Hi, all! Let’s continue with our wedding 101 series because there are some things left to share.
Ours was a pretty simple dessert buffet. For our lunch menu from Circa 1900, we opted for two desserts — their (super good!!!) maja blanca cheesecake and beignet with chocolate and coconut sauces. I could not emphasize how Circa 1900 is a gift sent from the heavens to us. I always felt and still feels like the Almighty created Circa 1900 for me to wed. You see, maja blanca and donuts are probably my most favorite desserts of all time.
The beignets were not an original option in our wedding menu package. The restaurant also began serving them a few weeks before we got married and I’m so thankful to Chef Stev, Ma’am Ivy, and Drei for accommodating our request to change the salad into a dessert. Before the beignets were offered, I was thinking of buying donuts and serving them during our “coffee” time.
Coffee time. Ahh, this was something my boyfriend and I were dreaming of. We dreamt of having a wedding that is so relaxed, casual, homey, and that everybody would enjoy a cup (or two) of our favorite beverage. We thought of serving wine, but then, we are not wine drinkers. (Circa 1900 also has an extensive wine selection and will guide you through this selection if you ask.). And, it has always been our habit to have merienda or mid-day snacks and 90% of those times we have coffee.
Circa 1900 serves coffee and we asked if we can serve our guests coffee after lunch. Of course, they said we can with additional charge. During our first months of meeting, the charge was to be P250 per carafe. We thought it’s not very expensive but we still would have to decide how many carafes do we order. With the per carafe situation, we thought there might be wastage as some would not drink coffee, while some would drink more than one. There is also the problem with cold coffee, which, as we all know, would not taste good at all. As our wedding date drew nearer, the restaurant offered as free-flowing brewed coffee for P40 each. I couldn’t believe our luck! We ordered coffee for 40 persons and there was no drop of coffee left afterwards.
In addition to Circa’s maja blanca cheesecake and beignets, our dessert buffet were sweets baked by family and friends. Let’s just say I’m difficult to impress when it comes to food — mostly because my parents are good cooks. And, when it comes to desserts and sweet treats, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law are probably the two best home bakers in the city (and my husband’s family just bakes really, really good stuff, it’s no wonder my husband has the sweeter tooth). So, I asked my mother-in-law to bake us some thing, and she made coconut cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes. Our aunt (my husband’s aunt) also baked us red velvet cupcakes, the color of which is so fitting of the occasion.
Lastly, as a gift, I asked my bestfriend to bake us some of her chocolate chip cookies (emphasis on chocolate chips as the cookies were “pregnant” with them) because I love them!
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My thoughts on how you can save on your wedding dessert buffet:
- Consider making your own. A dessert buffet nowadays is not cheap. Hiring the services of another person for a dessert buffet may not be the thriftiest decision, especially when your wedding is on a budget. I would admit though that dessert buffets are super cute and Instagram-worthy that people would spend a lot for these reasons. Making your own will take time, effort and manpower as you will need to decorate, arrange platters and cake stands. But making your own will cut your costs, especially when you already own beautiful serving platters or cake stands. For our wedding, we brought our own platters and cake stands.
- Ditch the decor. The guests can’t and won’t eat the decor. And, chances are, if you have a photo booth, your guests won’t have their photos taken by the dessert buffet. Hire a dessert buffet supplier and negotiate for the supplier to cut on the decor. Instead, ask the supplier to bring richer and better desserts (rather than packaged cookies, candies or chocolates). Ask the dessert supplier to make the decor light because it won’t be the focus of the event and because you can’t bring home the decor.
- Swap the items in the menu for dessert. Circa 1900 was very generous in their wedding menu package as it consisted of 12 items, excluding drinks. They were also very accommodating when we said we not have the salad and the soup and would instead like to have another appetizer and dessert. Talk with the catering services or the restaurant and see what they can do about your request.
- Buy ready-to-eat dessert. If you have a favorite dessert, cake or sweet treat, consider buying that. Again, there is no need for over-the-top decor for the guests to enjoy the dessert. And, you won’t be worried of leftovers because if the dessert is made by a top-notch baker, then no crumbs will be left for the doves. I highly recommend Angelica’s chocolate cake, Leona’s chocolate suprise and/or mint-chocolate cake, and Treat Street’s rainbow cake. Another cheaper option would be Kate’s chocolate cake slices.
- Ask family and friends to make the dessert. There will always be that person close to you who has perfected the chocolate chip cookie, or the brownies, or the super moist chocolate cake. So that you won’t be thinking of whether the bakery has delivered the desserts (or worse, burdened by baking the desserts yourself), ask your family and friends to share their special recipe on your wedding day. This will also be a topic of conversation amongst your guests. I assure you, everybody will gush about how scrumptious your aunt’s cupcakes were.
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Like all the previous and future wedding advice I gave: let every aspect, including your wedding dessert buffet, reflect you as a couple. And, the most important thing, let your guests enjoy the desserts by offering them the best (but not necessarily, the most expensive) treats. This post is dedicated to all of you — you, my darling home bakers, who gave your time and shared your talents (and best loved) recipes with the rest of the guests. I have not eaten a morsel of the sweets you baked because everybody loved them! Thank you very, very much!!!
Photos by Christian Toledo.