We’ve been hearing rumors around the industry that some people are beginning to question if wedding cakes are going “out of style”. They’re saying that wedding cakes are losing the battle versus dessert tables. We’re here to debunk this myth and put these rumors to rest, and not just because we’re wedding cake bakers! Read on to learn the real-life pros and cons of wedding cakes vs. dessert tables from Phoenix’s favorite, multi-award wedding cake and dessert table bakery!
Let’s start by clearing the air right away, wedding cakes are not going out of style. Period. There are just more options available these days. Cupcakes made a name for themselves 10-15 years ago and now, it’s time for dessert tables to do their thing. These can all coexist harmoniously to provide the wedding of your dreams. Have some couples begun opting for smaller cakes, over the grand four or five-tier cakes we’ve seen for years? Of course. This isn’t a surprise to anyone though. We started seeing this and even wrote about it a couple of years ago in our blog about cutting cakes. Even when couples do opt primarily for a dessert table, they still want the joy, and the photo op, of cutting a cake. They know that in 40-50 years when they’re looking at their wedding pictures, that tiny cake will without question be remembered as their wedding cake.
Dessert Table Vs Wedding Cake
We don’t want you to think that we’re all Team Wedding Cake or Team Dessert Table. We really are Team Wedding Couple! We’ve won awards for both our desserts and our wedding cakes (I know, humble brag much?). So, trust us when we say, we love both equally. Our goal is for our couples to pick whichever option best serves the needs of their dream wedding.
Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the dessert option for your wedding:
- The number of children in attendance. Kids can be picky. If you get a cake and expect all the kids to like it, you’ll want to pick a flavor for at least one of the tiers that are kid-friendly enough that it can satisfy the number of children attending. Alternatively, a dessert bar offers more variety to satisfy more picky eaters. You’ll just want to make sure to assign someone to keep an eye on the table because more kids, means more hands on the desserts.
- What is your alcohol preference? Will it be served? Will there be an open bar? People tend to graze more if they drink more.
- Is tradition important to you as a couple? This will come up in plenty more places than just your wedding cake/dessert conversation. If tradition is important, a wedding cake likely will be, too.
- Is your reception venue indoors or outdoors? Wedding cakes can only survive so much time outside in the Phoenix sun, no matter what time of year it is.
- Who is paying? Again, like a lot of things in wedding planning, your budget matters. We’ll talk about this a little more later. You may be surprised.
- What is your wedding aesthetic? Some couples always pictured a giant cake in the center of the reception hall at their wedding. Some couples love the look of a table full of beautiful desserts. What are you going for?
What is your taste preference? This one seems like such a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe the number of couples we have to stop in the middle of decision paralysis and just ask “WHAT DO YOU WANT?” all Noah and Allie style. Don’t worry we don’t yell at our couples. We love you. But seriously, it’s YOUR wedding. Do you even like cake?
- What do you want to remember? When it all comes down to it, the photos are what lasts forever. How important is that cake-cutting picture to you? This isn’t a trick question. It may not matter that much. But if it is important, you can’t take that picture without a cake.
Dessert Table Pros
We’re still Team Wedding Couple. Our goal is to help you plan the wedding of your dreams, whether that includes cake, dessert, or both, but let’s talk about a few of the pros of a dessert table for those who are leaning in that direction.
Dessert tables are great for those looking for visual variety and quantity. With a dessert table, there’s more to look at. It’s not just about the desserts, though that part is nice. You have more opportunities for decorative platters, towers, and even dessert walls. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity. This is your chance to incorporate your wedding decorations, floral, or even family heirlooms in a functional way.
On top of adding visual variety to your wedding reception, there are more options for taste, too. You can mix familiar desserts, like cupcakes and cookies for the picky eaters, with fancier desserts, like mini tarts or parfaits for those with more refined palates. There really is something for everyone when it comes to a dessert table.
Wedding Cake Pros
Let’s talk about some of the pros of wedding cakes now. Did we mention that we’re still Team Wedding Couple? Whether you opt for a small cutting cake or the traditionally stacked cake, it’s still a wedding cake. The biggest wedding cake pro that most couples tell us and their reason for ordering cake over a dessert table is that they want to experience that cake-cutting moment. That’s a moment that, at least for a lot of us, we dream about for ages leading up to our weddings. It’s something that some of us picture before we even meet our loves. Sure, it’s cliché and it’s something that we’ve seen on TV. But we want it. We deserve it. There’s nothing wrong with that. That tradition is significant and is the first official activity that you do together as a married couple. It matters and cake is required.
When you go with a wedding cake you don’t have to worry about disappointing anyone. Sure, you’ll have someone who might not like the flavor. But no one can complain that you were weird and didn’t even have a cake at your wedding. You’re in the throes of wedding planning. We don’t even need to explain this any further, do we? We wish wedding planning didn’t include trying to satisfy distant relatives that you’ll only see twice in the next decade. But we don’t make the rules.
Which is more budget-friendly, a wedding cake or a dessert table?
You probably noticed that we didn’t mention cost in any of the above. This was intentional. This is where we may ruffle some feathers. If you do a Google Search for “wedding cakes vs dessert tables” today (around the end of 2023), you’ll get a few results from other bakeries all over the country, plus a few 10+-year-old results from the big guys like Wedding Wire or The Knot. If you dig into each of those links, they mostly all agree that wedding cakes wind up being cheaper than dessert tables. We’re going to disagree and say it depends, 100% of the time.
I know that’s not what you wanted to hear. Here’s why though, dessert tables are so customizable! You can build your dessert table with platters from the party store and serve cookies and cupcakes for far less expensive than a wedding cake. You can also order a wedding cake and dessert table combo and have the best of both worlds! You can throw in a few of the fancier desserts and do rental platters and serving ware. It just all depends! The good news is, we’re here for all of this. Any good bakery will be.
It's Your Wedding, Make it a Sweet Experience
This is why we keep saying that we’re Team Wedding Couple! Wedding cakes are definitely not going out of style. Don’t let anyone tell you that. If some ambitious wedding planner, a Pinterest post, or the latest article in Vogue Weddings tells you that wedding cakes aren’t on trend for this year, ask yourself one question, do you want cake at your wedding? If the answer is yes, then order a cake for your wedding! Our job here at Silver Rose Bakery is to make your wedding the Sweetest experience regardless of what you choose. If you're in Arizona and still need some help choosing, reach out. We'd love to help plan a Sweet experience for you.