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Tips for Planning Your Wedding Candy Buffet on a Budget

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Considering creating a candy buffet for your wedding favors? Check out these tips for putting together a beautiful and budget-friendly candy display.

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Looking for a fabulous edible wedding favor to gift your guests? We love a candy buffet– it doubles as decor and a favor!

Are Candy Buffets expensive?

Just to forewarn those of you who are thinking about doing a candy buffet– it can definitely be expensive if you’re not careful.

Costs for a candy bar can add up pretty fast, but a little upfront planning can save you a lot of money in the long run. One site we stumbled across estimated most candy bars run roughly $5 per guest. If you have 100+ guests, that’s easily over $500 which is a pretty large chunk of change. But don’t worry, with the help of some coupons, some pre-planning, and a decent amount of time, you can use these tips to make your candy buffet beautiful on a budget.

Tips for Planning Your Wedding Candy Buffet on a Budget

GETTING STARTED:

Some of the things you’re going to need are color-coded candy, tongs, scoops, fancy jars, labels & signs plus goodie bags. Depending on your reception location, you may also need a table, table cloths, and backdrop decorations as well.

HOW MUCH CANDY DO I NEED FOR MY WEDDING CANDY BUFFET?

Here’s a planning guide for determining how many jars of candy to serve, depending on the size of your guest list:

  • 1-50 guests: 5 jars candy
  • 50-100 guests: 10 jars candy
  • 100-150 guests: 15 jars candy
  • 150-200 guests: 18 jars candy
  • Over 200 guests: 20 jars candy

GOOD PLACES TO BUY BULK CANDY FOR YOUR CANDY BUFFET:

CHOOSING YOUR CANDY

When choosing colors for your wedding candy buffet, unless you’re going for an “anything goes” look, keep to just 2 or 3 colors for a more polished color scheme.

Buy less expensive candy to fill larger jars and the most expensive candies in smaller jars.

Rule of thumb – one bag of candy should fit in a jar – so no need for supersized jars!

If your wedding date allows for it, a great time to stock up on candy is after a holiday. Stores like Target, Meijer, Walgreens, Rite Aid, etc. will begin discounting candy the next day anywhere from 30%-50%. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find some 75% -90% off deals! Just make sure to double-check expiration dates on the boxes to make sure they would be fine for your wedding date, of course!

Traditional Holiday Candy Colors

  • Christmas – White, Red, Green, Blue, Gold, Silver
  • Valentine’s Day – Red, White, Pink
  • Easter – This is the holiday that generally has the most ‘wedding colors’ and it’s going to be here before you know it!– Yellow, Pink, Purple, Blue, Green, White
  • Halloween – Black, Orange, Brown, Yellow

In planning your candy list, depending on the number of jars you use, stagger your candy price points. Opt for a few ‘premium’ or more expensive candies.  Then, several mid-range treats, and use the bulk of your jars for more budget-friendly varieties.  This way, you have a span of options for guests.

If you have a Meijers store nearby (Midwestern grocery chain, similar to a Super Target or Super Walmart) they have an entire aisle devoted to bulk treats in a variety of colors! Their prices are much more reasonable than most of the online candy sites we’ve found.

As a hint, stores like Target and Walgreens offer their very own in-store coupons on different candies and cookies from time to time.  You can stack these deals with a manufacturer coupon and a sale for some awesome savings! Plus, in addition to Target’s in-store coupons, they also allow you to use a Cartwheel deal! (Cartwheel + in-store coupon + manufacture coupon + sale/clearance = 4’x the savings!) Example: we purchased M&M’s from Target after Christmas, used a Target coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon on top of the clearance find. They came out to just under .30 cents/bag. If you’re one of the lucky ones near the Meijer stores mentioned above, they’ll also take Target store coupons! Or, be sure to check Meijer’s mPerk’s for in-store deals.

jars for a wedding candy buffet

CHOOSING YOUR JARS FOR THE DISPLAY:

First, check out what you have at home. Think about any random vases you have in your cabinets or basement collecting dust. After a quick cleaning, they’ll be good to go!

Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for jars or vases you could borrow. It never hurts to ask, right? 

Dollar Tree is a great place to check. A few plain glass bowls and glass candlesticks can easily be glued together to cheaply create a much fancier-looking ensemble!

It also doesn’t hurt to make a few stops at garage sales and thrift stores. You never know what you might score for .25 cents each.

Use coupons. You know those $10 off a $10 purchase coupons you sometimes get in the mail from places like Stein Mart, Kohls, or JCPenney’s? Put those to good use hunting for finds.

As a little piece of advice, don’t try and buy all of your jars at once. You can easily build a collection over the span of several months when you happen across a great buy. If you wait and purchase every one from a single store, you might spend much much more on your jars.

BAGS OR BOXES

Another important aspect of a wedding candy buffet is the treat bags, boxes, or jars. Keep in mind, if you give guests a larger treat bag or jar, they have the possibility to fill it with more candy. The more candy each guest takes means higher costs for you. A great way to limit the amount of candy taken per guest is to give them small bags to use.

There are tons of Etsy and eBay sites selling food-grade glassine bags that would be a great size. By opting to not have a monogrammed bag or any bags with decorative labeling you can also save a little extra cash.

TONGS/SCOOPS

Don’t forget about serving ware for your wedding candy buffet. In order to keep things safe and hygenic, you’ll need scoops or tongs for your guests to use to fill their candy bags to avoid touching things with their fingers.

Check out places like Amazon for scoops or tongs. As a hint, search for ‘ice scoops’ or ‘coffee scoops’ instead of ‘candy bar scoops’. The wedding-themed ‘candy’ scoop will instantly drive up prices on the identical item!

Another great place to check out is Dollar Tree. They have plastic tongs that come in sets of 4 in either clear plastic, or silver metallic plastic. You can decorate your scoops with ribbon in your wedding colors to make them look a little less plain.

DECORATIONS:

Do you want to label each jar of your candy buffet? Consider sticker labels or print something on cardstock and tape it to your jars.

You may also want to create or add a sign alerting your guests to your candy bar, and instructing them to grab a bag to fill and take home with them!

Are you planning a candy buffet for your wedding?

We hope these tips have been helpful to you! Anything we’re missing? Join us in the community to talk all things candy buffets!

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