Waffles and chill: 14 essential ice cream bar tips #Food DIY#Reception Advice#catering#DIY#food#food truck#ice cream April 18 2016 | Catherine Clark bijouxandbits Photo by Zac Wolf Photography Related Post Cereal, coffee bars, and short ceremonies: How to ROCK a morning brunch wedding Missy and Ryan's lovely early morning brunch wedding came with all the fun of a morning wedding including cereal cupcakes, Bloody Marys, and a coffee... Read more Look, cake is the tits. But sometimes you just want to shake things up and offer up something a little different, dessert-wise. We've covered candy buffets, donuts, and dessert pot lucks before, but today we're getting COOL. Enter the ice cream bar! Lillian and Jon's woodland forest wedding meet kitties wedding featured a most nom-worthy gelato bar for which we wanted to climb into the screen. Let's look at their bar and learn how you can take your ice cream bar game up to 11. Photo by Zac Wolf Photography Keep it on ice This is the biggest difference between a regular dessert buffet and an ice cream bar: keeping shit cool. We'd suggest large buckets full of ice as the easiest option. Alternately, if you have the budget, you could consider renting a soft serve dispenser. Photo by Aaron Epstein – CC BY 2.0 Pre-roll the ice cream If you have the time, consider pre-rolling the ice cream into neat little balls. It will require the above tip of keeping it on ice even more than before, but it prevents guests from having to dig around in a big vat of ice cream. That can surely get messy as hell. Consider a dairy-free option If you have the budget and resources to allow for more than one or two flavors, consider offering a sugar-free and/or dairy-free option. It'll open up the playing (eating?) field for those with dairy allergies and those limiting sugar. Photo by _e.t – CC BY 2.0 Cups and cones Cups (like these!) are definitely the easier option, but guests love a good cone, too. Feel free to provide one or both, just don't forget to provide something. Oh, and napkins. Lotsa napkins. Or use big mugs like Lillian and Jon did: Photo by Zac Wolf Photography Cheap ramekins are your friends You can find cheap ramekins almost anywhere, and they make great topping holders. Alternately, if you have a really large crowd, you may be better off with larger angled jars and some scoops. Add some height with tiered trays Adding a little height to the display makes it more visible and just makes it look more full and rad. You can even make these out of plates and thrift store candle holders, if you're feeling crafty. But here are a few we found. Some are pretty damned cute. Photo by Nick Gray – CC BY 2.0 Guests dig toppings It's not a sundae without toppings, right? Feel free to keep this super minimal to save money, especially since we know most guests will stick to the classics like chocolate syrup and whipped cream. But don't shy away from offering something a little different like bacon bits, maple sauce, or dried herbs. whipped cream nuts sauces BACON cookies fresh fruit M&Ms chocolate chips maraschino cherries coconut sprinkles marshmallows gummy bears DIY Printable Wedding Sign by The Arty Apples Don't forget signage You don't want folks missing the bar entirely, so opt for a little decor to entice guests over. If it's a big display by itself, you can skip this if you like. Photo by Annie – CC BY 2.0 Use a chalkboard for signage Chalkboards or rollable chalkboard contact paper are a great way to easily get everything labeled. Plus, it's just super adorable. Photo by Shari's Berries – CC BY 2.0 Wooden spoons can serve as signage You can buy wooden disposable spoons (some more eco-friendly!) for pretty cheap. Guests can use them for eating, but you can also use them as signage for your toppings, too. Don't miss the little wooden scoop option, too! Sooo adorable. Photo by Jessica Rossi – CC BY 2.0 Make it a waffle sundae bar! If you're doing breakfast for dinner or a brunch wedding (or are Leslie Knope), consider a waffle sundae bar! Who wouldn't want to pile some ice cream on a waffle and go to town? Photo by Wild About You Photography Go simple with a tier of pre-made cones or treats If all of this is starting get overwhelming, I feel you. Pare it down to just one treat, maybe even pre-packaged for ease. Ice cream sandwiches, pre-made cones, Ben & Jerry's cup catering, whatever floats your boat. Speaking of floats… Photo by White Shutter Photography Or: simplify with a signature dessert float! If you're looking to keep the budget low, go the way of the signature cocktail with just one signature float. Root beer, Coke floats, booze-y sorbet cocktails, etc. that way you're offering just one kind of ice cream as a tasty optional treat. Photo courtesy of Kim Screw it: get an ice cream truck If you've officially scrapped the project now altogether, you can always go the way of the food truck. Ya'll know we love 'em. Call up your local ice cream joints or Google "ice cream truck [your town]" and see what's available. Guests love a surprise visit from FOOD during the reception, trust me. Ice cream keychain More treat buffet ideas Candy buffet ideas: How to save money and up your sweets table game Planning a big ol' sweets table as your dessert, cake alternative, or as guest favors? This can either be a spend-fest or an exercise in skillful saving, depending on your… Read More Accio Harry Potter wedding dessert bar! Tribesmaid MrsGraves13 is planning a Harry Potter dessert bar and has some great ideas on how to stock it. If you're planning a Harry Potter-themed wedding, or party, check out… Read More Are you planning on rocking the cream at your reception? What tips did we miss? Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Catherine Clark Catherine Clark is Offbeat Bride's Senior Editor. In her spare time she loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur baby, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. @enidjcoleslaw @bijouxandbits @bijouxandbits PREVIOUS Get dat booty at this pirate wedding in Malibu NEXT A bluegrass 1920s speakeasy jail wedding with massive Southern style Show/Hide comments [ 1 ] We had an ice cream truck, and it was AWESOME!! The ice cream truck we booked didn't charge an hourly rate–we only had to pay for the ice cream treats that were sold. We put an ice cream ticket at each place setting to keep the amount reasonable. It cost us about $300 for 100 guests. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.