Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dessert Buffet

A dessert buffet: All kinds of cookies, brownies, and pastries featuring a giant cake- My dream come true!
The dessert buffet was perfect for my wedding, partially because I was going for Sophia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" theme, and also because we didn't serve dinner. To prevent a widespread sugar coma among the guests, we did have a cheese table too, and we served hors d oeuvres immediately after the ceremony.
Have you ever been to a wedding where the food was really delicious but it was set up buffet-style, and each table had to wait their turn, and inevitably you're always seated at the very last table, and so when you finally get to drag your starving body over to the food it's either cold or mostly gone? And by that time everyone else has finished eating, so the party already started without you? That's what we were trying to avoid here.

If you're planning a wedding and are considering a dessert buffet, check out Martha's ideas. The Martha Stewart wedding site is excellent, in fact that's what I used as my organizer. Registering is really easy, and that way you and your groom (and whoever else you'd like) have access to an online guest list, rsvp updates, seating chart, vendor information, etc. You can even bookmark any inspiring ideas you see on the site and organize them by category. And after the wedding you get a free subscription to Martha's food magazine- woohoo!

Another plus is the cost, or lack of. Fortunately I have lots of talented friends who each made a tray of bite-sized goodies. I also made some truffles weeks ahead of time, then pulled them out of the freezer the night before the wedding. The swaths of gold tulle came from Joann's, and we (my mom) saved money by buying it one yard at a time with the 40% off coupons you get in the mail. We draped them over top of a plastic table skirt which was purchased at the dollar store. I really didn't want to use plastic, because I was afraid it would look tacky, but it was SO expensive to rent cloth ones. After the mini light strands were turned on beneath the gold tulle, you couldn't even notice the plastic skirts, and it looked beautiful! I also bought some glittered pink, silver, and gold feathers from Flower Factory to spread around the table and around the bases of the dessert trays. It was gorgeous.
So with all the decorations and the handmade tiered trays, I probably spent a total of $40 on the whole thing.
Here are my friends setting up before the ceremony:

Everything looked so elegant, it was exactly what I was picturing!

My friend Talaya made these gorgeous iced sugar cookies with our initials:

And of course Carly had to be the first to snag one!

There was SO much food! I bought a package of styrofoam take-out boxes at Sams Club, so all the leftovers were easily packed and divvied up among the guests. I made the glass tiered dessert displays, so my friends were able to take them home for keeps!
The tiered plates were really easy. I'm sure there are lots of tutorials out there, and I've seen handmade ones for sale online too, but there's not much to it.

I bought several dozen vintage glass plates from thrift stores, which are usually less than 50 cents each. Then I matched them up to glass candlesticks and even a few cocktail glasses. I got as many as I could from the thrift store, and when I ran out I bought them at the dollar store.
Make sure you take a plate with you for testing when shopping for the candlesticks because not all of them are going to work, especially the vintage ones. They tend to not have a perfectly even lip around the top edge, so your plate won't stay securely when you try to cement it down.

Now go through all your finds and sort them into sizes. For the 3-tiered stands, you'll need a large, medium, and small plate. Try to find really heavy ones for the base. The topmost tier doesn't have to be a plate. You could use a footed serving dish or a shallow bowl.
Match up your dishes with appropriate candlesticks. I found that if you use wineglasses, their delicate nature makes them better suited for the smaller 2-tier stands. They have much thinner edges for the cement to stick to, so they're not going to handle a lot of pressure.

After you've washed the plates and candlesticks really well, dab some cement around the base of the candlestick and press it down firmly onto the plate you'll use as the base. (I used Aleene's Platinum Bond Glass & Bead adhesive. Any kind specially formulated for slick surfaces should be fine. Although I did try one that wasn't liquid instead of gooey gel, and it did NOT work, so stay away from those!) It's best to let them dry before stacking the next tier, so go ahead and do all the bases at the same time. When you're sure they're secure, glue the next smallest plate to the top of the candlestick. After drying, glue another candlestick, wineglass base, or footed dish to the top of the middle plate. Then top it off with your last small plate or bowl.

I love this idea for craft show displays, or for storing your yarn or whatever in your craft room. Maybe even a jewelry holder for your dresser?


Linda @ My Trendy Tykes said...

WOW! A dessert buffet sounds pretty flippin' awesome : )

Brownies and Cookies OH MY!

Good Girls Studio said...

That's what I use for my jewelry displays (they do double duty for tea parties)!

Dessert bar is the next best thing to open bar ;)