, petit fours, and more. In addition, they often include an area for beverages to enjoy with the dessert, particularly a coffee bar to serve cappuccinos and espressos.

Get inspired with these tablescapes to display your desserts and learn how to decide between buttercream frosting and fondant for your wedding cake. 

Opening photo by Brian Leahy Photography; Floral Design by Flowers by Cina; Linens by Luxe Linen. See the full real wedding here!