Social media sites have exploded with sweet table ideas for weddings, anniversaries, and just about any occasion where people are gathered en mass. Judging from what I have both, seen and experienced, I wanted to explore this idea a bit more and come up with some solid info of how to put together a terrific sweet table for your wedding or next event.
What is your theme? You should know it. You've been bragging to everyone about what your wedding day will look and feel like. Well, that is your theme. Sweet tables are considered vignettes--a capsule that instantly tells a story. Is it BoHo Chic? African Safari? Modern Luxe? You get the idea. This is the anchor to every decision you make about your awesome sweet table.
Keep scrolling for more must-have elements to make your sweet table the envy of every former and future bride at your wedding!
While some sweet tables can look good without a backdrop, you're not breaking your budget for something that looks halfway decent. With the amount of money sweet tables command in edible fun, a thematic backdrop is an inexpensive way to make the vignette pop into something spectacular. Backdrops don't technically have to be a wall. Be creative. The idea is to get the eyes to dance all over. The eyes should be in awe and encourage guests to investigate every nook and cranny.
A real benefit to a backdrop is that it can distract your guests from a lack-luster display if you suddenly realize that your sweet table looks weak in other areas.
You can't have a sweet table unless you have something to display it on. What's it going to be? A table covered in cloth? Maybe you'd like something like an antique bureau or a cluster of high boys. Use your imagination. Remember, your theme is your guide. When in doubt about something, will it either sell the theme or distract from it? Avoid things that don't tell the story.
More and more brides are looking to the past for thematic inspiration. With the surge in interest you can now rent antiques, heirlooms and hard-to-find objects to pull everything together. Be strategic, however. If the Jeffersonian sideboard you're lusting for is $600 to rent, maybe a draped table for $24 would be better spent if you're on a strict budget.
4. Variety & Quantity
The human eye is lazy. Make it work. After you've put so much thought, time and expense into a sweet table, the last thing you want is for people to give it a two-second glance and venture elsewhere. Every guest should pause, look and point. Camera phones should be clicking and fingers should be posting to media sites every morsel of the sweet-tooth shrine. This can only be achieved when your sweet table is a true cornucopia. This comes through variety and quantity, forcing your guests to truly explore.
You want to offer a variety of edibles. Everyone does almond candies and those talking shelled chocolates. And everyone throws them in glass jars for color, mostly, and for its relative low cost to fill a jar. Think beyond this:
* Finger foods
* Liquid cordials
* Cake pops / Pie pops
* Boxed petit fours
* Cup cakes
* Hot brownies
* Cold milk shakes
Don't forget about quantity. The number one asked question is ratio. How much of this or that do I need to feed x-amount of people? As I've researched, most say about a pound of candy per guest for store bought packaged sweets. Homemade or baked goods should be half the number of guests. Remember, not every guest is going to eat one of everything.
People love to gawk and linger, but not everyone is going to loot the sweet table for something to eat. However, always err on the side of too much left over, than risking a snarky remark about slim pickings at the sweet table.
5. Props & Elevation
Admit it, most of the fun about putting a sweet table together is crafting a vignette that is a thematic rapture of ultimate sweet indulgence! Sure, the food is the food, wherever you go. But the styling is where the magic is at. Don't forget the props to showcase your sweets that are on the table.
Remember, your theme is in charge--not you! If your theme is nautical then worn crab cages, rum casks, netting and sailers' love journals, among other items from the sea would be appropriate. Choose items that give your sweet table dramatic height.
Sweet table elevation should be 30 inches off the ground and up. Just because you have props on and around the table doesn't mean you're finished. You need your food to be elevated also. Think about cake pedestals, trifle stemmed containers and tiered plates. Even these items, though they are naturally elevated, can be put on risers, vintage books, etc. Be creative.
If you're pressed for time and resourcing thematic props, then stack a variety of risers on the table at different heights and then cover with fabric. Don't be afraid to take risks. Ask yourself, does the sweet table look amazing? If so, you're well on your way!
Vessels will most likely determine which food you will serve. The reverse is also true. If you're unsure about what to serve, choose your vessels and go from there. Some tried and true vessels to consider using and mixing together for your sweet table are:
* Apothecary Jars
* Tiered Plates and Cups and Saucers
* Goblets/Cocktail Glassware
* Trifle Containers
Don't forget about color, texture and finish. These objects come in just as much variety as there has been time on this earth. Be resourceful. Be strategic. Be committed to your theme.
7. Practicality & Safety
Your sweet table looks drop dead gorgeous! There's just one tiny little problem that's actually a big one--that you MUST avoid! Danger. It's a matter of practicality and safety. Is your display so stunning that it reeks of 'ask, don't touch?' If so, you've failed. Remember, like the beckoning cat in many Chinese restaurants, you want to beckon your guests to be so enraptured that they eat more than with their eyes alone. Guests shouldn't be afraid to touch and dig in.
What about safety? Are there candles teetering on the edge of a retro vinyl record? Are there trip hazards within the display or near the display? Are the temperature-regulated foods being properly regulated with heat and ice? And then the other important question, How do the guests get the food and leave without ice cream dripping across the floor? Think about how people are going to get the food:
* Is there an attendant necessary to assist?
* Are there enough plates, napkins and cutlery?
* Are there tongs, scoops and other sanitary methods of grabbing food?
* Is this where your wedding cake goes or not?
Have fun with your sweet table. Tell a story that is uniquely yours. Stick to your theme and incorporate these elements strategically to meet your budget. Follow your gut and do what's right for you. Enjoy your wedding day! Let me know if you have any questions about this; I am happy to share what I have learned with you.