You can have your cake. (And eat it, too.) But if you're up for something different, don't let tradition hold you back. Many couples are abandoning the time-honored tiers for creative alternatives.
A newer spin on the now-ubiquitous cupcake, miniature cakes like four-serving Vosges confections or one-bite petit fours have several advantages: They look elegant, lend themselves to creative arrangements, and can be ordered in a variety of shapes and flavors to please all guests.
Nothing like a pile of sugary fried dough to kick off a blessed union (and awesome party). Like miniature cakes, donuts can be ordered in lots of varieties to suit different palates. An assortment of Krispy Kreme's regular sizes and minis is a great option.
Just not a cake person? Serve pie made with fruits in season or those native to the wedding location. One couple spent the year prior to their wedding collecting old pie stands at antique stores and yard sales. They then used the eclectic, elegant collection to display assorted seasonal pies at their reception.
Gluten free, lactose-tolerant brides might eschew the whole baked goods category and offer guests a sundae bar instead. Consider custom toppings in your day's color scheme.