By Paula Clark Ramirez with Historic Mankin Mansion

There are many ways to end a wedding meal on a sweet note. While a multi-tier cake is traditional, it is only one option in a sea of possibilities. Today’s couples are exercising their creativity when selecting their custom menus and choosing desserts with a personal twist.

Wedding Dessert Richmond Weddings Virginia Sweet Treats Cakes
Sarah and Dave Photography

Honoring Traditions
A cake isn’t the only traditional wedding dessert. In France, couples celebrate with a beautiful croquembouche or tower of tiny pastries. In Italy, family and friends are expected to bring plates of gorgeous wedding cookies resulting in impressive displays of hundreds of homemade pastries, often served in addition to a wedding cake. You don’t have to marry in France or Italy to share these customs with your guests. Either one makes a fabulous dessert option for a wedding anywhere.

Wedding Dessert Richmond Weddings Virginia Sweet Treats Cakes
Kristine Pringle Photographers

Comfort Foods
A very popular category of wedding desserts consists of those foods that made us happy in our youth. These reminders of simpler days are all about personalization and reflecting what is unique about the newlyweds, interpreted through sweets. Pie bars and sundae bars, complete with a variety of favorite toppings fall into this delicious category. Beverage options, like hot chocolate and hot cider with different mix-ins, can also play a feature role as the sun goes down, complementing wedding cake or alternative desserts.

Wedding Dessert Richmond Weddings Virginia Sweet Treats Cakes
Sound Snap Photography

Food Truck Desserts
A fun way to surprise your guests during or after your reception is to hire a food truck to bring freshly made desserts straight to your door or dance floor. There are many to choose from as food trucks increase in popularity and legitimacy each year. Waffles with toppings, ice cream novelty trucks like the ones you used to chase each summer, and freshly-made doughnuts are a few favorites. Some trucks dispense smoothies, snow cones, and even grown-up frozen cocktails. You can find just about any kind of sweet treat aboard these portable restaurants, and if you can’t initially find the perfect match, approach one of the truck’s chefs to find out if your special request can be added to the menu for the day.

Petite Treats
Sometimes it’s difficult choosing just one kind of dessert, and that’s where mini treats come into play! Instead of a few large desserts of one type, ask your chef to prepare tiny versions of all of your favorites. You might have cupcakes, mini-eclairs, bite-sized crème brûlée, and mini-pies all at the same dessert bar! It’s a tiny dessert revolution that gives you a little bit of all of your favorite foods without sacrifice.

Of course, there is no shame in choosing a traditional wedding cake and/or a groom’s cake either! Ultimately, the entire event is about the newlyweds as a couple and what makes them tick. Choose the wedding desserts that are best for you, and you simply can’t go wrong!

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the Proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion Wedding Resort and Bed & Breakfast. They have lovingly restored this National Landmark to its original grandeur and are honored to share the treasured estate with couples and their families.