So you have a special event coming up. We’re excited for you! Candy buffets, sometimes called candy stations, add panache to all occasions and we can help you put together something that exceeds your expectations and impresses each one of your guests, even your persnickety mother-in-law.

Candy buffets, fun and festive (and edible, of course), make great features for weddings, bridal and baby showers, milestone birthday parties, retirements, holiday gatherings, and more. Not only are they a unique decorative element that adds dimension to your food and beverage selections, but candy buffets can also serve as a party favor station (doing double duty saves you cash!). Plus, you don’t need a professional to make a dramatic candy buffet to coordinate with your event. Here’s all you need: a table, a little imagination, and the resources we offer here at CandyFavorites. 

Ready to get started? Let’s do it!

Step 1: Identify your theme OR your color preferences. Insects or animals for a children’s festivity? Retro candy for a milestone birthday? Color selections could include monochromatic shades of white and ivory for a wedding or bridal shower, brown, black, and cream for a groom’s table or a gentleman’s birthday party, or pink, green, and orange for a sweet sixteen. It’s up to you and your imagination! We can accommodate just about any ideas you have, so get creative. Have terrible taste? It happens. Don’t panic. Call us and we’ll walk you through it, like candy 911.

Step 2: Get a head count. Generally, you should plan on buying 8 oz of candy per person, which means for a party with 100 guests, approximately 50 pounds should do it (we have more tips about how much to buy waiting for you below, so read on).

Step 3: With your theme in mind and your guest list tallied, you can build your candy buffet using the simple template here:

Height

You will need to set up your table with a variety of containers to showcase your fabulous candy selections. Choose simple, clear glass containers that never fail, or jazz it up by using just about anything else, from wooden boxes, paper bags, baskets, colorful vases, vintage buckets, and more.

The trick with containers is to get variations in height: short, medium, and some taller pieces to add drama. You can also use risers to get height variation among your containers. Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on this part. Party stores and craft supply stores sell a huge variety of decorative containers at reasonable prices, so go wild (but stick to your theme, of course).

Color

This is the fun part: go shopping for candy! If you are simply shopping for a color scheme, try to limit your choices to two or three main colors. Each color can certainly have variations of shades within the same family, but stick to three main tones. If you want a color explosion or are trying to replicate the candy store look, then go nuts, but choose either all primary colors or all pastels so the final effect looks pulled together. We’ve made shopping for colors so easy with our Candy Color section that sorts all of the candy we have available by color, with dozens of shades to choose from.

Texture

The key with texture is to add some shimmer here and there. All you have to do is select a few goodies from either our Shiny Wrapped Candy section or our Glossy Candy section. Make sure your candy textures are varied, too, with hard candies, soft ones, and maybe some gummi candies, too. All of these will be found when you are sorting by color, which, again, makes it super simple! When shopping for different textures, think about adding some tall candies, as well, like candy kabobs, swizzle sticks, and lollipops (we have special sections for each of these on our site, too).

Layers

Now it’s time to put it all together. Dress the table with the perfect tablecloth, arrange your containers, and fill ‘em up! Add candy scoops  and set out your gift bags if you’re using them. Now layer in other details that seem fitting, like pretty framed mirrors for a wedding candy buffet, perhaps attractive labels for your containers, vases of flowers, candles in coordinating shades, or something theme-specific. A birdcage might go nicely on a feminine candy buffet, for example, or butterfly nets for an insect-themed table.

Additional Pointers

How much candy?

Again, the rule of thumb is 8 oz of candy per guest. Another tip: 5 pounds of candy the size of M&M’s, gummi bears, or gumballs, for example, just about fills a small fishbowl or a shoe box. If your event will stretch well into the evening, you might want to budget for more candy. Don’t leave anybody without their fair share!    

In case you need more information, we’ve assembled this oh-so-helpful weight chart to help you know exactly how much to buy. Nice, right?

  • 1 pound BUTTERMINTS = 3 cups
  • 1 pound GUMBALLS (1 inch) = 3 ½ cups
  • 1 pound HERSHEY KISSES = 3 cups
  • 1 pound JELLY BELLY = 2 cups
  • 1 pound JOLLY RANCHER = 3 cups
  • 1 pound JORDAN ALMONDS = 2 cups
  • 1 pound LAFFY TAFFY = 4 cups
  • 1 pound LEMONHEADS = 2 cups
  • 1 pound M&Ms = 2 cups
  • 1 pound MIKE AND IKES = 2 cups
  • 1 pound RUNTS = 2 1/3 cups
  • 1 pound SIXLETS = 3 cups
  • 1 pound SKITTLES = 2 cups
  • 1 pound SMARTIES = 5 cups
  • 1 pound STARBURST = 2 ½ cups
  • 1 pound SUPER BUBBLE GUM = 5 cups
  • 1 pound TOOTSIE ROLLS = 4 cups


Note on Chocolate and Summer:

Chocolate and other highly-perishable candies should be ordered in cooler months if you are shipping to hot weather destinations to make sure it arrives in tip-top shape. If you aren’t that organized (we get it), you can add ice packs and Thermo Cases to help protect your goodies. Please read our Hot Weather Shipping page for more info.

Now you are armed with all the information you need to create a fabulous candy buffet for your upcoming event and we are at your service with thousands of candy selections from which you can choose. You can shop for all your candy by color to make it snappy, but don’t forget that we have dozens of other candy categories, too, to help you zero in on exactly what you want, for any theme or color scheme. As always, let us know how we can help!