Grandiose wedding cakes  will always have their place at some receptions, but more and more, couples are opting for alternative desserts to serve their guests. Cupcake towers, macarons, minidessert buffets, doughnuts, and cake-pop stands are just a few trending desserts circulating the American wedding  scene.
— Additional reporting by Aemilia Madden
Source: Focus Photography  via Green Wedding Shoes , Bayly & Moore  via 100 Layer Cake , Jennifer Morrow Photography  via Style Me Pretty , Love Me Do Photography  via Green Wedding Shoes , and Lisa Vorce  via Style Me Pretty 
For some couples, there is no better after-dinner treat than a rich, creamy, stinky cheese. Cheekily pay homage to the classic layer cake by stacking a variety of wheels.
Strawberry Shortcake Jars
Put pretty much any dessert in a mason jar and it looks adorable; this cute layered serving style works for everything from cakes to puddings to summery strawberry shortcake. While they may not be quite as grand as a cake, neat rows of mason jars are bound to catch guests' eyes.
Sure, pancakes may not be a dessert per se, but this fluffy brunch staple has become a true wedding  day trend. Buttermilk pancakes  add a homey touch to more casual ceremonies.
Guests love a dessert that they can put together themselves, and classic s'mores offer a nostalgic touch, plus they taste great. If the real deal seems a bit messy for the big day, there are plenty of s'mores-inspired desserts  to fill the sticky-sweet void.
Rustic Pie Table
If you're on team pie (vs. team cake), put your love for this homey dessert on display. Some couples are even stacking tiers of pie in lieu of cake; it's a rustic idea, perfect for a wedding  in a rural setting.
Laura Nelson Photography  via Style Me Pretty 
Wedding Cake Pop
If you love cake but would prefer a wedding  dessert that's a touch more playful, consider the cake pop. These moist desserts are dipped in a candy shell for an extrasinful sweetness and are an excellent alternative.
Miniature Dessert Buffets
Many modern weddings choose to go with a buffet of minidesserts such as petite pies, cupcakes, and puddings; guests can pick their favorite from the spread.
The miniature trend also includes whoopie pies, where traditional cupcake flavors such as red velvet dominate.
Rather than pay for a separate groom's cake, offer guests tuxedo iced cookies.
If you've been bitten by the macaron bug, opt to include a colorful macaron tower. These petite desserts add elegance to any reception.
A croquembouche  — basically, puff pastries stacked in a tower and drizzled with caramel — is a stunning wedding  cake alternative. The puffs are popping up in weddings and bridal magazines everywhere.
Gourmet doughnuts and beignets are appearing on dessert menus across the nation, changing the reputation of this inexpensive breakfast bite to a coveted white tablecloth dinner (and thereby wedding ) dessert.
Cupcakes seem like they are here to stay. Many brides opt to have a small cake on the top tier of a cupcake tower in order to participate in the cutting-of-the-cake tradition.