For a more rustic, summery (and, dare we say, delicious) dessert table at your wedding reception, go for an over-the-top spread of handmade pies. These fruit-filled confections aren’t just for backyard BBQs and picnics in the park these days. Pies can by nature skew a bit more rustic in look and feel, which is beyond perfect for a laid-back barn wedding or a garden party. But dress it up a little and a pie can hold its own next to the fanciest of desserts at a black-tie gala. With so many varieties out there—from light and airy meringues to sweet and sticky berry blends—a table filled with pies is a hands-down crowd pleaser. For the ultimate in dessert-table variety, open up your selection to the larger pie family, which includes tarts (shallow desserts with only a bottom crust) and galettes (free-form pastries that wrap around a gooey fruit filling).
You can choose to either swap out a traditional wedding cake entirely or add mini pies as a supplement to other small treats throughout the reception. (Trust us, people will be happy either way.)
1. Display pies using a variety of different cake stands and decorative elements:
Chances are, most of your pies are going to be round and have some kind of textured topping, which can look a little repetitive. Mix it up by displaying them on stands in different shapes and sizes, with heights ranging from platters that are flush to the table to higher and more dramatic cake stands. For a formal look, it’s good to go with the same material (choose simple ceramic, metal, or glass), but a more casual reception calls for mixing and matching materials, which will add more dimension to the table. Throw in a few simple flower arrangements to bring color and texture to the spread.
2. Incorporate a family recipe:
Because pies are a more “everyday” dessert than a fancy wedding cake, it’s likely that someone in your family has passed down a treasured recipe or two over the years. Make sure those pie varieties make it into the mix and let guests reminisce as they indulge.
3. Let guests get creative with a “make your own tart” bar:
For a DIY dessert experience, set up a station with prebaked mini tart shells, fruit compotes, berries, and freshly whipped cream. To include even more flavor variety, add in bowls generously filled with chocolate cream, crumbled hazelnut pralines, and homemade caramel.
4. Set your dinner table with pies:
Who says you can’t have dessert before dinner? It’s your wedding, after all. A mini pie is the perfect vehicle to hold a simple calligraphed name or a sweet note from you and your beau.
5. Give individual mini pies as favors:
The only thing better than a delicious slice of pie is a delicious tiny pie that you can take with you. Personalize the gift box with your new married monogram and include a small thank-you note. Don’t forget a fork; the pie might not make it past the car ride home.