So – you want a dessert buffet at your next event?  I trust that you have done your research on the web and you are looking at hundreds of pictures for inspiration.  So now that you have the inspiration – where do you go from there?  Here are the steps to pull off a mouth-watering, jaw dropping dessert buffet!

Add pastries, candy and supplies to your event budget

A dessert buffet is an expense.  It should be added to your overall event budget so that you can do the most important thing – buy enough of everything.  You want to be sure that there is enough candy and pastries to satisfy your guests and you also want to be sure that there are enough eye catching elements to draw attention to your dessert buffet.  Think of the dessert buffet as a décor element.  Pick out 5-10 different types of candy and pastries that match your theme or décor color  and buy 15 to 20 pounds of each (minimum).  Yes – you read that right.  Why 15-20 pounds?  Presence!  The dessert buffet has to have a substantial presence in the room – and of course – people are going to take some home with them.

Decide what containers to put the items in and on

You have a lot of options and leeway when it comes to what the candy and pastries should be placed in and on.  I would suggest purchasing clear containers so your guests can see the items.  You can use jars, vases, martini glasses, bowls, shot glasses or you can even match the containers to your flower vases.  Go outside of your comfort zone.  Try pails, cake stands or even wicker baskets. Buy containers that are different shapes, heights and sizes.  You can find an array of jars and containers at Ikea, Target, Home Goods, Ross, Khols, Walmart, Michaels, AC Moore (coupons every week in the paper) or try bulk stores like Sams Club and Costco.  You can also find jars, scoops, ribbon and frames at most of these places.  Try this website for assorted scoops.  Whatever you purchase – remember that the container mouth should be wide enough for the candy scooper.  For the take away items– you can have them in bags (get stickers made with your event details as the seal) or you can have favor boxes or clear favor containers.  Try Beau-Corp for an array of candy favor containers or Save on Crafts.   For vintage jars try Etsy.   The possibilities are endless.

What kind of pastries and candy should you purchase?  

There is no written rule.  I would say – follow your theme and your decor.  You can also go with your personality – for example use candies that you grew up with or your favorite candy as a child.  Try these websites for ideas.  They also have sugar free candy. Candy Warehouse  Groovy Candies  Metro Candy  Old Time Candy  Candy Direct

Here are a few popular candy choices:  Jelly Beans, Lemon Heads, Sweedish Fish, Saltwater Taffy,  Jordan Almonds, Gum Balls, Cherry Balls, Gummy Bears, Cherry Balls, Caramel Apples, Licorce Twists, Fudge, Toffee Apples, Peanut Brittle, Large Swirly Lollipops, Popcorn, Blow Pops, Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Fruit Slices, Twizzlers,  Reeces Cups and M & M’s

The “WOW” factor

So you not only picked out the pastries and the candy, you’ve also purchased the right amount and you purchased all of the containers and take away containers.   So how do you get the “wow” factor?  Try adding other elements to the Candy Buffet like flowers, a backdrop, a flower wall or frames that detail the names of the pastry and candy.  Another idea is to elevate the containers.  Place them on a rack or an elevated surface on the table. Then cover the raised surface with fabric that matches your linen.  Bunch up the fabric for the appearance of texture.  Use a table runner or flower petals.  You can even add pictures of yourself as a child.   Finally – you can add elements to the background – like a picture frame with a popular saying for example.

Whatever you decide – be sure that it reflects your personality.

Here are a few pics of candy buffets that we love by our preferred vendor/coordinated collaborator Sweet Soirees!

Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 19989648_10155396591288614_8385623997041945265_n Sweet Soirees Chicago 19894562_10155395358763614_4177279637191815410_n Sweet Soirees chicago 19905267_10155395352353614_1057697864137594193_n Sweet Soirees Chicago 19989671_10155395358288614_4061993541909355108_n Sweet Soirees Chicago 19884008_10155395348768614_6048066111246707628_nSweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 16998995_10154948916673614_7779578415671485689_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 17022044_10154948916328614_4575087122061272167_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 16865063_10154948916988614_8133090883675746861_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 16996172_10154948914983614_4617531436082817371_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 16998662_10154948915833614_7703534451516271212_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 16939454_10154948915178614_1144665855836167184_nSweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 18893318_10155282162338614_522230705598616789322_nSweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 18951040_10155282161498614_6323665022975597126_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 18951243_10155282161653614_8137120848249173431_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 18920546_10155282161443614_2346959554487198694_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 18893318_10155282162338614_5222307055986167893_nSweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 15977590_10154817321128614_7807663089971868830_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 16114432_10154817320308614_4014957974144104755_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 15977989_10154817322648614_7271313608114916726_n Sweet Soirees Chicago The Coordinated Bride 15965994_10154817322008614_4891940569114452005_n

Happy Planning!