Planning a Candy Buffet for your Wedding Reception
So, you're thinking of having a candy buffet at your wedding reception. Not only are they really fun to look at and make a fabulous focal point, but the candy is also an amazing wedding favor for your guests. Setting up a candy buffet seems like a simple enough project, right? There's actually a bit more involved in this task than you might think. Thankfully for you, we're breaking down every single thing you need to know and consider to plan the perfect candy buffet for your wedding guests to enjoy.
First thing's first: you'll definitely need candy. There are many different things you need to consider when it comes to choosing candy for your candy buffet, deciding where to purchase it, and calculating how much you'll need.
Choosing Your Candy
1. Consider Colors
Think about the overall look and feel of your wedding and consider your overall color scheme. Unless you don't particularly care about the overall look of the candy buffet, and it's simply based on tastiness, you probably want to select a color scheme that coincides. A single color or a mix of two or three hues are best from a visual perspective.
2. Consider Sizes and Shapes
It's important to think about the size of the candies you will be using in your candy buffet. Smaller candies will take more to fill up a jar or favor bag, so you may need to purchase more candy in order to stock your buffet. Larger sized candies such as gumballs will help to fill up containers more quickly. However, sometimes the size of the candy can also affect the cost.
3. Consider Cost
Certain candies may cost more than others, depending on ingredients or brand or size. Consider the costs involved in choosing certain candies and be sure to factor them into your overall budget. It's a good idea to stagger your candy price points. Choose a few ‘premium’ or more expensive candies, a few mid-range treats, and choose more budget-friendly varieties for the majority. This will give you a good mix of options for guests, with a little something special for everyone.
4. Consider Popularity
We all know that some candies are more universally liked than others and therefore may go quicker at your candy buffet. You may want to choose to have extras on hand in case certain items on display run low during the event.
5. Consider Season
You can score great prices on candy that you purchase immediately after major holidays. Just think about all the sales that happen after Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and Valentine's Day. If you are considering using any traditional holiday colors in your candy buffet, you may want to keep your eye out for post-holiday sales. Your local grocery store, pharmacy and more will begin discounting candy as soon as the next day after the holiday. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to score some of your candy for 75% off.
Traditional Holiday Candy Colors
- Christmas: Red, Green, White, Gold, Silver. White, gold and silver are great neutrals for any time of year.
- Valentine’s Day: Red, White, Pink. Great for a girly wedding.
- Easter: Pastels. Yellow, Pink, Purple, Blue, Green, White. Very popular "wedding" colors.
- Halloween: Black, Orange, Brown, Yellow. Great for fall wedding.
Of course, think about the expiration date of the candies you're buying and make sure they will be in the clear for your big day.
The Candy (Part 2)
The next big thing you'll need to think about is where you're going to buy the candy for your candy buffet. Luckily for you, we've rounded up some of our favorite sources for wedding candy to fill up your candy buffet.
Where to Buy Your Candy
Stores where you can buy candy in bulk:
- Old Time Candy Company - They sell a large variety of nostalgic candy, such as lollipops, stick candy, and other vintage brands.
- Candy.com - The worlds online corner candy store with the broadest and best candy selection by color, brand, type, and occasion.
- CandyStore.com - A large variety of candy types and styles, browsable by color, brand, type, flavor, and more.
- Amazon - Amazon is a trusted retailer that stocks just about everything, including an extensive selection of candy.
- MyM&Ms - Get custom printed candies with your face or monogram on them with this personalized M&M shop.
- Oriental Trading - Tons of brands and styles of candy that you know and love for Oriental Trading's great low prices.
- Nuts.com - Yes, Nuts.com sells candy. They even have a great page with inspiration and other info you'll need to put together your candy buffet.
How Much Candy Will You Need
A good rule of thumb to abide by for your candy buffet is to allow for a certain amount of candy per guest. Nuts.com recommends about a third to a half pound per guest or 1 pound for every 2-3 guests.
Another way to determine how much candy you'll need is to consider the containers you'll be using and then purchase the correct amount to fill out your display. If you want help calculating those amounts, be sure to check out this awesome candy calculator from Nuts.com.
Once you've got your candy for your display, you'll need to select and purchase the containers you'll use to display it. The info below will help you select the perfect containers for your candy buffet display.
Choosing Containers for Your Candy Buffet
You will want to choose your candy buffet containers to make the most optimal and nice-looking display. You can purchase containers for your candy buffet pretty much anywhere. Most likely, you'll want to choose clear containers or vessels so that your guests can see the type of candy that's inside, as well as show off the color for aesthetic purposes.
You'll also want to choose containers or platters of various sizes and shapes to add more visual interest.
How Many Containers Will You Need
Here’s a guide that The Budget Savvy Bride has shared for determining how many jars of candy to serve, depending on the size of your guest list:
- 1-50 guests: 5 jars of candy
- 50-100 guests: 10 jars of candy
- 100-150 guests: 15 jars of candy
- 150-200 guests: 18 jars of candy
- Over 200 guests: 20 jars of candy
Containers to Consider
Large mason jars, vases, oversized glasses, fish bowls, and more can be used to hold your candy. You can get your containers online or in stores. We personally recommend visiting your local Goodwill or other thrift stores to get glass vases for super cheap.
Scoops or Tongs
Next, you'll want to make sure you keep things hygienic and safe for your guests. You don't want anyone passing around germs by putting their hands directly into your candy jars. As such, you'll want to make sure you give your guests the proper utensils to pick and retrieve their candy to put into their favor vessels. Make sure to stock up on scoops and tongs so that your guests have what they need to put together their favors. You'll likely want to have a few of each on hand so that multiple people can make their selections at the same time.
Decide what kind of favor packaging you want to use for your candy buffet. You'll want to place the favor packages close by the buffet so your guests can fill their own with the items they want. Some great ideas include clear bags, paper treat sacks, boxes, miniature pails or jars, and more.
Where to Buy Your Candy Favor Packaging
- Oriental Trading has a huge assortment of favor packaging to choose from. Their products come in a variety of colors and are very affordable.
- Beau Coup is another great source for favor packaging. They have a bunch of unique styles to choose from, including mini jars, tins, and bottles.
- Paper Mart has tons of bags, boxes, and more to create the perfect favors. You can also get any ribbons or additional decorative details you need there.
- Party City is a great resource for favors and candy as well.
Cost-Saving Candy Buffet Tips
As with all aspects of your big day, you'll want to keep costs in mind. Here are some great tips for keeping your expenses in check in relation to your wedding candy buffet:
- Pair items with containers by size. Buy less expensive candy to fill larger jars, and more expensive candies in smaller jars so they fill up faster.
- Use items other than candy. Consider anything from marshmallows, pretzels, nuts, cookies, and more to add to your display.
- Order in Bulk. Check out the list of recommended suppliers for bulk candy that we shared a few slides back.
- Buy after holidays. You can get really great deals on candy right after the big holidays like Valentine’s, Easter, and Halloween.
- Shop savvy. Order online and use Ebates to earn cash back on the items you purchase.
- Choose smaller favor vessels. If you want to reduce the amount of candy you need, offer less candy per guest. Chose smaller bags or boxes to discourage overloading.