Candy Buffet Table 101
A how-to guide for creating a picture perfect and delicious display! (expert advice)
Photos by This Love of Yours... Photography
Use a color scheme that matches your wedding palette: wedding colors aren’t just for the flowers and bridesmaids dresses! Taking advantage of the colors you’ve already established can enhance your candy table’s presence, and bring cohesion to your entire reception.
Create depth and height in your display: with simple boxes or even phone books, you can sculpt a beautiful landscape on your table. You can wrap the boxes in decorative paper, or even leave them bare and covered with matching linens for a refined, free-flowing cascade.
Take advantage of your centerpieces: whether they be flowers, candles, or tiny little goldfish, using an extra centerpiece or two will not only tie into the rest of your reception, but it can also add life and freshness to your candy table.
Don’t be afraid to use trimmings: details like good quality linens, ribbons, and paper can add nice touches to your overall display.
Less is more: trimmings are definitely your friends, but don’t go overboard! Too many space fillers can potentially clutter your table and cause sensory overload!
Consider the table: where will it be located? Will there be a nice backdrop or wall behind it for pictures? Or will it be open so people can access it from all sides? Will it even have sides, or will it be round? These are all good questions to ask yourself before deciding on a set-up design.
Color is key: as mentioned before, having a specific color scheme can really make your table pop. Monochromatic palettes can also be striking and elegant. Make sure to consider different hues and shades – for example, if your colors are red and brown, don’t be afraid of using different shades of reds and pinks. If using primarily dark colors, try to use trimmings in lighter shades to bring energy to your table.
Check the weather: Will it be hot or sunny? Will the table be indoors or outdoors? If indoor, will there be AC? If you’re worried about warmth, save the stress and avoid candies that could easily melt (unfortunately this includes most chocolates)!
Fruit seasons: if you’re planning to use fresh fruit on your table (e.g. chocolate dipped strawberries), make sure you consider if they are even in season. Strawberries in the winter might not be as sweet as when they’re at their peak in the summer!
Not just candy: if you’re open to treats in other forms, consider mini cookies, kettle corn, or spiced nuts as sweet additions. Placing the wedding cake or groom's cake on the same table can add visual diversity.
Be creative: candy isn’t just made to be eaten, but also to play with! Bundle large lollipops together like a bouquet of flowers, or skewer some marshmallows to simulate kabobs – the possibilities are endless.
Keep it simple: having a variety of flavors and different types of candy can be satisfying to everyone, but don’t be afraid to go with a specific flavor profile. Whether it be a gummy bear bar or a chocolate truffle tribute, your guests will definitely enjoy the sugar rush!
Don’t buy too much! It’s easy to worry about not having enough for everyone, but if you’re planning to include a meal and cake in your reception, guests probably won’t be stuffing themselves with extra sugar. A small portion of ½ cup (4 oz) or less is a good estimate per person. If you want to buy in bulk for a visual effect, save large containers for popular candies so you won’t have too many leftovers.
Containers and Supplies
More than jars: apothecary jars and similar containers tend to be the standard, but don’t miss out on other shapes and sizes you can find elsewhere! Vases are fabulously inexpensive alternatives, and are easy to find. If you’re going for opaque containers, small pails can give a rustic vibe, and wicker baskets can be cute and lighthearted. Don’t be afraid to use cake stands, flat platters, and other serving ware to give your guests a variety of ways to choose their sweets!
Scoops and things: when choosing containers, make sure you keep in mind how your guests are going to get the candy out! Scoops, tongs, and other serving ware should be small enough to get the goods!
Individual containers: if your table is set up as a DIY favor station, little bags or mini boxes can be great take-homes. Dress them up with a little label and ribbon and your guests have a tasty treat for later. Clear plastic cups or even napkins are an inexpensive option if you prefer the candy to be eaten on the spot.
Where to Look
Project Wedding – the forums have a great Classified Section where you can buy gently used items from the community.
Online Candy Stores:
Local stores for candy:
- Your neighborhood grocery store: Safeway, Lucky, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc.
- Bulk stores like Costco
- Michael’s: they have a special selection of wedding candies
- Ethnic grocers may also carry unique treats that can give your table a broader range of flavors.
Containers and things:
- Restaurant supply stores, like Kamei or East Bay Restaurant Supply
- Save On Crafts
- Furniture stores like Ikea, Crate & Barrel
- Thrift or second-hand shops
- Cost-saving stores like Target, Ross, or the Dollar Store
- Scoops and more scoops