Candy Bar Basics

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

There are a LOT of cool, fun things going on in weddings these days and the candy bar or buffet is one of them. Sure, some folks are saying that this is one of the trends that’s dying out, but I bet we’ll be seeing them for a while. It’s not something that was going to fit in with our wedding plans, but that didn’t stop me from setting up something similar at last year’s Halloween party. (We also did the mashed potato bar at this party–I hope those never go out of style!)

Here are some things I learned, that might help if you’re planning to include these sweet treats for your wedding:

Halloween Candy Buffet

That year’s theme was Toddlers & Tiaras–the mega pixie sticks were a must! (personal photo)

1. Be creative with your color scheme.

Candy comes in all sorts of colors these days, but the more out there or specific your colors are, the harder it may be to match them in sweet form. Instead of shipping in questionable candy that might match in looks but not taste, go for your favorites regardless of color, and use colorful containers. The usual might be the pretty apothecary jars, but everyone does that…

2. 4 oz. of candy is a good guideline, but it’s only that.

And that guideline is probably in weight, not volume. 4 oz of M&Ms is going to take up a lot less space than 4 oz of a lighter candy light saltwater taffy or caramel corn. Consider the type of container you’re putting out for your guests to fill and buy enough candy to fill each 3/4 full–some will take less, some will fill their baggies to bursting, this will give you a safe range. And if you think one treat will be more popular than others? Order more of that one, as opposed to equal amounts of everything.

3. Buy only what you wouldn’t mind being stuck with.

There’s no guarantee that everyone is going to take their candy share, so leftovers better appeal to someone or you’re going to be throwing money away. Plus–going back to part of point 1 up there–if you serve stuff you like, you can vouch for the quality.

4. Don’t forget serving tools for unwrapped goodies.

Wrapped candies are easier to grab by hand–tongs and scoops will just make a mess–but no one wants someone else’s fingerprints on their nonpareils. Also, when you’re picking out vessels and scoops, make sure the latter easily fits into the former, especially when it’s full of fun stuff (so try out your set-up with dried beans or something before you pass the point of shopping for better options).

And, of course, the usual display suggestions apply: different heights make a table more interesting, labels can help your guests if items are wrapped or unfamiliar, and don’t overcrowd things–that’s just asking for an accident.

I think our Halloween candy bar went over well and the leftovers meant the trick-or-treaters got plenty of candy in their bags. After the first few waves we were ‘that house with the pixie sticks’ though, so we might have to continue that tradition next year–even if it is only 2 days before the wedding!

So, have your say: candy buffets out or in? Are you doing one?