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Do You Have to Serve a Wedding Cake?

As it turns out, you have several options.

Contributing Writer
carey jared wedding macarons
Photography by: Anna Shackleford

Because weddings have become so personalized, brides and grooms have plenty of freedom to do what they want in order to showcase their personalities and relationship. If you want to walk down the aisle alone, wear a red dress, and say your vows under a replica of Tyrannosaurus Rex in a science museum, do it. It's no different when it comes to a wedding cake—have one if you want one but skip it if you don't, whether it's a budget issue (custom wedding cakes are pricey) or a dislike of buttercream or fondant. Or maybe you've heard from recently married friends that many guests don't touch their slice of cake, and you'd rather put the money towards something everyone would enjoy, like a photo booth.

 

But don't skip dessert entirely. A meal at a wedding reception would seem incomplete without a sweet course following the entrée, and many guests will be disappointed to find there's no treat at the end of the evening.

 

Related: How Big Does Your Wedding Cake Really Need to Be?

 

There are loads of wedding-cake alternatives, many of which guests won't ignore and that cost much less than a three-tiered extravaganza. Don't believe us? we came up with a list of dessert options that are sure to please. Many cleverly consist of stackable layers that look like a wedding cake and let you cut into for the first slice. Or use your imagination: Fruit pies in a gradation of sizes can also be stacked. Borrow or rent tiered cake stands to heighten the appeal of any dessert.

 

If you like the idea of something stackable, you could choose anything from a tower of donuts or cupcakes to tiered layers of macarons or any other cookie you love. Want something that's easy to cut into like a cake? Think about your favorite breakfast options. A stack of waffles or pancakes (especially when served with fresh ice cream and fruit) will be a surprising option that your guests will devour. 

 

For those who don't particularly care about having a stackable dessert, the options are even more plentiful. Cut into an ice cream cake, mini cheesecakes with fruit topping, or handheld whoopie pies. At the end of the day, as long as you have something sweet on offer, your guests will be happy.