Sweet Candy Buffets

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Ah, the candy buffet. One of my personal favourite things to see at a wedding reception. Not only are Candy Buffets always a crowd pleaser with adults and children alike, but they can also act as a very affordable alternative to a wedding favour.

It was once thought that the Candy Buffet was a pasing trend; however, this does not appear to be the case. Candy Buffets are being seen with more freqnecy at weddings and the trend doesn’t look like it will end any time soon.

A Candy Buffet can really be whatever you want it to be: large, small, multi-colored, or matching to your wedding theme. You can let your imagination (and your taste buds!) run wild!

Here are a few examples:

Bunting Birthday Candy Bar

Baby Shower Sweet Table

Modern Candy Bar Or how about using candy as a centerpiece for an informal wedding?:

Child Birthday Lollopop Centerpieces

Childish Wedding FavorsOr how about having a Sweets Table, with cakes and other treats:

Wedding Sweet Table

{For a sweet table, look for items like: cake pops, mini cupcakes, dessert squares, meringues, French macaroons, etc.}

Here are some of my tips and tricks for making your own Candy Buffet:

1) Get a variety of different glass containers for your candy. The more dissimilar they are, the better they will look all displayed together. Check Ikea, JYSK or even your local thrift shop for old glass vases and bowls. Or, if you have some time until your wedding, make sure to check out Winners and Homesense regularly. You can often find some wonderful glass containers (with or without lids) in their clearance section. They also have a great variety of glass containers and jars regularly.

2) Bulk Barn will be your best friend!! They have a huge selection of different candies, even some from Britain or America that you won’t find anywhere else in Canada. You can also try to colour match the candy to your wedding colours. If you’re not fortunate enough to have a Bulk Barn in your city, then hit up the bulk section of your local super market, or check Costco for larger quantities of your favourite candies.

3) Be careful if ordering candy online. This isn’t because of damage or melting (reputable candy suppliers will ship chocolates with ice packs to prevent the items from melting), but mainly because of shipping and customs fees. For those of us North of the border, ordering candy online from the States just isn’t a cost-effective option as the shipping is often more than your order total.  Some candies also cannot be shipped to Canada for customs reasons.

4) Please do not forget to buy scoops & tongs for the candy. I cannot stress this enough!! (Picture this: Half-drunk Mr. x goes to the washroom, but forgets to wash his hands…THEN proceeds to dig into the M&M’s you have in your candy bowl. Icky!!) Check the dollar stores for scoops and tongs (olive tongs work well), or you can order various sizes online from Hendrix Restaurant Equipment for a very reasonable price.

5) Have a container for guests to scoop their treats into. You can order cute little Chinese take-out boxes online, or you can provide them with little organza or decorative plastic bags. If you need something more economical, head to a wholesale store (like Great Canadian Wholesale or The Grocery People) and pick up some small paper bags. They are available in white. You can then add a decorative label with your names and date of your wedding, or you can have a rubber stamp made (very inexpensive!) and stamp each bag.

6) Buy enough candy so that each container looks full.  Nothing looks worse than setting up an amazing Candy Buffet, only for it to look already picked-over at the beginning of the night! Some places will tell you to buy x many pounds of candy per x amount of guests, but I found that this is not a very reliable form of measurement.  There’s no problem with over-buying. If you leave the Candy Buffet out for the entire duration of the reception, you will find that a lot of guests will graze the table for candy during the dance. Ask someone to refill the candy, if necessary, during the night. You won’t have much (if any) left over!

7) Give the Candy Buffet table a bit of extra decoration. Buy some fabric to match your theme and use it as a backdrop and/or table cloth. Decorate your jars with ribbon and add a sign for each so that guests know what sort of candy it is.

(NOTE: When selecting your candy, be very aware of guests who have peanut allergies. If you have diabetic guests, try to provide some sugar-free options and label the candy as such. Your attention to detail will be VERY much appreciated!)

Great Candies for a Candy Buffet:

  • jelly beans
  • M&Ms / Smarties
  • salt water taffy
  • Cadbury Mini Eggs (if you’re getting married in the Spring, you can find large bags at Costco)
  • old fashioned lollipops and candy sticks
  • rock candy
  • gummies (remember to provide tongs!)
  • chocolate covered almonds
  • candy corn (would be fun for an autumn wedding!)
  • lemon drops
  • candy necklaces

(Try to avoid gum. Most venues will not appreciate it when little children leave gum all over the place!)

Overall, a Candy Buffet will only cost you around $200 – $400 depending on the style and quantity, which makes it a great addition to any wedding. Your guests will love it…and you may just find yourself grazing at the Candy Table too!