7 Wedding Cake Alternatives Guests Will Actually Want to Eat

CRAWFORD, TX - MAY 10: In this handout image provided by the White House, Henry and Jenna Hager pause as they cut their wedding cake during a reception in their honor following the ceremony at Prairie Chapel Ranch May 10, 2008 near Crawford, Texas. (Photo by Shealah Craighead/The White House via Getty Images)
Source: The White House/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Girl loves boy (or girl). Boy loves girl (or boy). The cake is cut, and half of your guests head for the door — or at least back to the dance floor.

Why is it that after the ceremonial cutting, everyone rapidly loses interest in the cake? Many wedding cakes are, undoubtedly, works of art — I’m particularly enamored with Kaley Cuoco’s recent gravity-defying cake — but it’s a sad, sad reality that many guests will have only a bite or two of cake before setting it down, if they even touch it at all. By the time the fondant masterpiece has been sliced, the DJ has switched from Van Morrison to Usher, a few drinks have likely been spilt, and the high heels have most certainly come off. Ain’t nobody got time for cake. Preserve a bit of your budget and opt instead for these fan-favorite desserts to give your big day a sweet finish. 

Image: Getty Images

Cupcakes

A twist on the traditional, cupcakes are technically still cake, but with more flavors (lemon, coconut, oreo, the list goes on) and ideal portions. Not only will your guests get the immediate gratification of a bite-sized snack, but the catering staff, who would otherwise be slicing and serving a multi-tiered creation, will love you. For those couples all about the classic joke, cupcakes happen to be perfect for smashing onto the face of your new spouse. Go for it. 

Image: Best Friends for Frosting

Donuts

Lighter than cake and more fun than a bagel, the donut has been elevated from breakfast staple to wedding-worthy pastry. Go classic with sprinkles and powdered sugar or get creative with seasonal flavors like maple bacon to complement autumn nuptials. Afraid donuts won’t look dramatic or special enough? Stack them in a tower or string them as a garland, two elegant ideas per The Huffington Post

Image: Cake.

Chocolate Fondue

It’s really a simple formula: Melted Chocolate + Anything = Happiness. Cover the spectrum of salty to sweet with everything from pretzels and potato chips to fruit slices and brownie bites. (Chocolate on chocolate? Yes, please.)  Just keep an eye out for the intoxicated groomsmen apt to forgo the fondue fork for his finger.  

Image: Rooted in Love

S'mores Bar

Remember what I said about melted chocolate? Yup, still applies. There’s just something about s’mores that makes people smile. Whether it’s the fond memories of childhood campfires or the sweet satisfaction that comes with a perfectly toasted marshmallow, a s’mores bar will completely charm your guests — and score you major points with your ring bearer. Add a little flair by providing a variety of fixin’s — dark chocolate as well as traditional milk, Nutella, peanut butter cups, caramel. Get creative — you pretty much can’t go wrong. 

Image: Kelly Brown Weddings/Minneapolis Bride

Ice Pops

Whether your reception entails afternoon cocktails or a dance party that lasts ‘til the wee hours, a selection of ice pops will be a welcome refreshment. Fresh and fruity, ice pops are both simple and customizable. Go sweet with strawberry or tart with lemon. Add mint or cucumber for a savory alternative. Or, you know, win every wedding ever with boozy ice pops. Pinot on a stick? Don’t mind if I do. 

Image: FlyAwayBride.com

Macarons

Nothing says class like delicate macarons in a range of pretty pastels. Perfect for serving with coffee, the delectable French pastries are simple and sophisticated, ideal for an elegant, intimate ceremony. Flavors like coconut and dark chocolate will always be crowd-pleasers, but feel free to go gourmet with inventive creations like honey lavender or green tea. 

Image: Jesse James Photography/Wedding Obsession

Candy Bar

A candy bar is quick and easy, allowing guests with a sugar craving to indulge in a handful of M&M’s without breaking their rhythm on the dance floor. Instead of trying to satisfy everyone with a simple vanilla buttercream, this dessert option lets you offer a wide array of sweet treats to satisfy the chocolate lovers and Sour Patch devotees alike. The best part? A candy bar does double-duty as a wedding favor. Provide cellophane bags so guests can keep snacking long after the celebration has ended. 

Image: WeddingWindow.com