22 January 2013

Le Bar à Bonbons - A Candy Buffet How-To


      One of our guests favorite parts of the evening was the Candy Bar. I know it's relatively new in America, and over here it's pretty much unheard of. Afterwards, I had a lot of sweet little girls telling me they wanted to do the same for their wedding when they grow up.



Before you start a candy bar there are a few things you should know.

  • It gets expensive very, very quickly
You'll need to dedicate a part of your budget before you even start if you're planning on having a candy bar.
  • Open the bar at a specific time
Search the internet and you will find tons of horror stories of people (including adults) going nuts when they see the candy bar, of photographers couldn't get pictures because the guest's ate everything before the bride and groom got there, etc. If you open the bar before you give the guest's something else to eat, they'll fill up on candy. We opened ours after the guest's had been given hors d'oeuvres and that worked out really well.
  • Pick one or two colors. 
This depends on how ambitious you are and what look you're going for. If you are amazing at decorating and don't mind spending more time calculating, go for as many colors as you want. I've seen really beautiful rainbow candy bars. But if you want to keep things simple one or two colors is beautiful and still manageable. It helps keeps the look streamlined.
  • Calculate how much candy you will need. 
We calculated about 1/4 lb per person (1/8 of a kilo) more or less. If you look on bulk candy sites they say you need anywhere from 1/2 lb- 1 lb per person. They say this because they want to sell more candy. Luckily we'd looked on other blogs to see what other people had done. However, even with only 1/4 lb per person we're still trying to get rid of the extra candy 2 months later. You should also consider whether people are eating an entire meal at your reception or if it's just hors d'oeuvres. If people are eating and drinking a lot, logically they need less candy. We served a meal, but we didn't provide alcoholic drinks.
  • Do a practice run. 
We did a practice run about two weeks before and discovered that not all the candies fit into the vases we wanted. Thankfully we were able to run out and get a bit more candy to fill in what was missing. Being able to decide in advance how we wanted to place the vases also saved us a lot of time the day before the wedding.
  • Have fun. 
It was a lot more hard work than I had anticipated - but totally worth it!! The guests were really impressed.
Putting favor sized bags or boxes next to the candy helps control portions. We bought our candy bags here. I chose the 1/4lb size and it was perfect! Then, we got our free monogram here.


This is how big the candy bag looks in someone's hand.
The mom of the kid's I babysit thought the candy bar was a great idea, so she bought us personalized m&ms to add to the bar. We loved them! 
          You'll also notice the scoop in this picture. I spent a ridiculous amount of time searching for scoops, and finding the right scoop "size". In general the smaller scoops are better for candy bars; They are cuter and encourage people to take small servings of each candy. Plus, they fit into every vase that way! We got our scoops here and our tongs here.


This is the sign we used to welcome people to the candy and let them know at what time it opened.






*Sorry for the picture quality. These were all taken by guests and the lighting in the room wasn't great.


We bought our candy while we were visiting my parents in Vegas at Winco and The Candy Pros. Seriously check out Wincos. We went to two or three Wincos and got some great stuff at half the price of the candy you see online. As for the types of candies, we got:

  • Gummy Bears - Served with tongs. We tested with the scoop... Ya that didn't work so well.
  • Sourballs - Served with scoop
  • Mike and Ikes - Served with scoop
  • Giant Pixy Stix - Got these at Winco. It was only 25 cents a stick! 
  • M&M’s - Served with scoop
  • Licorice - Served with tongs
  • Oreos
  • Reese’s - Made personalized wrappers with our free monogram that we found here
  • Les Pyreneens (Little silver wrapped Lindt chocolates)
  • Salt Water Taffy - Served with scoop
  • Jolly Ranchers - We took the wrappers off so that they would be prettier in the jar. They all stuck together. So you need to decide - Are your jolly ranchers going to be pretty or practical?
  • Marshmallows - Served with tongs
  • Mints - Served with scoop
  • Rock Candy
  • Lollipops 
If you have any questions about putting a candy bar together, just let me know in the comments! I would love to let you know what worked for us. :)

5 comments:

  1. It was a wonderful candy bar! The only items I thought didn't travel several thousand miles well, were the purple licorice which maybe dried out a little? It kind of broke... however those of us setting it up didn't mind :) And the unwrapped Jolly Ranchers didn't fare well being unwrapped cos they stuck together! Seriously stuck together!!!! Not sure how you even got them out of the vase.
    It was wonderful though.
    Mom

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the idea of putting the free customized monogram on the candy bags. How did you get the monogram on the bags though? Did you just run them through your printer? Also, what things do you wish you would have done differently? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the monograms I bought the little baggies and then set the measurements LxW into Word (to do this you go to page layout, then size, then more paper sizes). Then we printed them out. Our printer only let us print one at a time, otherwise it freaked out. I also recommend ordering at least a couple more bags than you were planning on using so that it's no big deal if you mess up a few in the printing process.

      There's not much I would have done differently. I put I ton of time and effort into the project so that it would come out exactly the way I wanted. The only thing that would had been better is if more people had put their tips and clues online! Sometimes I felt a little lost, and I really wanted every detail to be perfect as no one here had ever seen one before.

      The things that I was the most happy with were the scoops and the tongs. I know how ridiculous that sounds - but I spent so much time looking for the perfect ones!

      Delete
  3. How did you get the monogram onto the bags?
    Thanks,
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Brenda!

      Sorry it took me so long to respond. For the monograms I bought the little baggies and then set the measurements LxW into Word (to do this you go to page layout, then size, then more paper sizes). Then we printed them out. Our printer only let us print one at a time, otherwise it freaked out. I also recommend ordering at least a couple more bags than you were planning on using so that it's no big deal if you mess up a few in the printing process.

      I hope that helps!

      Delete

I'd love to know what you think!