No matter how many pictures of candy buffets we have seen on Pinterest and Instagram, the idea never gets old. We still love to attend parties where the hosts have set up a pretty candy station, because the visual pleasure of beautifully-arranged sweet treats appeal to the pleasure center in our brains, whether we like to eat candy or not. Candy buffets are almost as effective as an open bar to make a party memorable, and they’re always occasion-appropriate – whether it’s a birthday or an anniversary or even a wedding you’re celebrating.
Setting up a candy buffet station, however, requires some careful planning. How much candy to buy, what kinds of candy to buy, how to stick to a budget without sacrificing the overall look you want to create…
To make candy buffet planning a whole lot easier for you, we have put together a quick primer on how to make it all happen: easily and inexpensively.
How Much Candy Will You Buy?
The total amount has to do with the kind of candies you are serving, but 6 ounces per guest should make sure you don’t run out. (Remember, this 6:1 ratio includes the candy you may be giving away as party favors later.)
What Makes A Good Candy Selection?
This decision has a lot to do with the color and décor theme you have in mind. That said, a safe combination would include hard-boiled candies, gummies, chocolaty, minty and fruity sweets. Consider the size of the candy as well – larger ones fill containers faster and long ones (like lollipops) add height variation, adding to the spread’s visual appeal.
What Jars And Containers Will You Use?
The urge to rush out and buy a bunch of apothecary and bell jars is irresistible as we all associate a candy buffet with large, lidded containers. A 2-gallon jar costs somewhere around $ 15 each, and it is sensible to look around your house first for glass containers that you may already have.
Cocktail glasses, wine glasses, bowls, vases – all hold candy beautifully and once you have gathered a selection, you can buy a couple of large containers to unify the display.
Also, don’t forget to check out your local thrift stores – sometimes, the stuff they have in their glassware section is pretty vintage and most suitable for a candy buffet table.
Please don’t use the acrylic lidded jars that many stores are carrying right now. The dull sound of plastic is so tacky, and a sound they will make – every time a spoon or a scoop or a tong bangs against their walls.
How Will Guests Take Their Candy Favors Home?
If there’s a budget to consider or the guest list is long, your best bet is to visit the dollar stores for cute favor boxes, fabric drawstring pouches or Chinese takeout-style paper pails with metal handles. If you have the time, you can easily personalize them with custom labels, some paint and glitter. Whatever you do, your guests will love taking one of these home.
If it’s a small, intimate party, a very elegant touch would be to gift coffee mugs to the guests to put their take-home candy in. We found a selection of simple white porcelain mugs by Rosanna with alphabets on them. Good chance your friends will remember you first thing in the morning, while having coffee, for a long time afterwards!