Okay, so “on the cheap” might be a stretch here. If you’re gonna do a candy buffet at your wedding, you’re gonna spend a couple hundred dollars on it. Because our candy buffet is going to pull quadruple duty as favors/decor/activity/dessert (in addition to cake obvi), I’m okay with spending a bit on it. We also already factored it into our budget, so I was prepared to spend about $400 on it–that’s the projected cost of favors according to The Knot. We ended up spending more, but again, it’s more than just the favor!
Here’s what you need for a successful candy buffet:
- Candy: Duh. It’s a buffet of candy.
- Candy vessels. You can buy cute apothecary jars, use whatever your venue has, scour flea markets and thrift stores, glue candle sticks to dollar store containers, or some combination of these. I did a mockup months ago, but I’ve since added a few more containers to my arsenal:
- Scoops: These are surprisingly cheap. We ordered ours from a website called Scoops-Scoops.com for about a dollar each!
- Candy bags: You can use paper bags, cellophane bags, Chinese take-out boxes, etc. Anything for your guests to collect candy in works! I showed you our polka dot bags with love quote labels already.
- Decorations (optional): I’m making tablecloths out of the same fabric I used to make my engagement pics dress. We’re also using those adorable mini frames from Michaels to label each candy, and we’ll be adding some cupcake liner poof balls on candle sticks for added pizzazz.
Image via Kara’s Party Ideas
- Backdrop (optional): Confession time–half the reason I wanted to do a candy buffet was so I could do a cool backdrop like these.
I recently set out to order the candy for the buffet. I had to decide what types of candy to get, how many different kinds, how many pounds of each kind, how much total to get, and where to order from. I did some exhaustive internet research one day, only to conclude that there are no hard and fast rules for how much candy to buy, and there is no single bulk candy supplier that is cheaper than all the others. I did hear that I should expect each guest to take about half a pound of candy, which would leave me needing about 100 pounds of sugary goodness. The size of your candy bags and scoops can dictate how much candy each guest takes. I also heard that you should base your candy purchase quantity on the size of your buffet table and number of candy vessels so that your buffet looks full and dramatic, not on how many guests you’ll have.
After finding a bunch of different bulk candy sources online, deciding what types of candy I wanted to get, and pricing them out at each supplier, I came up with this handy spreadsheet that I wanted to share with you all. Note: These prices are all approximate and will most likely change at some point, but it gives you an idea of the price range of each website and each type of candy.
Click to enlarge
The highlighted candy is the stuff I ended up buying (except the chocolate hearts. I’m so mad I somehow forgot to order those). I first figured out which store had the cheapest price for each candy. Then I quickly realized that shipping costs for 100 lbs of candy were going to be astronomical. Bulk Candy Store offers a flat shipping rate of $9.95, and they also had the best prices on many of the types of candy. For the candy that they didn’t have the best price for, they were still cheaper to use when you took shipping into account. I ended up using Candy Warehouse as well for some candies that Bulk Candy Store didn’t offer.
Screenshot from Bulk Candy Store
Screenshot from Candy Warehouse
And to save money, I signed up for their newsletters and liked them on Facebook. I ended up saving about $50 in coupon codes. Sweet. Literally.
We’re not allowed to open the bags of candy before the wedding, because then it becomes a liability for the venue to serve it, so unfortunately I’m not going to be able to play around with deciding which candy will go in which container and figuring out the layout of the containers on the table. At this point in the game, I’m not sure I even care. Maybe I’ll just leave it in the venue’s hands and tell them to have fun with it. We’ll see how the buffet ends up looking!
Are you having a candy buffet at your wedding? How much are you buying per guest? What candy would you love to see most at a candy buffet?