SO YOU WANT A CANDY BUFFET FOR YOUR WEDDING?
Things to think about before deciding this is what you truly want…..answer these questions and you will know if a candy buffet will work for you.
1) When is your wedding?
If your wedding is during a hot season, especially if outdoors, you need to know that chocolate will turn white if refridgerated then warmed up. (do not use coolers with icepacks for transportation.) and that if you are planning to use unwrapped bulk candy you are limited to gummies that do NOT have a sugar coating( sugar will melt) or any jelly bean type candy that will clump and stick together in humid weather. Also the scent and sugar content is strong enough to attrack unwanted guests as well like wasps,bees,etc.If during cold weather, be careful transporting chocolate that is doesn’t get cold because it again will turn white. Misting is caused by temperature change making the oils and fats in the chocolate separate and rise turning the chocolate white. This does not affect the taste, just the appearance look stale.
Dark chocolate is the most sensitive and white chocolate doesn’t react at all. Sometimes sunshine on the box can cause the chocolate on the sunny side to turn white.
2) Are there going to be children present?
First and foremost, remember some children have peanut and other allergies, and you may need to avoid certain sweets so you dont have an unexpected emergency spoil the special day. Avoid these types of candy because they can either contain nuts or nut oils, or may have been manufactured in a factory that uses nuts.
– Bulk chocolate(unless marked peanut free)
– Caramel type chewy candies
All of our candy is very carefully bagged to avoid cross contamination and we do have ingredient lists on all products at both stores. We would be happy to check ingredients to avoid problems.Please remember that there are many companies that make similar products and our candy may contain different ingredients than another retailer.
If you are planning a “Help yourself buffet”, kids will often help themselves and take as much as their pockets will hold, eat candy before the meal, and get hyper, or spit out the candy they don’t like and put it back into the bowl. Any gum may end up under chairs, stuck on the tablecloth, in a napkin or on the floor leaving a yucky mess you get to pay for later. Better ideas for making your wedding treats “child friendly” are further down the page.
3) What is the age range of your guests?
Grandparents and older guests that may have dentures will avoid anything that may get under their dentures and cause them distress or pain. Other guests may avoid anything that may pull out fillings or stick to dental work. Individually wrapped “sucking” type candies or something classic like Scotch mints, Blackballs, Confetti Almonds( candy coated), Rosebud Party Mints( smooth, melty, white chocolate mints) are just a few acceptable choices.Kids love gummy or sour candies more that adults. Everyone likes suckers, candy sticks, rock crystal sticks, lollipops and individually wrapped hard candies. Most of these are wrapped in cellophane and will tolerate heat, humidity, handling and arranging.
4) Can you delegate the set up of candy and trust that it will be set up the way you envisioned?
You will never have as much time to set things up as you think you will. It’s a fact! So the more you can do ahead of time the simpler your setup on the day will be.
Get your candy well in advance and actually set things out the way you want them to look, this way you will see quickly if it looks too empty and may need dressing up or more candy. Take pictures and print them off for the person you have delegated to set it up just right. Draw up a planogram with names of what goes where and into what. Maybe number each of the containers, or spaces and do a list of what goes with each number. If possible, have the person you have asked to set the candy up on the day of your wedding do the test run with you. Not everyone knows the names of the candy you have chosen, so sometimes it’s easier to have labels made up. You will be too busy to fuss and fix anything if the setup is not just right.
5) How are you going to prevent the Candy Buffet from getting raided too early?
Do you have extra space to hide the table in before you want to present it? Is it going to be too heavy,or tipsy for carrying? Can you hide it another way? (maybe underneath a pretty tablecloth or behind a drapery)
6) Do you want candy in a colour scheme, containers, or ribbon to match, or just nostalgic candy in no particular colour scheme?
Some of the colours used in weddings may be hard to match with the colours of candy available or there may not be enough selection in those particular shades eg. purples. Sometimes the exact shade of colour will vary from one shipment to another, so moss green could end up coming in as lime green or emerald green the next time we order it.It may be easier to use white candy in bags and use a ribbon accent that matches your colours, or you could find cute containers like boxes or take out food containers and dress them up with ribbon, flowers, stickers, etc. That way it doesn’t matter what colour the candy is.
7) How much time before the BIG DAY?
We need about 2 month’s notice to get your exact colours and quantities in stock or you can come into the store and pick up whatever we have in stock at the time. We have to time your order to be added to incoming shipments, so that we won’t have to charge you special freight charges. Also one supplier may be out of stock and we may need to go to another. All of our candy items can be seen online so you can check out the colours. We usually carry good quantities between both stores all of the time, and we will usually give you a discount on the larger quantities you will need. For the discounted prices, you will have to speak to Rita or Dean, the owners of the store and you will need to know an approximate dollar value that you want to spend. The more you need to buy, the better the discount we can give you.
When ordering please notify us of your wedding colours just in case the candy colours change from shipment to shipment. Then we will be able to tell in advance if we have a problem with the shade of the candy that came in. At this time we have stopped shipping candy by mail due to the high costs of postage. If you really still need us to ship it, please contact the store and we will try to find a way to get it to you. We are open 7 days a week. 1-705-327-8337
CANDY BUFFET VS PER TABLE SETTINGS
Once you have read through the pros and cons of how you can offer candy at your wedding you will have clearer thoughts on what you want and don’t want at your wedding.
The table will look spectacular only as long as the candy on it stays the way you set it out and relatively full. If there is access to it during the appetizers and dinner or even while photographs are being taken, you will be unable to keep people ( and not just the kids) from helping themselves and sometimes unscrupulously filling their pockets with their favourites and leaving your display picked through or empty too soon. By the time your last guests finish their meals and go up for thier sweets, there maybe nothing left, even though you probably bought enough candy for everyone! You may leave them with the impression that you were being cheap even though you spent a fortune already!You should have a way to keep all hands off until you are ready for presentation of your display. Store it in another room or in the hallway, cover it up with a tablecloth, or put a decorative fence around it, that can easily be taken away at just the right moment. If you need to have the display, you must be sure that you can lift it and move it without everything falling over or the whole thing being too heavy.
If you are planning to let people help themselves from the bowls or containers, you will have to decide if you want to use little sacks, small jars or tins, or even decorated take out containers. You will need to provide scoops, tongs, or plastic gloves to keep it sanitary. Remember children don’t always play by the rules and they will always use their hands. If a child puts a candy in their mouth and does not like it, they always put it back into the bowl they got it from. Go to any bulk food store on a weekend when there will be a lot of people with kids and observe their behavior. It won’t be much different at your wedding no matter how classy you think your invited guests are.
Accept that nothing you do will stop some people from being greedy so plan to buy much more for a candy buffet than what you think you will need. Better to be safe than sorry.
When doing a buffet, do a practice run of your display and take photos in order to be able to let someone else put it out correctly. You should number the containers and candy to go into them and do a drawn out plan for them to follow with the numbers in the spots you want the same numbered candy to be placed. This will help you to see where you are a bit empty and may need to add something else before it’s actually your wedding day. Accept that you will be too busy that day to give this your personal touch or attention. You won’t need the extra stress.
If you have to move the table or cover it, you may knock over taller containers/displays, so plan to have extra containers at hand if this should happen and you break something accidentally.
If you are doing a smaller table, you should keep some refills for your jars and containers where necessary.
An alternative way to approach a candy buffet table would be to do up your main larger display pieces and then surround them with individually portioned candy bags, little boxes or tins filled with assorted treats, candy sticks tied in bunches with ribbons, clear cellophane bags with assorted unwrapped candies tied with ribbon, cupcakes decorated with candy toppers, crystal sticks with pretty ribbons, small glasses or candy filled wine glasses, wrapped in cellophane like a mini gift basket. Your local dollar stores will give you lots of inspiration and matches to your colour scheme or theme. This way each guest gets an equal amount. Plus the work to prepare this can be done in advance, and you will ahve a very pretty presentation table. You could also make up a variety of “prepackaged” favours yourself. Some could be geared towards seniors and their preference for hard individually wrapped candies, and others could all have sour gummy candies for the younger crowd. Maybe some candy shish-ka-bobs would look nice?
If there are children present, any candy offered on a help yourself table needs to be nut free to prevent an allergy tradgedy. This means you have to do your homework and check the ingredients. It also means that bulk chocolate items may not be safe since most chocolate is produced in factories that also handle nuts.
PER TABLE FAVORS
The simplest way to have candy at your wedding would be to use it as either a plate or wine glass decoration that is put out when the place settings are done. Since you can do the work making these up yourself ahead of time, you can save money and last minute stress, plus you will be absolutely sure that you have enough candy for your guests. Be sure to always have 10 or so extra pieces made up just in case people that did not RSVP show up at the last minute. Ideas on more individual per person candy wedding favors are listed further on. These treats usually get set aside on their tables and are taken home by the wedding guests at the end of the night and you can do something really interesting and personal by adding printed ribbons or printed labels with maybe a photo of the both of you on it. Because you are putting any bulk candy into a sealed container, it will stay fresh a long time and can be done 4-6 weeks or more ahead of time.The individual favours could be combined with a candy centrepiece in the middle of each dinner table. There are ways of mixing flowers or candles with candy and you can see those ideas on our other pages. If you decide on doing extravagant looking candy centrepieces that everyone at the table can take apart and take home at the end of the night, you will want to supply some kind of empty gift bag for them to use. Those gift bags may add to the table decorations if you plan it right. The candy centrepieces can replace the cost of floral arrangements. You can use whatever you like in those arrangements including larger packages like pink elephant popcorn or larger lollipops. The people at each table can figure amongst themselves as to who will take what according to their likes and dislikes.
Using a “mini candy buffet” per table could work out to be less money and more fun than a flower arrangement. I personally think that it is a simpler, more sanitary approach than an open bulk “help yourself” candy buffet. Plus – you won’t have all of these left over flower arrangements to deal with when the night is done.
INDIVIDUAL CANDY WEDDING FAVORS IDEAS
1) Bake individual cupcakes in your colours for the icing and paper cupcake cups. Cover the entire top of the cupcake with tones of larger candies, candy sticks, suckers, etc. These would look incredible on each plate, or on a larger platter on a candy table. You could also present each one in its own little box per person on each person’s plate.
2) Bake gingerbread Brides and Grooms decorated heavily with icing and candies. these could be plastic bagged and perhaps the bride cookies should be on the women’s place settings and the groom ones on the men’s or vice-versa.
3) Shishkabobs made of candies pushed on to a wooden skewer cand be done ahead of time and bagged in cellophane tied with a pretty ribbon. You will have to experiment a bit with the candies that you plan on using because some of them break or crush when you push the skewer through. Some are not thick enough to handle hte stick.
4) Fill a cellophane bag with an assortment of soft and gummy candy all laying flat across the bottom of the bag and tie with a ribon. Do not mix sour gummies with the regular soft gummies because the sour powder and taste transfers between the candies. You can do the same with small hard candies or with bulk chocolates.
5) Go to the dollar store and while keeping your mind open, browse for anything that would make an interesting candy container to make a mini gift basket out of. Juice glasses, metal tins, wine glasses, vases, candle votives, small wooden boxes, plant pots, paper boxes, gift bags, jars, garden decorations… plus rolls of cellophane wrap can be found. These stores change their inventory frequently and each brand name store carries different stock, so you will ahve to buy enoudh containers right away when you find what you want because they may never have that item again and you usually cannot get them to order it specially for you again later.
6) To make bonboniers, go to a fabric store and buy thinner, easy to cut and bunch up material in your choice of colours or pattern and buy pinking shears (scizzors that cut in a zing zag pattern and keeps fabvric from fraying). You can cut the fabric in either squares or circles. Experiment doing this either way for best effect and for the correct sizing of the cloth needed. It may be easier to fill the fabric and tie the ribbon if you make it into a pouch shape by pushing the centre of the fabric into something like a wine glass and makin ga pocket to pour the candies into. This will only work with wrapped candy or hard candy like scotch mints that don’t stick together or to the material. Candies like jelly beans will stick together and melt into the cloth. Anything sugary is out. If you still want to use that type of candy, you will have to put it into a cellophane orplastic bag before puttin it into the fabric.
7) For a totally simple effect, you could take a few candy sticks that are already prewrapped in cellophane and tie them together with a ribbon or use rock crystal stick either in a two colour combination or individually on each plate or on a platter on the buffet. You can order specially printed ribboning, or attach a nice business card by punching a hole in the corner and running the ribbons through it.
8) An easy centrepiece is to use a large platter with either 3 assorted sizes of fat candles grouped together, or 3 asst vases with a floating lit candle or floating flower blossoms in water. You could leave the water clear, run ribbons inside the bottom of the vase/jar, or even add food colouring to the water. Experiment, so that you will know if the ribbon rusts or bleeds after a day or two, or how long the blossoms will look good, etc. Some flowers will suck up the food colouring and may change colour. Experiment. Surround these taller things with individually wrapped candies with colours that you like and maybe add a napkin holder with small coloured or cellophane bags for each person to fill with some candies to take home and you have an individual table candy buffet. If you want to spend less on the candies and still want to make it look full and rich, shredded tinsel or crinkle shred can be used on the platter under the candy.
9) An interesting centrepiece can be made from bare tree branches (you could paint these to match your colours) pushed into a weighted base (plaster or concrete works great) so that it doesn’t tip over and decorated with candies tied to the branches. You can use any prewrapped candy in this fashion. An assortment of old fashioned candy tied to branches looks so interesting and makes conversation. This can be on each individual table or could be on the head buffet table. Ribbons can be added for more punch.
10) Using styrofoam as a base to push things like suckers into works great for making all kinds of centrepieces. You can cover the bare styrofoam with strips of wide ribbon, glue gunned onto it, leaving spaces between the ribbons to insert your sucker sticks into. Depending on the shapes of the styrofoam, you can lay these flat on the table, or you may have to push the styrofoam into some kind of a base to keep anything in a ball shape from rolling. Any kind of cloth can also be used, providing that you cut slits into the cloth before attempting to push something into the styrofoam. You can find styrofoam at craft stores, dollar stores, and even hardware stores… where it is much cheaper. Be sure not to buy the type that is meant to be soaked in water for flower arrangements. It is not stiff enough, more expensive, and gives off a messy green powder.
You could use the ball shape inside of a pretty summer hat and then poke the sticks of candy through the hat on the head part of it. It would be pretty, summery and unusual and a great presentation with a lot of colours to match yours.
Use your imagination and try a few different things and you will surprise yourself and your guests.