Cathy Riva, Event Planner, Riva Events

Have fun with desserts: "Skip individual desserts and opt instead for a plate of sweets and savories on the table at the end of the night.

Another way to serve nicely but hold the line on costs is to "create a dessert bar where folks can choose from a few different options," says Riva.

Delicious homemade or store-bought delights are both fine, she emphasizes. "These sweets can be on a plate in the center of your table or on a three-tiered tray."

Riva's other suggestions for some great treats for the end of the meal:

  • Mini brownie bites
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Cheese cake squares
  • Cream puffs
  • Apple pie slices
  • Mallomars
  • Raspberry tarts

Yet another fun approach: "Create a 'Candy Bar' featuring your own assorted chocolate and other candy favorites," she suggests.