Tips from the Pros: Creating a Custom Candy Bar for Your Wedding

The following is a Q + A with Nicole Carter, candy expert from ACandyStore.com. Enjoy!

                             { Photo courtesy of Jodie Cox of Couture Candy Buffet }

From classic to kooky, candy bars (also known as candy buffets) are a fun way to wow guests and add joy to your special day.

What are some of the most popular candy choices?

M&M’s are hugely popular. When they started making M&M’s in individual colors, people went nuts. For candy buffets, those are a great choice because they lend instant credibility and familiarity to your candy buffet. A lot of bulk candy by color comes from lesser known manufacturers and would not be instantly recognized.

M&M’s are not only gorgeous and delicious, but they have status.

Other popular candies that come in individual colors are Sixlets, Jordan Almonds and Gummy Bears. The gourmet gummy bears we carry are particularly popular.

What is the latest trend in candy bars?

Candy bars are hitting the extremes right now, which is really fun to see. On one end you get the really elegant and sophisticated candy buffets. These usually have matching ribbons on all the vases and classy color coordinated accessories. Then you get the Candyland, Willy Wonka crazy candy buffets. These are not going for matching colors or elegance as much as for raw impact. You get some of the most amazing colorful creations from these.

Do couples typically choose the candy based on their favorites or by color to fit the wedding theme?

You see more couples buying for matching color than just going for their favorites. But the great thing is, nowadays, you can have it both ways with a lot of candy now available in individual colors.

So if you love gummy bears, no problem. We’ve got every color!

Taffy, licorice twists, almonds, rock candy, it’s all available by color now. Some of the more mainstream candy bars, on the other hand, still isn’t.

For a wedding of 100 guests, how much candy would it take to make a fabulous candy bar?

This is very subjective, actually. Many candy buffets aren’t really there to serve every guest with a certain amount of candy. They are a work of art that makes a statement about the day. Guests remember the candy buffet more than the cake itself. It’s just one of those things that draws people’s attention and, if done well, really makes an impression on them.

Some people might think that means the bigger the better, but that’s not always the case.

I think you have to take into consideration the space where you plan to have the candy buffet and how you will display it. Do you need to feed everyone three times over, or is it really just a show piece? The answer varies but be careful. If the candy runs out before little Bobby and Susie can get to it, there might be tears.

It’s also important to note that most people over-estimate how much the volume of candy really is.

If I asked you how much five pounds of taffy or 10 pounds of jelly beans is, most people think it’s an absolute ton of candy. In reality, 5 pounds of salt water taffy is the size of a small cereal box. Ten pounds of jelly beans is smaller than a shoe box. So estimate for volume as best you can before ordering, or ask the experts.

A lot of people panic when they realize 50 pounds wasn’t nearly as much as they though it was. We have some helpful videos on our product pages to help show you what volumes of different candies equate to.

If you’re looking for a general guideline, we usually recommend about ½ a pound per guest. But again, that’s irrelevant if you only have a 3-foot table to put the candy buffet on and 500 guests.

How much should a couple expect to spend if they choose to have a candy bar?

You can go as big or as small as you want. I would recommend being conservative with your display setup and then buying a little more candy than you think you’ll need. You can always refill when they get low.

For a candy buffet, you could spend $75 or we have had people spend $750 dollars.

I would say to fill out a decent sized table you might want to let yourself have around $120 budgeted.

Are candy bars meant to replace the wedding cake or dessert? Or are they just a fun add on/midnight snack?

Candy bars do not replace the cake, nothing can really.

At most weddings we have dealt with, the cake is still a special moment and a traditional part of the day.

And though there have been trends away from that recently, we don’t see the candy buffet replacing the cake. If they’re going to replace the cake, people typically replace it with other creative baked desserts. Other people combine cupcakes and other fun and decorative confections with the candy buffet and have a full dessert table. This enhances the look of the candy buffet station.

Why are candy bars becoming so popular? What is the appeal?

Simply stated, they’re just cool. As a guest, looking at a well done candy buffet is like touring the crown jewels, except you can eat them! I think it’s been a growing trend because people see them at other weddings and want to have one at their own. They’re so popular now that wedding planners are teaming up with specialized candy buffet designers whose full-time job is to build candy buffets. Pretty awesome job!

How many different kinds of candy does ACandyStore have?

ACandyStore.com carries over 2,500 types of candy and is constantly growing. Pretty much anything you can think of, we’ve got it.

When should you order candy and how should it be stored?

Candy stays fresh for a long time if you keep it cool and dry. Direct sunlight is candy’s worst enemy.

But without even refrigerating it, candy will stay fresh for well over nine months if it’s stored well.

Chocolate and candy containing nuts are a little more sensitive, but even then, if stored properly, they’ll last right up to six months without a problem. The keys are to keep it sealed and stored in a cool, dry, dark place.

ACandyStore.com is an online bulk candy store organized by color, theme, brand and flavor making it easy to create a custom candy bar for your bid day.  Carrying over 2,000 bulk candy products, including top brand names, hard to find old time favorites, premium chocolates and low cost candies, ACandyStore has the largest selection of bulk candy on the web.  What’s more, ACandyStore.com is affordable and offers low Flat Rate Shipping on all orders. 

All other photos courtesy of ACandyStore.com.

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