Have a theme
The first thing you’ll need to confirm, is your theme, as you’ll want your table to look cohesive with the rest of the decorations. Even if you don’t have one, note the colours in your palette, and have your dessert table follow the same. If you’re lost or unsure of what works, look to Pinterest or wedding blogs to find inspiration for your colours.

Rainbow kueh lapis, $2.80 for six pieces, from HARRIANNS. Photo: Her World Brides June – August 2015.

Choose your desserts
You don’t want to get overwhelmed when faced with too many things to select at the supermarket or the baker’s. Instead, narrow your selections down to about six to eight items, and plan for each guest to take about four to eight pieces. Apart from cupcakes, macarons, meringues and sweets, you can also consider iced gem biscuits, traditional nonya kueh (see our Peranakan-inspired settings shoot here), or even hot desserts like red bean soup and tapioca with coconut milk. Just make sure the latter’s easy to take, so guests don’t end up with splash stains on their pretty outfits! (See our story on instagrammable desserts to consider for your celebrations here.)

Visual interest
Place your sweets and baked goods on vessels of varying heights to create visual interest. This is also easier for guests to take stock of the variety that’s being offered. If everything’s placed at the same height, some of your items won’t be obvious, too. A tip: for most dessert tables, it’s the wedding cake, or several mini cakes that take centrestage.

Photo: Her World Brides December 2010 – February 2011.

Plates, bowls & then some
You’ll need items to store your desserts (obviously). Think plates for cakes and pastries, bowls for sweets and biscuits, crates and mason jars for other decorations such as flowers or coloured sand. A real bride said you can consider borrowing crockery from your baker, source online (try www.taobao.com, or www.qoo10.com), or look to Ikea, where you can get lovely options.

Cakes from Les Amis Catering and Pine Garden’s Cake. Bottles from Vom Fass. Mini burgers from The Hand Burger. Ice cream sandwiches from The Ice Cream & Cookie Co. Photo: Her World Brides March – May 2013.

Mini me
Opt for bite-sized items, if possible. They’ll look adorable for pictures, inviting, and guests won’t have to worry about looking unglam or rude while stuffing bits and pieces when someone else is talking to them at the table, or elsewhere.

Take home bags
Your guests may not be able to enjoy the desserts at your wedding after your delicious main courses, or they’re too busy catching up with others. Do them a favour and offer your desserts as take-home gifts by providing paper bags or to-go boxes at the table (you can leave a cute sign inviting them to use the bags/boxes too). This will prevent them from going to waste, if no one’s eating much of it at the reception.

The dessert table should be one of the focal points at your wedding, so dress it up accordingly. You don’t really need much to draw guests’ attention. Consider simple ones like paper pom poms or balloons taped to the wall, buntings stretched over the table, photos of you two, loose stalks of flowers in jars, and so on. See how you can recreate these pretty, easy-to-follow DIY decor projects, simple ideas for your venue, and insta-worthy decor ideas for the table and others.

Make it stand out
At the end of the day, you’ll want your efforts to count for something. Make it happen by placing your dessert table at a prominent spot that’s also easily accessible. Note that it should not be placed at an area where guests may feel intimated or embarrassed to head there and grab a treat or two. Also, ask your emcee if he or she can insert a quick line about asking guests to “not be shy” about helping themselves, especially if there’s a lull in between courses, during the cocktail hour, the meal itself, or after.