Buffets full of sweets at weddings are really popular these days, especially for more intimate weddings with less than 100 guests. Buffets are often times in lieu of cakes, and can be candy only, candy and pastries, or many different pastries. These sorts of buffets can be considered as well for bridal showers, morning after wedding brunch, engagement parties, and many other events in life.
The best part about offering the "sweets" to guests (aside from all the actual yummy sweets) is displaying them in apothecary jars, or cake stands and cupcake trees, which creates a whimsical setting and ambiance to your event. Adding glass bell jars or cake domes that aren't necessarily apart of the cake stand set, but do match the jar theme, is a great way to complete the scene. Embellishments, such as filigree cupcake holders, can add sweet little touches to your dessert table scape.
All of this can be created with the simplest of budgets or as elaborate as desired. Having family members donate such jars and plates from their vintage collection, or by hitting up local antique malls and vintage thrift stores, can help save money for this idea that will create awe by the guests whom attend.
The sweets can be homemade by different family members, created with a certain theme in mind, like berry flavors in different pastries, or random assortments. Likewise the jars and cake stands can all be similar, as in a set, or mix and matched, which offers a more personal touch, showcasing the different styles of collections in your family. Who knows, maybe your family members whom are contributing pieces of their collections might be giving these items to you as a wedding gift, to start your own collection of family heirloom items.
For the guests to take home the sweets, have dessert tongs placed by each dessert, for guests to carefully pick the treat of their choice, and place the items into their treat boxes. Have labels in front of each dessert, as well, so guests know what the sweets being offered are.
Below are examples of a pastry buffet, very sweet looking, in pastel hues. This example is befitting for an afternoon wedding at home, even for a bridal shower or a baby shower.