If you have a sweet tooth like me and my husband, you’d probably want more than the menu choices your caterer will provide you. Caterers usually have set packages for weddings, and the dessert choices are usually very limited. Unless you choose the more expensive wedding packages, you’d probably end up with simple desserts like assorted fruits or buko pandan salad.
The best way for you to spice up the desserts you will serve your guests is to add some of these dessert alternatives. Some of them sound pretty expensive, but really, most aren’t—you just need to get the right supplier
Chocolate fountain / Chocolate fondue
Chocolate fountains are a common sight in wedding receptions nowadays. I can’t remember attending a single wedding where there isn’t a chocolate fountain or fondue served near the buffet table. Heck, my own wedding reception had a chocolate fountain.
Typically, suppliers use Belgian chocolate for the fountains (but the more cheaper ones don’t, and these non-Belgian chocolate fountain can cost as low as P3,000). They provide bowls of bite-sized fruits, marshmallows, bread sticks, cream puffs, wafer sticks and other pastries that could easily be dipped or coated with chocolate (sticks are used for soft dippings like fruit and marshmallows), all decoratively arranged around the chocolate fountain apparatus.
The best thing about chocolate fountains is that they provide a bit of grandeur to your buffet table. The flowing chocolate is just a sight to see. It’s not only attractive, but mouth-watering as well. I guess there’s just something about chocolate flowing on a fountain that people find attractive—I can still remember my guests crowding around the chocolate fountain at our wedding. Luckily, the waiters took it upon themselves to serve us the chocolate-coated delights, or we probably wouldn’t get a chance to taste it.
Another new dessert alternative I’ve been seeing is the Dessert Bar. Hizon’s Catering recently showed off theirs at a food-tasting event they had last March 18. Noemi and I will be sampling Josiah’s Catering’s Dessert Bar soon. Although the taste of their desserts will most likely be different, I’m guessing that the presentation would be quite similar.
So what’s a dessert bar, anyway? As the name implies, it’s a bar that has an assortment of different dessert delights: salads, mousses, crèmes, pastries, etc. Just looking at it from afar is already mouth-watering, so you can definitely be assured that adding such a dessert alternative can spruce up your reception buffet. Unlike the chocolate fountain, your guests need not crowd around it. All they’ll have to do is grab the dessert that they like.
Ice Cream Bar
The Ice Cream Bar is actually a dessert alternative that my husband and I seriously contemplated on having instead of the Chocolate fountain. We are both ice cream-lovers, but unfortunately, our reception venue wasn’t that big to accommodate the bar.
We first heard about this dessert buffet at a bridal fair where Fiorgelato showed off their ice creams. I remember the cost of the bar being around P7,000 (about $140) with I think around three or five (I can’t remember, sorry) flavors of ice cream served, which is practically the same as the chocolate fountain service. But then, that price range was a year ago (most likely they’ve already increased their rates, I’m not sure).
As the name suggests, the Crepe Bar is a dessert alternative that features different crepes. It’s kind of like the Dessert Bar, only this one has crepes instead of cupped desserts. Your guests can choose from a variety of fruits and sauces, and the attendant will prepare it for them. Normally, fruits are already pre-wrapped and all the attendant needs to is to add the cream and the sauce. That way, your guests won’t need to wait too long on the line at the Crepe Bar.
If you’re having a Filipiniana-themed wedding, a Halo-halo Bar is a great idea. I’ve already seen this more than once in restaurant buffets, but rarely on wedding receptions (probably because I haven’t been to a Filipiniana-themed wedding yet). Aside from the fact that this dessert alternative would best fit a themed wedding, you could never go wrong with your Filipino guests with this popular and very Filipino dessert!
Bibingka and Puto Bungbong
Here’s another great alternative dessert idea for a Filipiniana wedding. Puto Bungbong and Bibingka are all-time Filipino favorites—especially during the Christmas season—so these would be another sure hit with your Filipino guests. It’s not a very common dessert alternative; if you’re going for being “unique” I’d say you can’t go wrong with this. Having a Puto Bungbong and Bibingka stand on your wedding reception will definitely be an eye-catcher. Robert Camba Catering offers these Pinoy delicacies as part of their added service just in case you’d want to consider this alternative.
These are just some ideas you can use to spice up your wedding reception menu—be creative! Just don’t forget the other factors to consider before adding dessert alternatives such as these, factors like venue limitations. Some venues can be too small to accommodate additional tables or stands, and some don’t allow cooking within their premises (there goes the Bibingka and Puto Bungbong idea). In such cases, you can always just stick to whatever your caterer has on the menu if you really can’t think of any other alternative. Dessert isn’t the focus of your wedding reception after all