Creating the Perfect [Candy/Dessert/Ice Cream/etc.] Bar

Hey Plunge Project Readers! Today, I have a special treat that I know you’re going to love. Katie Olson, wedding fanatic and custom wedding dress company owner, is going to share her tips and steps to creating an amazing [insert treat here] bar. Enjoy : )

Bars are so popular at weddings these days! And we don’t mean the open, alcoholic kind. We’re talking candies, cookies, pies, ice cream or whatever your heart so desires!

If you’ve decided that a special bar would be the perfect fit for your wedding but you’re not quite sure where to start, this is the post for you. We’ll walk you through the “To Do” list for creating a one-of-a-kind, tailored table the fits your reception style.

Before you pick out or purchase anything, make sure you’ve decided on the theme or color scheme for your big day. You don’t want to invest time and money on finding all the perfect pieces of your bar, then have to completely change everything when you change your mind.

Now lets build that bar!

Consider your space. If your reception space doesn’t have much room to spare as it is, adding a bar might not be the best decision. Sure, it would be pretty, but if people have trouble accessing it or are tripping over each other to get to it, consider skipping the idea altogether or finding a place outside of the room itself to place it.

Pick your table size, shape, and placement. The space you have will affect the table you use for your bar and where you put it. Do you want it to be a focal point or something that blends into the background? If you want it to be front and center, consider putting it in the entrance of your space with some special lighting. If not, tuck it into a nook along one of the walls to give it its own special place. The placement of the table will then affect its shape – if it’s against a wall, a square or rectangle will be your best bet. If it’s standing alone, any shape will do. Size is dependant on how many goodies you want to put on it!

Pick your table coverings. One way to add style and personality to your table is to pick a coordinating (or the same) color for a tablecloth. It will serve as the base, covering up the table itself, and tying it into your overall reception style. Consider adding multiple layers or runners to give the table some texture.

Decide on your containers. The type of bar you want (ice cream, candy, pie, or something not as sweet like tea) will affect the containers or stands you use. Candies and cookies will require larger containers; pies and cakes will require stands and plates. No matter what you want, there are plenty of options out there that will fit your needs and style.

Pick your treats! This is definitely the best part! By now you already know what type of bar you’re going to have, but you still have to pick out all the specific pieces. If you can, pick different sized items, in the same or similar shades of the same color. This will add visual flow to the table and make it fabulous to look at. If you’re looking for Bulk Candy, be sure to check out Candy Warehouse. [And if you're thinking of adding M&M's to your buffet, I have a special offer for you! Use this link and buy 3 or more bags of personalized M&M'S & get 1 FREE!!! (affiliate link)]

Arrange your table and take a picture. Set up your table exactly the way you want it (minus the edibles) and snap a photo. Edit the photo, adding text to show which edible item goes where, then give the picture to whomever is setting up the table for you (if you’re not doing it yourself). That way you’ll know it’ll look just the way you want when you show up to party at the reception.

Make sure your photographer gets a few shots of your beautiful bar before your guests gobble up everything on it! And don’t forget to partake of the goodies before you go for the night.


I’ve written quite a few posts on dessert tables and candy bars, so be sure to check them out : )

[Image Credits: Sweets Indeed, Amy Atlas]

10 Comments on Creating the Perfect [Candy/Dessert/Ice Cream/etc.] Bar

  1. Ashley Hicks
    September 28, 2010 at 10:44 am (5 years ago)

    What great information! I know a bride who is hosting a dessert reception, including wedding cake. She is concerned about how much is enough or too little to choose from for each guest. What rule would you follow?

    • Nicole
      September 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm (5 years ago)

      Well, this might be a questions for Katie, since I’m a beginner dessert table creator myself, but I’m going to have about 10 options total on my table — including a 3-tier rice crispy treat cake (groom’s cake), some Italian cookies, and then an assortment of candy. This video — — really helped me to determine how much candy I’ll need to order of each jar. BTW — a dessert reception? Sounds amazing!

  2. Elizabeth
    September 29, 2010 at 12:12 am (5 years ago)

    Ah this was great! My venue’s catering has a dessert bar option, but I’m helping set it up so it turns out how I want. This was really helpful! And I looooove your idea of a rice crispy treat cake! Brilliant.

    • Nicole
      September 30, 2010 at 9:17 am (5 years ago)

      I can’t take all the credit for the rice crispy cake…I actually found a picture of one online. And Michael is OBSESSED with rise crispy treats, so I knew I had to tell him lol…it’s very him!

  3. Jennifer R
    September 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm (5 years ago)

    I got married last year and had always wanted a candy buffet set-up! My aunt runs a popcorn company in Colorado, so we took it a step further and ordered about 20 different flavors. Our wedding was very colorful, so we got candycorn in lots of different flavors/colors. We also mixed in some candy, but teh popcorn was a HUGE hit!! You can check out my blog for pictures! And yes, our reception was at L&N!

    • Nicole
      September 30, 2010 at 9:18 am (5 years ago)

      Mmm…I never thought of popcorn! I’d actually really love to see more pics of your wedding! Surprisingly, there are not too many pics online of L&N weddings and I’m always trying to get good ideas for mine :)

  4. Paula
    April 1, 2011 at 6:27 am (4 years ago)

    Hmmm!! looks tasty :) I really like


2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Creating the Perfect [Candy/Dessert/Ice Cream/etc.] Bar

  1. 5 Must-Haves for Dessert Table Design
    August 29, 2011 at 8:02 am (4 years ago)

    [...] chances are you’re into dessert tables as much as I am. And based upon the fact that the Creating the Perfect [Candy/Dessert/Ice Cream/etc.] Bar guest post featured here last year is still one of the more popular posts on the Plunge Project, I [...]


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