5 Eco-Friendly Wedding Dessert Ideas

Guest blogger: Kate Harrison, creator of greenbrideguide.com.
After planning her own green wedding in 2007, Kate wrote 
the best-selling green wedding book, The Green Bride Guide: How to Plan an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget (Sourcebooks, 2008). In 2009, she founded greenbrideguide.com to help couples use their weddings to promote social and environmental change while supporting the local green economy. Kate has a JD in Environmental Law and a Master's from Yale in Environmental Policy.

Dessert is a time to spoil yourself — not to spoil an otherwise green wedding. Check out these five fun, easy and eco-friendly treats. Each idea can help reduce costs and excess waste that become a big burden after your wedding. Encourage guests to take home leftovers, and provide them with plenty of recycled paper bags or boxes for easy on-the-go bites.

Tower of Treats
Create a cake-shaped tower of treats. These can be anything from gourmet powdered truffles to kitschy Ho-Hos. You can also display cupcakes on tiered trays for a similar effect. Towers of treats are a bit more interesting than a regular cake: Choose your favorite items, and it’s even more fun to take home the extras.

Photo Credit: Onelove Photography

2. Miniature Cakes
It’s often easier — and less expensive — to buy several small organic cakes than one large wedding cake. A fun option is to put a miniature (six-to-twelve person) wedding cake or pie on every table. Your guests can serve themselves instead of waiting around to be served individually from a four-tiered confection. San Francisco-based Miette (French for “crumb”) specializes in small wedding cakes. They emphasize simple flavors through premium ingredients, which they define as local, sustainable, and, whenever possible, organic.

miniature chocolate cake
Photo Courtesy of Miette

3. Candy Station
Fill containers of different sizes with your favorite natural or organic candy and chocolates, and give guests recycled paper bags to fill — just like a candy store. You can create a colorful display, an ombré touch, or go for a dramatic monochrome effect; either way, you will delight your guests. The best part is that the goodie bags can double as wedding favors. 

candy station
Photo Credit: Rebecca Thuss

4. S’mores and Fondue Fountains
Interactive desserts are all the rage. For the taste of camp without the campfire, put an individual s’mores roaster on every table along with the fixings, and let your guests roast their own. And fondue fountains with fresh local or organic fruit are always fun. Rent a large fountain for from a catering company, or you can buy (then resell) smaller fountains for each table.

chocolate fountain
Photo courtesy of Good Times Chocolate Fountain

5. Dessert Buffet
If you’re not a cake lover, opt for an array of small, delectable desserts instead, like tarts, pies and éclairs. A dessert buffet is a nice choice because all of your guests can find something they like, small desserts are easier to take home, and a dessert spread costs less and looks delightful. Be sure to include both chocolate and fruit options. If you’re comfortable having part of your wedding potluck-style, asking each guest to bring a dessert is a nice way to go. One couple asked everyone to bring a pie, which created an impressive and flavorful buffet.

wedding dessert buffet
Photo Credit: Decoist.com

Don’t feel pressured to provide an enormous wedding cake at your celebration. If you provide more variety in smaller quantities, you’ll save money in the process and the leftovers will be more manageable. Make your wedding sweets your own so you can really enjoy the best part of the occasion – dessert!

—Kate Harrison