Top 5 Worst Wedding Desserts

My previous post on the Top Five Worst Wedding Hors D'Oeuvres prompted a request (thank you, reader Hadyn) for a similar list on the worst wedding desserts.

While standard wedding cake can be boring, it remains a popular choice for good reasons: It usually tastes good, poses few health and safety hazards, and looks nice in pictures. But for those who decide to discard traditional baked goods in favor of something trendier, steer clear, at least, of these dreadful desserts.

5. (Hard) Candy Buffet. "But I looove the candy buffet," I can already hear you saying. I would too, if it actually had good treats (chocolate bars! gummy worms!). Unfortunately, many misguided wedding planners sacrifice taste for color. Jars of sweet tarts, gobstoppers and gum balls make for wonderful eye candy (har), but the excessive sucking and chewing required make them awkward to enjoy while you're trying to make conversation at the singles table.

4. The Chocolate Fountain. Any apparatus that haphazardly spews hot, dark-colored liquid (and that includes colicky babies) should not be present at an event in which one of the guests of honor is likely to be wearing a very expensive white frock. Combine this risk with the logistical clumsiness of the single dipping fountain for a hundred-plus people, not to mention the low quality of the chocolate, and you have disgusting mess of a dessert station.

3. Fruit. Health, schmealth: It's a wedding, not a fiber convention. Even if you're getting hitched on a pineapple farm, serving only fruit at your reception is boring and lame. Your friends will wonder if your family all secretly suffers from a chronic genetic form of scurvy, and your family will wonder if you and your friends all secretly suffer from eating disorders. Should Vitamins A and C make an appearance at dessert time, it should be in the form of apple tarts, mango mousses, pear clafoutis, or strawberry pies.

2. Make-Your-Own-S'mores. I am generally not a fan of any wedding food that features a make-your-own component. (Forget celebrating love: I go to weddings to be wined and dined--note the passive voice--not to construct my own meals.) S'mores have become an increasingly popular choice for "rustic" weddings (blame it on all those couples that met at summer camp). Forcing your semi-intoxicated, flammable fabric-wearing guests to crowd around a roaring blaze, however, is a recipe for third-degree burns, not quaint childhood nostalgia.

1.JELL-O. It jiggles, wriggles, and will inevitably prompt That Guy to do obnoxious impressions of Bill Cosby all night. Jell-o is the food of hospital and nursing homes, so unless your guests are primarily octogenarians and/or recovering from the stomach flu, stick to heartier varieties of puddings (e.g., chocolate bread and sticky toffee) that won't move to the beat of your playlist.

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Joanna O'Leary