Alternatives to a traditional wedding cake

Weddings are filled with traditions – grooms wear tuxedos, brides don white dresses – and these customs often carry over to the menu. And while couples typically cut into snow-white wedding cakes with fondant flowers cascading down the side, there are many alternatives that put a fresh spin on the central confection.

Instead of a single cake, design a dessert comprised of individual cupcakes or doughnuts. It will be easy to divide up for guests, and these pastries are great for those who crave variety – instead of one type of cake, you can offer a range of flavors, such as chocolate, lemon and red velvet cupcakes.

If you prefer fruit, serve individual tarts at the end of the meal. Choose seasonal ingredients, such as peach in the summer or apple in autumn.

Those who don't want to stray too far from tradition can opt for a chocolate-frosted cake. The dark-colored icing will be a welcome change from conventional ivory confections but won't completely forgo the custom of cutting the cake.

Since the dessert is likely to be a focal point at the reception, select wedding favors that tie-in to the central confection. If you serve a chocolate treat, Hershey bars are a great choice, and personalized lollipops are ideal for those who opt for a fruity dessert.