Tips to Styling a Dessert Table With Secrets of a Party Planner


There’s a certain trick to having a stylish and seemingly effortless dessert table at a party – one that is on point with theme, easy to utilise and grab desserts from and looks great. I learnt a lot about styling dessert tables from party darlings such as Amy Atlas, so you will find a small part of new eBook Secrets of a Party Planner focuses on how to style a dessert table just so. Just for you, here are some of my tried and true tricks:

Amy Atlas once put together a great post on her blog about setting up the perfect dessert table, and suggested that you should have “a variety of 6–8 desserts on the dessert table, as well as a few varieties of candy.”

A great jumping off point is to make a quick mock-up of your dessert table on a piece of paper, once you have decided what food is going to be served, to give you a sense of what you need and if you should add any additional pieces. It also gives you a plan to refer to so that you aren’t so stressed when you are setting up on the day of the party.

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Photo by Bella Cupcake Couture

Next, make sure you have the elements that you need to set the table up, such as a linen tablecloth that will suit the colour scheme and theme of your event and your dessert table, matching plates and vessels to serve your food in and on, ribbons and place card holders to declare the food to your guests, as well as any extras such as vases of flowers or props for the table. Keep your theme in mind throughout the design process, and try to go with one neutral colour (such as white, black or nude) and one or two main colours to add a huge degree of pop to the table.

Behind the dessert table, it is always nice to use a backdrop or hang some bunting to draw guests from the surroundings to the dessert table. This can be done in many different ways, such as a physical backdrop, a bamboo screen or curtain, streamers stuck up in long lines behind the table, balloons, bunting and paper ball lanterns hanging from the roof. Many of your hanging decorations can be added in here to bring the dessert table and the party together.

On the actual table itself, lay the tablecloth and table runner if need be. Next it is time to start putting together the actual table!


Photo by Kinnaly

The idea is to create a main focal point on the dessert table. That could be a birthday cake or a tower of cupcakes, or if you want to go with a decoration centrepiece you can use a prop similar to your theme. Most classic dessert tables will feature the celebration cake as the focal point, as it is the element you want focused on the most, and the one item that is the most decorated on the table. Make sure it sits higher than everything else on the table using a tiered stand, and make sure it is in the centre.

Next, arrange a few different levels in a variety of heights, using taller vases with longer stems holding matching coloured candies, or vessels filled with flowers. Varying the levels makes the dessert table more interesting to look at. Place flat iced biscuits and shorter items at the front, which makes it easier to reach and serve on the desserts, as well as look good.

Photo from Fantabalousy

Last, but certainly not least, it’s time for the final details and embellishments. Add to the décor by adding a garland to the front of the table, adding tea light candles amongst the cookies and sprinkling diamond scatters along the table runner. Add candy tags and dessert flags to the front of the table, as well as scoops and serving utensils.

Viola! A perfect dessert table that will have your guests crowded around, oohing and aahing over the delightful and inviting design.

If you want to learn more tips about putting together a party, you can purchase my new eBook Secrets of a Party Planner by clicking here or by clicking the below photo, which will be available at the end of all posts in the future.

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