Cutting the Cake: Alternative Desserts

We spoke to three couples who added a little extra sugar to their wedding.
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Carnival Catering: Cotton Candy

Christopher Morgan and Caitlyn Pryde, May 16, 2015
Christopher and Caitlyn wanted to forgo the traditional wedding cake not only to remain gluten-free for Caitlyn’s dietary restrictions, but also to give their wedding a twist. Their solution? A carnival-inspired dessert: cotton candy.

“We were going for a backyard party kind of atmosphere,” Caitlyn says. “All of the details we chose, including serving cotton candy instead of cake, worked together to achieve that laid-back feel we wanted.”

The guests at this nontraditional, outdoor wedding gathered under the white reception tent to watch Spun Sugars, a cotton candy vendor, create their dessert. “I think people were surprised because it’s not something you see often (or ever!) at weddings,” Caitlyn says. “Even those who didn’t eat the candy still enjoyed watching the process of it being made.”

In addition to freshly-made cotton candy, the couple also treated their guests to lawn games and even food from L.A. Taco, a local food truck.

“The guests really seemed to enjoy it — both adults and children,” Caitlyn says.


Sugary Sweet: Candy Bar

Chaz Bondarenka and Tara Stein, June 6, 2015
Although Chaz and Tara still had cake and the traditional Pittsburgh cookie table, they also had a sweet surprise: a candy bar.

They used S&S Candy and Cigar Company in the South Side to supply their candy table. “Our candies were chosen based on what we liked and color options,” Tara explains. All of the candies were purple, white or silver to coordinate with their wedding colors. They even provided to-go bags so that guests could bring home a taste of this delicious twist, which included malt balls, Mike and Ike’s, sixlets, rock candy, taffy and gum balls.

“Our guests loved the varieties of cookies and candy,” Tara says. “The adults felt like kids again, and the kids loved picking out the different candies.”


Campfire Classics: S’mores Galore

Macklin Stanley and Carolyn Serene, August 28, 2015
Carolyn and Macklin wanted their reception to offer more than the standard wedding cake and dancing. When they heard that their reception site, Lingrow Farm, offered a bonfire and all the fixings for s’mores, they knew they’d found the perfect addition to their wedding.

“Mack loves to camp with friends in the summer, and I grew up going to summer camp and sitting around campfires with friends in the summer,” Carolyn says. “There’s something special about being able to sit around a warm campfire with friends and family.”

After the cake was cut and the sun had gone down, the guests slipped outside to enjoy a bonfire. It wasn’t just about having an alternative dessert for guests to eat — it was also a welcome change to typical reception activities.

“We thought that it would be something fun for guests to do that was different from dancing or taking pictures in a photo booth,” Carolyn says. “It offered them a good break and escape from the music at the reception to spend some quality time together.”

Categories: Beyond the Cookie Table, Weddings