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Wedding fare has received a facelift in recent years. With the renaissance of gourmet food, slow food, and organic eating, brides and grooms are exploring new ways to feed guests on their special day. Chicken, Fish, Chicken, Fish is making way for tapas, tasting plates, family style, and cocktail party menus. Along with creative new dinner options, new flavors and styles of wedding cake and desserts are making their debut. Gone are the days when guests would leave a wedding with a piece of fruitcake in a serviette and a silk pouch of Jordon almonds.
If you have planned a wedding in the last five years, you probably know about the “Candy Buffet.” Increasingly popular at modern weddings, candy buffets are overtaking the cake as the star attraction. Also known as the “candy bar,” the candy buffet is easy to create and can serve as both dessert as well as wedding favors. Our guide to matrimonial sweets shows you how to create the ultimate candy buffet and how to thank your guests with unique and tasteful favors on your special day.
Candy Bar 101
#1 - Contain Yourself. Apothecary jars, cylinder vases, platters and cup cake trees all look great on a candy buffet. Try to find different sizes and shapes and stagger the arrangement so that as many different candies and as much color can be seen.
#2 - Plan Ahead. Control the urge to buy candy before you have first picked out the containers you will use. Different types of candy looks better in different types of jars, and it’s no good having four bags of gumballs when only three will fit in the jar you choose for them. Similarly, you don’t want to risk running out of pink licorice sticks when the tallest container you have is only half full.
#3 - Don’t Overdo the Candy. We all love candy, but there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing. Especially if you are using the candy buffet as an alternative to dessert, mix it up with small cakes, slices, tarts, cake pops, chocolate dipped fruit etc. Hand-dipped Wedding Berries
from Shari’s Berries are stunning on a candy buffet and go with every colors or theme. They are dipped and decorated to look like brides in white with pink accent faux pearl dots, and grooms in tuxedos.
#4 - Mind the Candles. It is a popular idea to use tea lights to accent the candy bar. Two things to consider - buy long burning tea lights (many tea lights have a three hour burn time – useless at a five hour wedding), and don’t place them too close to the edge of the table or within children’s reach, and don’t put them close to candy that can melt easily.
#5 - Remember the Scoops, Tongs and Favor Bags. Don’t force people to dig into candy jars with their fingers. This is not appealing in the least at a wedding. Make sure you have scoops and tongs to grab candy, and provide little bags for people to take a selection home as favors. Provide a stack of little favor tins or mini “Chinese take-out” boxes. An inexpensive option is to buy little muslin or chiffon drawstring bags available from most craft shops.
Vintage Candy Buffets | Old Fashioned Candy Buffets
Think Sofia Coppola’s film “Marie Antoinette.” Draw inspiration from her candy bar scene, where Kirsten Dunst is surrounded by delightful bon bons, decadent cupcakes and French macarons in a palette of pastel pink, luxurious cream, lemon yellow, powder blue and velvety green. There’s no better place to start for the vintage theme, than an old-fashioned candy shop. Here you’ll find gorgeous gobstoppers that resemble huge pearls, old-fashioned candy bars, sherbet and fluffy marshmallows – all the makings of a divine vintage candy bar. Add French macarons (not to be confused with macaroons) in coconut, pistachio and chocolate, for an authentic vintage feel.
The beauty of the vintage theme is that you can be as creative with the containers and decorations as you like. Use an assortment of old vases; jam jars, pretty ceramic dishes… you needn’t coordinate, in fact the more eclectic the better. The only rule here, relates to the embellishment - strictly no bling allowed. When decorating your vintage candy bar, save the sparkle and opt instead for silk, crepe and velvet. Use a vintage lace runner over a silk or velvet tablecloth in the color of your choice, and tie assorted ribbons around the jars of sweets.
Coordinate With Color
You have probably picked out a theme for your wedding, and a candy buffet decked out in your chosen colors makes the perfect accent for the room. There is no end to the candy that available in every color so don’t feel limited just because you chose turquoise and tangerine for your theme! Get creative with foliage as décor with your green themed buffet, and use licorice sweets and marshmallows for your black and white themed candy buffet. If your theme is pink, why not exploit the opportunity to support breast cancer research, by adding Pink Ribbon Chocolate Cake Pops
and Pink Ribbon supporting candies? They look great and your guests will feel a sense of philanthropic gratification when you tell them that the candy they are eating has supported breast cancer research!
Lights, Camera, Glamour!
Glittering gold with chocolate brown, or shimmering silver with pearl white. Add some sparkle to your night with a glamorous theme fitting for a princess. Fill apothecary jars with foil wrapped candies and black or white gobstoppers. Buy a cupcake tree and fill it with Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, and display coconut covered marshmallows and coconut macaroons on gold plate serving trays. Sprinkle glitter on the table and add height to the arrangement with big white ostrich feathers in tall skinny vases.
Don’t forget to send everyone home with something sweet from the candy buffet. Allow them to serve themselves little bags of candy, and if you have set out special treats like hand-dipped Wedding Berries, leave a stack of small pre-fold cardboard boxes out so everyone can take one home. Yum, yum, yum!