tips for styling a dessert table

I believe that every good party needs a dessert table!

In some cases, the dessert table may be ALL you need.  That was the case when we celebrated our youngest daughter’s first communion.  Following the evening church service, we hosted a few friends for cake and ice cream.

Everyone loves dessert, and a beautifully decorated table is so inviting to your guests!  Today I’m sharing a few tips for styling a dessert table.


Begin planning the design of your table.  There are so many ideas on Pinterest…I always look there first for something to inspire my event planning.  Once I have the inspiration for the table, I start to plan the details by putting together an idea board.


For this dessert table, I decided on a light pink, grey, and cream color scheme based on the invitation that I chose.  From there, I picked out plates, napkins, paper straws,  decorations, a tablecloth,  food, and serving pieces.



desserttable18DETERMINE THE LOOK

Once you have your ideas in place, make sure that the table has a cohesive look.  The “feel” of your table should match that of the event.  For example, I would choose a square or rectangular table with clean-lined vessels for a modern party.  Every detail should have a similar look and feel.

A round table with a cream, ruffled tablecloth was perfect for a young girl’s first communion celebration…soft in color and design.




Usually this is the cake!  No matter what size or shape cake I have, it is typically the focus of the table.  I love to elevate the cake on a pretty cake pedestal!  Creating a simple cake bunting makes it look even more special…I did this for the first communion cake with card stock, cross-shaped stickers, wooden skewers, and bakers twine.

I also played off the ruffled tablecloth by having a pink, ruffled ombre cake.  Very feminine!



Just gorgeous!  Lucky for me, I have a few friends who are fabulous bakers…I can always count on one of them to bring what I’m picturing in my mind to a beautiful and delicious reality.  If you look closely, the color scheme was carried out inside the cake.  A very fun surprise was revealed when the first slice was cut, also!

Yes, this cake was the focus of the dessert table!



Besides the cake, I like to have a variety of other desserts on the table.  Not everyone likes cake…I learned this at my oldest daughter’s first birthday party when my father passed on a piece of cake.  I never knew that he didn’t like traditional birthday cake!  Other sweet options could be cookies, brownies, chocolate covered oreos, truffles, candy, gum balls, ice cream…the possibilities are endless.

I chose to have cookies, personalized M&Ms, candy, and ice cream on the first communion dessert table.  The cookies were decorated to match the flowers on the invitation.  The cross symbol makes another appearance on some of the cookies, as well as the M&Ms.  The ice cream was pre-scooped in individual white containers (making it much easier for serving) that were decorated with silver cross embellishments and the same card stock used on the cake bunting.






A dessert table with various levels in height is visually appealing.  Use tall and low serving pieces, vases of different heights, and tall apothecary jars to create a look that is pleasing to the eye.  Remember to keep your taller items to the back of the table, and your low-lying items in the front.





This is always my favorite part!  In my opinion, it is what sets the mood or theme of the dessert table.  Use flowers, garlands, tissue pompoms, honeycomb balls, flags, marquee letters, paper lanterns, and backdrops to add color and design to the table.  Once again, the possibilities are endless!

You can add decorations in a practical way, also.  Label your food with dessert flags and tags.  This helps your guests identify what they are eating, and it is a way to add more design to the table.

For the first communion, I used clear plastic string to hang honeycomb balls and festooning garland in pink, grey, and cream.  A large bouquet of flowers in shades of pink and cream made a lovely decoration on the table!  A silver-framed picture of the guest of honor at her baptism was on display, as well.




When all the decorating, baking, and creating is finished…remember to enjoy the sweets with your guests!



While I shared tips for styling a dessert table, there are no set rules…just use your imagination and create something special for your guests!





8 thoughts on “tips for styling a dessert table

  1. This is the most beautiful setting! I love the color scheme, and that table cloth with all the ruffles!!! where did you get that? Stunning and so visually appealing, Beth!

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