Are you looking to create the candy dessert station of your Pinterest dreams, but don’t know where to start? As you start Googling candy stations: How to make them, what to buy and so on, you may find there’s a lot of incomplete information out there. The photos you see online look beautiful, but what you’re seeing are picture perfect stations before your guests descend and start munching.
The real trick is creating a dessert station that isn’t only a special treat for your guests, but one that brings out personal memories (as candy can do), is an eye-catching decor piece and is fully stocked all night long. There’s nothing worse than seeing a sad looking candy bar or one that’s run out after only being open for 10 minutes.
There is a strategy and concrete steps that go into creating a beautiful and memorable candy station for any event. Outlined below is every step for you to follow to create a memorable and yummy candy bar for you and your guests.
First Step: Choose Your Look & Theme
1. Do you want to color coordinate?
- Example: Is your wedding a blush pink palette? If so, create a table full of pink M&M’s, wrapped chocolate hearts, pink jelly beans, white chocolate covered oreos, prosecco gummy bears, marshmallows, strawberry & cherry taffy, sour patch watermelon, cinnamon bears, swedish fish and more to complete the palette.
2. Or maybe your theme is to choose your favorites from childhood candies?
- Laffy Taffy
- Red Vines
- Ring Pops
- Candy Necklaces
3. Or don’t have a theme, simply create a fun dessert station for all your guests to enjoy!
Some popular choices:
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Gummies of all kinds
- Swedish Fish
- Kit Kats
- Hershey’s Kisses
- Chocolate Covered Pretzels
- Sour Patch Kids
- Local or regional candies can be a unique touch too
Second Step: Decide How Guests Will Take Home Their Treats
- Cellophane baggies
- Mini Chinese take-out box
- Round cylinders with a fitted top…
- Paper baggies
Start your search online and choose what you like. Don’t make your container too big because guests will fill them up and make you run out faster.
Once you’ve decided on a container for guests to fill, personalize it! Stickers are an easy, affordable and DIY option.
Some popular sayings for your stickers:
- “So Sweet of You to Come”
- “Sweet Dreams xo, Laura and Joey”
- Or keep it simple with your monogram and the date.
How To Buy The Candy
Make Sure to Choose a Variety
To take care of all your guests by choosing a variety of chocolate and fruity candy. This way, even your guests who do not love chocolate are well taken care of and leave with a satisfied sweet tooth.
There is a Minimum You Need to Purchase
You will want to buy a minimum of 6 – 8 different candy choices at least. You can always purchase more if you have the budget, but it’s important to know the minimum so you can create the biggest impact with this station.
Overall the amount of candy you buy should roughly add up to ½ pound of candy per person. This may sound like a lot, but remember this is a statement piece and as mentioned at the beginning, you wouldn’t want to run out 5 minutes into opening the station. If you have leftover candy at the end, share it with your night breakdown crew, family and friends! Who doesn’t love Milk Duds after breakfast!! 🙂
How to Find Your Candies
Check your local area for a candy wholesaler that is open to the public as they sell candies at a lower price. You’ll want to make sure they sell to the general public before showing up. Ask their payment requirements too as this may impact your decision.
If you’ve chosen specialty items that have to be purchased online, give yourself plenty of time to place the order and have them delivered. Companies like M&Ms can be personalized by color and with your names or words! As you start the buying process, you’ll find many choices to customize candies as some discount candy websites too.
And if online shopping isn’t for you, remember there’s always Smart & Final, Costco, Target or your local grocery store too!
It’s Important to plan ahead for your CONTAINERS
Glass Jars Are Best
Glass jars or see through containers in a variety of shapes and sizes are the best as they make your candy pretty for all to see.
First, see if you have any containers hiding in your house. If you have a friend who throws lots of parties they may have jars too! It never hurts to start by asking around.
Next, search your local stores: Michaels Craft Store (they always have coupons online), Home Goods, Target or a floral wholesaler.
If you have a great relationship with your florist, they may have containers you can borrow or rent! Always ask.
The Size Matters
The jars shouldn’t all be the same shape and size. A mix adds to the design of the display. You’ll want to make sure they aren’t too tall though, so your shorter guests or kids have no problem reaching inside.
Transport Containers Safely
If you are driving glass containers to and from a venue they can easily break. Use bubble wrap, newspaper, even old towels to protect them! You can also wrap and pack them in big tubs tightly together for extra protection. The last thing you’ll want is the inconvenience or breakage and having to replace containers right before your wedding day!
Ask Help From a Friend
Part of creating this guest experience is ensuring you have a safe and clean way to serve the candy! Ask a friend, caterer, event planner or family member to attend the candy station. This means refilling jars and/or replacing serving scoops! This creates a safe, sanitary environment that everyone is ready to come back to for more.
Knowing When to Open and Close the Candy Bar
When do you want your candy station to open? At the end of the night as a favor while guests are leaving, or during dessert time?
Departure Candy Station Notes
If you want to open your candy station for guest departure, you will want to ensure it’s in a place your guests will see it as they exit. And if it is not out all night, who will be tasked with setting it up and at what time? Have a plan in place and built into your timeline on when it will be set-up, open and who will be doing so. Meet ahead of time to talk through where all the station items will be stored and can be found.
Setting Up the Station on a Sturdy Surface
Your station can be set on any surface, a round table, a rectangular table, bar or built in counter space. Take into consideration the number of jars you have, the accessibility of the table and how many people will be enjoying it. Talk to your caterer or event specialist and they may have an idea based on your room layout and timeline.
Ask your florist for any extra flower centerpieces from the ceremony or cocktail hour to dress up the table even more! You can also rent a special linen to complete the look too.
Your Guests Need Scoops for Scooping!
Don’t forget the scoops! Your guests will need scoops or thongs to get the candy out of the jars. Scoops can be silver or lucite, but most important is that they are functional and can scoop up the candy. For an extra something special you can tie a ribbon or bedazzle the handle to match the rest of the table.
Signage Always Adds Information and Something Special
It’s always important to label everything and a thoughtful detail for your guests, especially those that may have a nut allergy.
Personal signage that compliments your wedding decor always adds the finishing touch to any station. When making your signage, indicate the Bride’s favorites and Groom’s favorites as this is sure to spark conversation and memories for all guests!
You now have every single step and detail at your fingertips for creating not only a functional candy station like a pro, but a beautiful one too. Your guests will delight in your thoughtful variety and fun decor pieces as they satisfy their late night sweet tooth.
It’s Time for you to Design:
- Decide on your candy bar theme and look
- Choose a candy takeaway holder for your guests
- Start planning the details to make your memorable dessert display
- How much candy
- Where to buy
- Set-up & Ask a Friend
- Scoops & Signage