Of all the different aspects of wedding planning, the food can be one of the trickiest to get right. It's simply not practical to be able to offer enough dishes to cater to absolutely everyone's preferences, so instead, you have to decide what will cover the most bases and appeal to the greatest number of people.

During the evening part of the reception, it's traditional to serve food that people can help themselves to, but more and more people are choosing to have a theme for this rather than a simple, classic buffet. Theming your evening food is particularly effective when it comes to sweet treats, and setting up some form of dessert station is certain to be memorable. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.

Chocolate fountain

The chocolate fountain emerged relatively recently, but has taken the world by storm in the short time it's been around! Okay, that might be overstating things slightly, but it's certainly become popular and revolutionised help-yourself catering. Instead of buying the equipment, you can hire it, possibly from a company that will set it all up for you. Provide an array of fresh fruit, marshmallows, biscuits and anything else you can think of, and your guests will love dipping.

Ice cream bar

Two or three flavours of ice cream, nuts and other assorted toppings, and a few sauces, and you have a self-service ice cream bar. Throw in some vintage sundae dishes to really make it memorable. The good thing about this is it's easy to cater for dietary requirements. Include some dairy-free ice cream, keep nuts well away from other toppings, and more people can get involved.

Cake pops

The cake pop has really shot up in popularity, and it's easy to see why. Small enough that people can try more than one, delicious and versatile, and really pretty when arranged in a nice display.

Doughnut station

Everyone loves doughnuts, right? And they're easy to make into any flavours your heart desires. Go with typical, classic flavours to please everyone, or get experimental with some more interesting ideas. Alternatively, just provide plain fried doughnuts and a selection of sauces.

Make-your-own trifle

Trifle is one of those old-fashioned celebration dishes that never seems to go away. Make it more fun by disassembling it and letting people put together their own. All you need is bowls, plus some jelly, custard, cream, fruit and pieces of sponge cake. Add some sherry or dessert wine for the grown-ups who want the boozy version.