New trends found in wedding receptions are the candy buffets. Originally found at children’s birthday parties, candy buffets are making their debut at wedding receptions at a growing rate. They are fun, they are easy, and who doesn’t love candy? Many brides are opting to do candy buffets because they are simple to do themselves when they are on a tight budget and are even cheap enough to order from a caterer without breaking the bank. Candy buffets can be used to feed your guests or even as party favors when leaving. They are versatile and you can order just about any candy buffet to match your event theme and colors. There are a few things you should know before diving into the candy buffet idea though.
1. Know Your Theme and Your Colors – Just as a wedding cake needs to know the theme of your reception, so does your candy buffet. If you are going for a fun and modern theme, choose brightly colored candies and fun displays. If your wedding is more sophisticated, order antique displays with chocolates, cookies, and sophisticated candies. A candy buffet does not have to be brightly colored and “child-like”. Many candy buffets out there can fit even the most elegant wedding setting. Display is key. The jars, vases, etc. used to accent your candy pieces will make or break your theme. If doing a candy buffet yourself or even ordering a candy buffet, be sure to order something that fits the venue.
2. Know Your Budget – Though candy buffets are cheaper, it’s quite easy to go over budget with these. Like a kid in the candy store, when you are ordering and picking out candies, many people go overboard. After all, how can you resist not selecting every kind of candy!? If you are on a tighter budget, sugar-based candies are typically cheaper. Stay away from chocolates and other high-quality ingredient based candies to save a buck. Suckers are a great addition to any candy buffet and are relatively cheaper. Many caterers and candy stores that offer candy buffets offer an entire candy display. Many will rent you the display pieces and even come and set up the candy buffet for you. Majority of candy buffets range from $1.50 to $4.00 per person, depending on what is ordered. Some vendors will even allow A La Carte candy buffet menus, though they typically cost more in the long run. For a wedding of 100 people, you are looking at a minimum of $100.00+ in candy alone. Though this sounds like a lot and you think you could do it cheaper, realize that you have to actually purchase the display pieces when doing it yourself. If you order a candy buffet from another company, you are only renting the pieces. This is considerably cheaper in the long run.
3. Guest Counts and How Much to Order – Many clients will ask me how much candy they should order. Well, candy is the most widely spread love of Americans. Why do you think candy stores are so popular? When purchasing a candy buffet, keep in mind that no one is typically going to take that “standard serving” and move on. Especially if that candy buffet is the centerpiece of what you are serving your guests. I typically say purchase 1.5 servings PER PERSON. So if you are having 100 guests, order a candy buffet for 150 guests. This will ensure that the candy does not run out. After all, the candy buffets are cheap enough that an additional half serving per person will not break the bank. Serve cookie platters and cupcakes with your candy buffet. In doing so you can cut the amount of candy people will actually take. Offer small baggies or cups for guests to fill with their candy. No one wants to be a “pig” and take more than one bag and fill it up.
4. Most Popular Candies – There are a few candy items I always recommend to my brides to order. Those are: Fire Gumballs, Gummy Bears, Peanut Clusters, Black Licorice, Lemon Drops, Orange Gummy Rings, Jelly Beans, Gumballs, and Colored Chocolate Candies.
5. How to Decorate Your Candy Buffet – If you are hiring a professional vendor to provide your candy buffet, ensure they know your color palette and theme of your wedding. They should provide the containers and take-away items for your display. Some vendors do charge more to actually decorate. Be sure to ask if there is a fee for decorations or if this is included in the original price. If doing things yourself, decorate with ribbons, flowers, brightly colored linens, and use Styrofoam blocks to elevate your different candy containers. There are endless examples you can find online or even in bridal magazines. Visit bridal expos and shows for decorating tips or even to find vendors in your area that may offer discounts for booking at the show.
There you have it…the sweet and tantalizing experience of candy buffets. Order or create one for your wedding reception or even a birthday party. They are the sweetest new trend out there today.