Now that candy buffets are as common as cakes and cupcakes at weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, etc., I thought I’d check in with a handful of event planners to get their tips on building the best candy buffets, pitfalls to avoid, and trends they’re noticing. I’ve got some gems:
Tracey Baxter, Aisle Do, Charlotte, N.C.
- Offer multiple containers of the same candy to control traffic and add symmetry to the buffet design. If guests can access the same candy at two locations on the buffet, they wait in line for half the time.”
- Use scoops proportional to candy sizes. To determine if guests will get the right amount with each utensil, ask yourself, “Will this scoop provide a handful of this candy?”
- Know when to stop. Variety is important but more than 15 different types of candy presents too many options for a buffet to still be functional. Extreme variety does work well, however, when using a single candy type in multiple flavors such as jelly beans, taffy, rock candy, or chocolate gems.
- If your event is not bent toward specific flavors, name your candies something related to the theme. For example, with a nautical theme, “gummy melon O’s” could become “Melon Life Preservers.”
- Use signs to let guests know what family member or friend picked the candies and/or flavors they are enjoying.
Kim Byers, The Celebration Shoppe, Columbus, Ohio
- I spend a lot of time with others in this industry and I see a lot of candy tables. Almost every single one now has saltwater taffy on it. I think it has a great deal to do with nostalgia and the ability to get it in so many colors.
- In the past five months we’ve created printable candy table/buffet tags. They’re selling like hotcakes.
Candy Dish Tags from The Celebration Shoppe
Heather Kuhn, Sweetest Candy Buffets, Carmel, Ind.
- We’re seeing an interest in using multiple flavors of gourmet jelly beans and including “recipes” for eating those jelly beans together.Recently, we have had people inquiring about including unique items on their buffets, such as flavored popcorn or cake bites/balls.
Terri Altergott, ?Something Borrowed, Something New Events, Uxbridge, Mass.
- Routinely, I’m asked to create a visually interesting candy buffet. In a few weeks, we’re adding lots of bling to a candy table. Envision crystals with light dancing off of them and submersible lighting at the bottom of each apothecary jar to illuminate the table.
Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi, Clawson, Mich.
- While many containers come with lids, this often leads to broken glass and missing pieces. If you love the lids, present your display with the lids in place, but remove and store them away the moment your candy station is open.
- Consider a round table vs. a standard rectangular buffet to eliminate long lines and encourage guests to mingle around the serving station.
- Vase size is important! Use large, wide-mouth containers so guests can see what they’re getting and get at it easily. Variety in vase size and shape also keeps the eye engaged and the display interesting.
- Use thematic take-out pails or cello bags for guests to take candy home. Personalize the packaging with small stickers and ribbons.
- When ordering candy, be sure to place your order well in advance so that you have time to stage the buffet at home before the party and order more candy if necessary.
- Need inspiration? Check out these gorgeous candy buffets by NYC’s event planning guru, Amy Atlas.
Top photos by Amy Atlas