The Viennese time of the wedding reception

A delightful bridal trend in recent years has been the Viennese hour. This event takes place at the reception after dinner and is essentially a display of all the delicious desserts anyone can imagine. Here’s what you need to know to plan a fabulous Viennese hour for your wedding reception.

Let’s face it: everyone remembers a wedding where the food was really good. My first encounter with a Viennese hour was at a wedding in Winter Wonderland. The bride wore a beautiful beaded gown and dazzling crystal bridal jewelry. Her bouquet and her centerpieces were dripping with Swarovski crystals to match her bridal jewelry. The band was amazing. But what I really remember about that wedding was the moment after dinner when the doors to an adjoining room opened to reveal the most spectacular display of desserts I had ever seen in one place: Viennese hour.

What should you present in your Viennese hour? All! The goal is to give your guests that feeling of being a kid in a candy store. Wherever you look, you must discover another one of your favorite sweets. Dessert time should leave your guests in awe, as they look around in amazement, thinking, “Where do I start?”

The staples of a Viennese wedding hour or dessert bar are cookies, bars like brownies and blondies, cakes, tarts, and mini cakes. Regional specialties should certainly be on the menu; think New York cheesecake in Manhattan or donuts in New Orleans. Individual servings of dessert favorites like creme brule and chocolate pudding should also be on the menu. And this is just the beginning!

Chocolate and sweets are another part of Viennese time. The most impressive way to serve chocolate is a chocolate fountain. Guests find them irresistible and love the opportunity to dip fresh fruit, pretzels and gourmet marshmallows into the flowing chocolate. Another option is to present chocolate dipped fruits like strawberries instead of having the fountain. A variety of fruits dipped in white, milk, and dark chocolate would be especially nice. Be sure to order the chocolate dipped treats in bulk, because your guests will go crazy for them!

Once you’ve decided on the basics of your wedding Viennese hour, it’s time to pick your “wow” factor. Remember that a Viennese hour should be elaborate and indulgent, so this is the time to go all out. Any number of specialized stations will work as your “wow” feature. Pick one, or if space allows, include them all to really wow your guests. An ice cream sundae bar is one idea for the main feature. A custom crepe station with an assistant to make whatever your guests want is a stylish addition. Or go for a nostalgic carnival theme with cotton candy carts and funnel cake.

Finally, plan to have a special beverage area. A coffee bar with an assistant to make cappuccinos and espressos is a must. For a wedding with children on the guest list, cocoa would be a nice addition to the menu. It’s also nice to have a mini-bar for serving spirits and cordials. If there’s room in the budget, champagne or sparkling wine glasses would be the perfect complement to the chocolate dipped strawberries. With all the elements in place, you can be sure that your guests will remember the Viennese hour of your wedding reception for years to come.

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