GrayCatVintage
Master October 2015

Dessert Table - We will not be "serving" cake, so do people just "graze"?

GrayCatVintage, on March 16, 2014 at 7:24 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 12
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We are going to have a small two tier cake for us to cut but since we want a BUNCH of flavors we are doing cakeballs (it's a special thing our baker does). This also allows us to travel with cake instead of having a delivery for the bakery that would take them 3 hours out of their way round trip. This is my question:

How do we handle the dessert table so that people do not decimate it before or during dinner? We will serve appetizers of course with small sweets during cocktail hour to hold people over before dinner - but all of this will be buffet style including the dessert. However, we want to make sure people do not pillage the cakeballs and other extras we will be serving for those who do not want cakeballs (we will have a few pies as well) until we actually cut the cake.

For those of you who are doing dessert tables, how will you keep your guests from getting into it before "cake cutting time"?

12 Comments

  • Ashley
    VIP September 2014
    Ashley ·
    • Flag

    Do you have hired staff that will be taking care of your buffet dinner? We are also having a buffet dinner and are keeping the cake in the back kitchen area until everyone has started dinner. Then the staff will plate the cake and bring it out to a table using serving platters. Our guests can then grab a slice if they would like one.

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  • GrayCatVintage
    Master October 2015
    GrayCatVintage ·
    • Flag

    No, and that is the problem.

    We are in charge of all the dessert and appetizer set up. So, since we do not have a staff to help us, what I wanted to do was a dessert table with all the sweets out already INSIDE the historic home. The buffet line will be outside under a tent so we can keep them both totally separate. Once the buffet is gone, we can seamlessly usher people through the house to the dessert table to get what they want - then they can sit in the garden, go back to the tent, etc. We will also light up the s'more bar at this time.

    I guess I do not want people going through the buffet then try to get into the house to get dessert before we "cut the cake" because it will inconvenience the caterer for one and I want people to eat dessert at a certain time (we will also serve coffee and tea at this time).

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  • Jessica
    Expert February 2015
    Jessica ·
    • Flag

    Maybe find a way to not even display it until dessert time? I don't know how your reception is set up but maybe have it on a table that has wheels so you can keep it in another room until cake time?

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  • Katydid
    VIP May 2014
    Katydid ·
    • Flag

    Yummm cakepops! I love them. I am putty around cakepops. I agree with JC ^^

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  • GrayCatVintage
    Master October 2015
    GrayCatVintage ·
    • Flag

    Yes, the cake we will be cutting and pies will be with the cakeballs and cookies.

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  • Crystal & Nathan
    Dedicated June 2014
    Crystal & Nathan ·
    • Flag

    I'm having the same issue, were having a dessert table too and need ideas to keep it un touched till after dinner Smiley sad

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  • GrayCatVintage
    Master October 2015
    GrayCatVintage ·
    • Flag

    I just know how "aloof" people can be...and I know if one person gets in there and takes their serving of cake before we actually have dessert we are going to have a MAJOR portion problem.

    This is my fear...we are getting two large cakeballs per person (our baker recommended this number and she said for us to put a sign out that says "please take two!" so that people will not over-serve themselves). Our baker also suggested that we have cookies and pies for people who do not want cake and we also have some diet restrictions in the family so we are addressing that. BUT this is the big BUT - If people start eating treats before we cut the cake, then in order for guests to avoid embarrassment, they will want a second serving - We are only getting 300 of these cake balls for 150 guests. I am afraid that the treats will be gone, and when we go to serve coffee, there will be nothing left.

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  • biancs_
    Dedicated September 2014
    biancs_ ·
    • Flag

    My future sister in law had the same problem at her wedding .I was appalled to see people eating the cupcakes that were on the dang cake tier at the cocktail hour! Like seriously!!!! I would maybe put up a cute sign that said something like :

    "DESSERT TABLE,

    please wait until 5:00 to indulge"

    or whatever time u want to serve dessert.. something like that. Or "dessert time ! 5:00" make a cute quote or something... maybe even

    "Must eat your dinner before you get dessert!"

    Trying to be creative here lol..hope this helps

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  • Sarah
    Devoted August 2014
    Sarah ·
    • Flag

    I was thinking of having a candy buffet but decided against it for this reason. The professionals actually have people "guard it" from being eaten ahead. Maybe you could ask your ushers to switch off at least until dinner is served? Also I would consider roping it off so that you can't reach them without moving the ropes with a sign that says " The Bride and Groom would like everyone to enjoy dessert together, please wait until after the cake cutting to enjoy."

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  • GrayCatVintage
    Master October 2015
    GrayCatVintage ·
    • Flag

    I want to be as tactful as possible because I would be *that person* who blows a gasket if I saw my uncle shoving a cakeball into his mouth 5 minutes after the ceremony ends. We are even "softening the blow" by offering a mini mousse during cocktail hour as an appetizer AND we are having a S'more bar outside that will be going the whole time so people can make one while they are playing bean bag toss in the side yard. I guess I will have to do a sign...and maybe have a "cute" rope go across the front of the table...I just do not think that my having the treats inside the house will be enough to keep people from sneaking in before we announce it is okay for people to go in and grab a treat.

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  • Future Mrs. Pichon
    Super September 2014
    Future Mrs. Pichon ·
    • Flag

    I'm not sure how exactly this could work- but can you do something similar to a ribbon cutting for an opening event? Maybe have something strung across the very front of the table (ribbon, streamer paper, bunting, garland, whatever works best with your theme) at eye level with a little sign attached that says something cute like Biancs suggested? And then you can cut the ribbon or take it down when it's time for everyone to partake. Here is something I found on pinterest that might work for you as well.


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  • GrayCatVintage
    Master October 2015
    GrayCatVintage ·
    • Flag

    With ^ this visual, this seems like a good idea - and I am really not one for "signage" since a lot of brides think it is overdone. However, for this situation, I am thinking it is necessary especially since I am going to have to have signs on the table to label everything and to tell people to only take two cakeballs. I already purchased my "trees" for holding the treats and once they are full, they are heavy and our caterer will be cutting out after the meal so we would not have any help moving anything. AND I wanted to have the treats as part of my overall display (I want it to look nice, you know?).

    It just never ceases to amaze me that people CAN understand they are NOT supposed to get into a wedding cake and cut themselves a piece, but when they see there are cupcakes, cake pops, cake balls, etc. in lieu of a cake they think they can help themselves the second the walk in the door...

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