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How To Set Up A Dessert Table in 5 Steps
We take you behind the scenes of our whimsical, jewel-toned Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Dessert Table set up, and show you how to plan your own tablescape of treats in 5 steps.
If you’re looking for something to take center stage at your bridal shower (besides the bride, of course!) or your solemnisation ceremony, why not have a go at decorating your own dessert table? Take inspiration from the dessert table in our “Woodland Tea Party Wedding Styled Shoot”, which transports guests into a woodland wonderland where jewel-toned flowers and foliage grow into delicious nibbles and sparkling sweets.
1. Measure your table space and divide it into zones
Ascertain how much space you have to work with, so that you don’t have lots of empty areas, or have such a crowded table that your guests can’t reach the treats. Divide your table into two or three zones lengthwise. The back zone is for taller containers or jars, and the front zone is where you display smaller treats such as plates of cookies. If you have decorative boxes or crates, use these to elevate jars at the back of your table.
2. Pick a colour scheme
Limit your table to a few colours for a coordinated and polished look. Two or three bright colours are more than enough to give your dessert table a vibrant and cheery feel; too many colours can make things look untidy and unplanned. Bear your background colour in mind when deciding on your colour scheme.
Our dessert table used deep, jewel tones in purples, burgundies and greens for a rich colour palette that brings the woodlands indoors. We chose jewel-toned berries for the cakes, purple and gold chocolates, and sparkling pink rock crystal candy to keep the colours rich. Trying to keep all your candy and cakes in your colour scheme can be difficult, but you can hide mismatching treats in individual packs or boxes, or stuff them all in a pretty tin. Drinks add to the presentation if you choose fruit juices or pretty glass bottles in your colour palette.
3. Balance your display
Select a feature item or two, such as your cake or macaron tower, and position them in the center of your table. Work the other items around your focal point, and try to balance the table display. A symmetrical arrangement of your desserts creates the most balanced table, but that’s not always possible. Positioning items of similar size and heights at equal distance from the focal point helps keep your table looking balanced.
4. Cater the right amount of food
How much cake and candy will each guest eat? That depends on whether you’re serving other forms of food and who your guests are. If the dessert table offers the only refreshments for a light party, then cater about 3-6 pieces of cake or treats per person. For dessert tables that are doubling as favours, a neat tip is to fill your favour bag with candy and measure that, then multiply the weight by the number of guests you have to know how much candy to purchase.
5. Display and decor
Flowers look gorgeous as a bed for your desserts, and you can accent the table with a bouquet or two. Choose cake stands and display trays in coordinating colours, or work with glass. To brighten glassware, decorate with ribbon, or print out decorative tags and toppers that identify your treats.
Have fun with your theme when selecting your sweet treats. Here, we have cupcakes decorated with teapots, clocks and hats to reflect the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. ‘Eat Me’ cookies add to the fun, and the tiny glass bottles have tags printed with ‘Drink Me’ to tie into our theme. Rock candy is displayed in a sunken glass to look like they’re growing from the bed of flowers in a woodsy wonderland. Display items such as a vintage clock or little spice bottles add character and whimsy to the dessert table. For more dessert table decoration ideas, check out our Pinterest board. Plus, don’t miss the gorgeous tablescape and the rest of our “Woodland Tea Party Wedding Styled Shoot”!
Credits: “Woodland Tea Party Wedding Styled Shoot” edited by Audrie Soh and Tansey Tang; Photography by Apic Moments; Styling by Heaven in a Wildflower; Cakes by Carpenter & Cook; Biscuits and cupcakes by Goobycakes; Macarons by Bonheur Patisserie.
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