Friday, August 20, 2010

DIY: candy buffet + guest favors

I know, I know, it's been almost two months since our wedding and I'm still working on the DIY project posts that I didn't have time to get to before the wedding. Ridiculous.

(personal photo)

A week before the wedding, the favor boxes were assembled in all their glory but we had to wait to purchase the candy because we didn't want it to go stale. And a few days before the wedding, we found ourselves in the bulk food store and I was dying to buy up all the candy I could.

After months of looking up different ways to put together a candy buffet, I knew I was ready do it for our wedding. I had tons of inspiration photos. Tons. Some featured candy buffets with upwards of 20 different kinds of candy, some were color coordinated and some looked like fairies had assembled them.

Ours was none of these things. But guess what? We still loved it.

With only 3 days before the wedding, the last thing on my mind was the beautiful collection of inspiration photos I had gathered. Neither of us had the energy to make sure that the candy was color coordinated or that the shapes of each type of candy we selected was proportionate to the others. We picked what we wanted (and what we knew our guests would like) and left the rest.

Screw color coordination, screw picking candy that tastes disgusting simple because it looks pretty, screw making sure we have at least a half a pound for every guest attending... basically, screw caring too much about candy. It's not a centerpiece. It's not a piece of artwork. It's not holding together our wedding. It's candy. People will eat it and then... well... you know what happens to food after it's digested.

All in all, we went for a variety to make sure that everyone from the tiniest kiddies to the people with dentures had something to eat and we ended up spending about $60 on the candy alone.

As for the containers, well, my mom had been kind enough to collect quite a collection of vases over the course of our engagement so we had more than enough when it came time to set up the candy. Most of the vases were from the dollar store and in total, we probably spent around $20 on them in total. (Added bonus, the vases can now either be sold or reused in our apartment... sweet!)

Finally, since candy buffets aren't exactly a mainstream wedding component in our families, we needed a sign so people would know what the hell all that candy was doing there. If you google "candy buffet sign" or "candy buffet poem", you will come up with a lot of cheesiness. Seriously, a lot. Who knew there could be that much cheese associated with candy? Being the anti-cheese couple that we are, none of this seemed to work. So we made a variation on a frequently used candy buffet saying and came up with this:

(all photos by our photographer, unless otherwise stated)
(click to enlarge)

Quick, to the point, and it doesn't rhyme. Perfect for us.

Making the sign was uber simple. 5 minutes to type up and print it off in a nice shade of blue was followed by another 2 minutes to cut and glue it onto a piece of cardstock. Add a frame from the dollar store and voila! you've got yourself a candy buffet sign.

So we transported everything to the cottage (very carefully) and assembled them the night before with the help of some friends and family. The biggest stress of the whole process? Getting the stupid price stickers off of the vases. We also decided to cover them with saran wrap because they'd be outdoors and unattended for a short period while the ceremony was happening. We didn't want to attract bees. Silly mother nature.

Oh, and another key component that I almost forgot to mention: scoops! If it weren't for my mom, I would have completely forgotten to buy something for people to scoop the candy with. Duh. She found two set of 3 at the dollar store and also purchased a pair of plastic tongs for the candy that was too sticky to scoop (like gummie worms).

Needless to say, the whole thing went over exceedingly well. When we made our way around to the tables halfway through the reception, most people had already filled their containers and were munching on the candy. We received tons of compliments on it and most importantly, the eyes on the kids at our wedding looked like they were going to pop out of the heads they were attached to. Those children could not get enough and since many of them were involved in our wedding, we were happy to see them decent upon the candy (more than once or twice, I might add).

(guest photo)

Months ago, I was scared about how much this would end up costing. I'd heard stories of people spending upwards of $500. Not $500 total. More like $500 just on candy. Crazy!

Obviously, we had no desire to spend that much, so here's our real world, non WIC world cost breakdown:
  • ridiculous amount of candy from bulk food store: $60
  • containers: $20
  • sign: $2 (frame from dollar store: $2, cardstock I already had: free!)
  • scoops and tongs: $5
  • take-out boxes: $30 (pack of 3 from dollar store x 30)
  • stickers from Etsy: $22
Total cost for candy buffet and guest favors: $139

Woohoo! It may not have been color coordinated and it wasn't exactly a piece of artwork, but it was cheap, cheerful, and a great way to say thanks to all of our guests. Who doesn't like a good sugar buzz?

The only downside? By the end of the night, there was no candy left for us. Sad.


Margaret said...

"People will eat it and then... well... you know what happens to food after it's digested."

LOL! I think your candy buffet looks awesome. And I love the non-cheesy sign. I was trying to find petal cone sign-wording and kept coming up with rhyming poems. :P

Emily said...

Love the sign. I also think it is great that you focused more on candy that tastes good, that people like and making sure that there was something for everyone to enjoy. Those elements are so much more important than color coordination.

Lisa said...

so I love these and am SO IMPRESSED by how affordable they were! You rock!

Nicole-Lynn said...

Your candy buffet turned out great.. you did a great job getting everything at a great cost. I think it's ridiculous people spend so much money on this, but you did a great job and displayed it very nicely!

racrep19 said...

Be sure to look into companies such as Couture Candy Co in Arizona to create a custom candy buffet for your next event!

Kristen Marlin said...

I think it went wonderfully perfect! I'm also not a fan of sweets. I'm obedient to my dentist, and a bit paranoid about my teeth too. I've been taking care of them since I was a little girl. But I wasn't able to resist sweets at my sister's wedding, since our guests from Rock Hill requested a sweets buffet. Anyway, Etsy is the best place to buy cheap items. I like those gummie worms and fish candies.

Anonymous said...

DOLLAR STORE VASES!!! I totally didn't even think of that! We're splurging on a few apothecary jars from because I want them (like, forever), but I was at a loss as to what to do for the rest of the containers.

We're buying color-coordinated candy in bulk online, but seeing a $139 price tag on yours made me a lot more optimistic :)

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