Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Does it matter when you open a dessert table?

Ok, so we are planning on the typical late afternoon wedding with dinner reception. It's a holiday weekend; people have kids. I wouldn't be surprised or offended if some guests left after cocktails and a few dances instead of waiting till after dinner.

When should we open the dessert table? Is it rude to close it till after dinner, since some people might not want to stay that long? Or should we expect people to help themselves as they like (but assume they won't get into cake if it's not cut yet)?

Re: Does it matter when you open a dessert table?

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    I would open the dessert table after dinner because it is dessert.  I think it would be kind of rude to come to the wedding and not even stay for dinner.  
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    I'd open it up as soon as you reasonably think people will be wrapping up dinner. So maybe 20ish minutes after dinner is served. If people leave early, that's their decision. 

    What's your timeline look like? Are you dancing before dinner is served? 
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    Well I don't have the schedule set in stone yet, which is one reason for the question. Was thinking tentatively ceremony around 3 or 4 on the afternoon, followed by cocktails & the first dances, but with a longer dance/mingling period after dinner. But pretty open to suggestions at this point.
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    I would open the dessert table after you cut the cake (or, if you're not doing wedding cake, after dinner).  The guests can choose to leave whenever they like (although too early is kind of rude IMO, since they could have just declined), but you shouldn't switch the order of things around too much to cater to them.
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    After dinner, and if you are cake cutting then after that.i generally stay till after the cake cutting and once dance if they are not super close to me. I went to a wedding recently were they had cake and a few other dessert options but not many. They were meant for gluten intolerant guests. Before dinner a table decided they wanted the desserts and took them all. How rude. That's sort of tangent to the topic lol
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    I agree with the rest. I would open it immediately after dinner or while people are wrapping up dinner.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
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    It's rude to leave before or during dinner. You don't need to accommodate that. Have the table opened after the dinner dishes are cleared.
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    Do it right after dinner.
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