Monday, September 12, 2011

Tips for Setting up a Desert Buffet

No party is complete without an amazing desert buffet.  There is more than just making the deserts and picking out candy though.  The display and set-up of the buffet is just as important as what you put on it.  One of my main responsibilities at my last job was to prepare each buffet and set it up.

 Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning/setting up a desert buffet:

1. Think height.  It is visually appealing to have items staged at different heights.  Use cake stands, platforms, risers, stack plates under linen, etc.

2. Think color.  You don't want to place all items of a similar color in one place unless you are going for a one colored buffet.  It tends to look blah.  As in the photo below, you can alternate colors and still carry a theme.  ( ie: pink and orange )

3. Think pairs.  If you have similar items, put them together.  Ex. sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies/ brownies and blondies/ chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.  These fondant covered sugar cookies and madeleines look great together, and have more of a wow factor when paired.

4. Think grouping.  If you have a lot of different items all over the buffet, try to group them together so they look more appealing.  The cupcakes have been placed into little groups with the candy.  They look more unified and bring out the color scheme even more.

5. Think Signage and Decor.  You can't expect people to know what you are serving, and who wants to eat a raisin cookie you thought was chocolate chip?  

Simple signs and decorations make your buffet look more put together.  No one will be guessing if that is Grandma's fudge cake, or Vanilla Raspberry Cupcakes.

Little cupcake decorations, plants, flowers, etc. can make your buffet POP!

Other things to consider:

People love chocolate, always have at least one chocolate item.

Cookies are a no-brainer.  Everyone will eat a cookie.

If you put it on a stick, it is instantly SO COOL.  Try it.

If you are running out of ideas, try filling in your buffet with candy.

Guests will appreciate little bags to take home goodies.  You can find color coordinating paper bags at most local craft stores.

Top your cupcakes with toppers.  It adds extra height and color.

You can find tons of cupcake topper templates on-line, buy them at Wal-Mart, or make you own with paper and toothpicks.

All of my photos are from my friend Glorianne's beautiful wedding.  She made a huge variety of sweets and did a fantastic job getting everything ready to set up.  She pre-filled her candy containers, packed her items neatly and labeled them, and had a list of everything that should be on the buffet.  She also had the signs ready to go, as well as decor and flower petals.  All I had to do was come and set it up.  It is easy when you are prepared and ready to let your buffet sell itself.  


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