Don't forget candies. People also want to have the color-coordinating or themed candies on their dessert tables. Lollipops, barber poles (candy sticks), M&Ms or Sixlets, gum balls, jelly beans, taffy, Lindt truffles, marshmallows, etc. Some people don't care about coordinating colors (I do). I recently went to a wedding that had a dessert table with 2 big trays of Italian cookies, 2 big trays of mini pastries (mini canolis, cream puffs, etc.), then just tons of candy that they bought at BJs. Giant pixy stix, mini wrapped chocolates (the kind given out at Halloween), nothing special or pretty. I thought it was very nice of them to give it out, but it looked boring to me, it didn't look special. They also just tossed a box of ziplock bags on the table for people to put their stuff in. I usually give nicer packaging.
I recently did a Polish/Russian/Ukranian themed party for my mom's birthday. We did a Sweet Shop and put out all kinds of candy that was made in those countries (purchased at a European market), plus I added some gum balls, barber poles, etc in the party colors to fill it in. The international treats were a huge hit. I felt bad when the mother-of-the-bride (from the above wedding) told me this display was so much nicer than the one for the wedding. Our little 3-ft table made a bigger impact because of the color/theme matching than her 10-ft table had. They didn't have anything on the table to tie it all together or make it pop. I honestly didn't think my table looked that great either but everyone loved it.
I think the dessert table is still not a widely known item. When I got married I wanted to have a dessert table. It was 15 years ago, so I did not know about the candy ones, just pastries. I would have incorporated candy had I known. We ordered tons of cookies, dipped strawberries, cream puff swans, and a few other items from our wedding cake baker. I had requested that the venue put everything out, making a bountiful display. They had no clue what to do. Instead of doing what's requested, they only put a few items out at a time, on individual plates. It was so sad looking and by the time I found out,it was too late. We spent all that money and took over half of it home. It still annoys me a bit.
When I make dessert tables for family parties now, everyone is so amazed and say what a great idea or how creative I am, or they have never seen something like that before. Kind of makes me laugh because to me, this is common. I realized the difference between me and the guests is that I spend an enormous amount of time looking at blogs, books, tv shows, and websites that have dessert tables. It seems like desert tables are becoming more popular now as more people look on Pinterest for party planning, there are more people doing the dessert tables, and there are people that sell printables for parties. Party City recently started displaying candies, labels, and small packaging in different colors for dessert tables. Maybe you can do some set-ups (can do it in your house), take photos and make some flyers to give to wedding planners or venues. Or have a set-up at a wedding show.
Sorry writing so much. It has been an extremely stressful day and I get chatty when I am stressed!