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The Look for Less: Candy Buffet vs. Dessert Tables

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Tonya Coleman here from Soireé Event Design, and I’m back with the “Look for Less” where I share with you some ways to achieve a high-end looking event for less by using my tips. Today’s post is all about Candy Buffets versus Dessert Tables and how you can save hundreds of dollars by creating a fabulous looking Candy Buffet for your next event. Here I designed a Beach Bridal theme showing both a candy table and a dessert table for 85 guests. Be sure to scroll down to the end of the post to see a detailed budget on both tables and see the savings.

Sweet City Candy is a hassle-free online candy vendor that I used to purchase all of the candy shown on the candy table. Their selection is great and super easy to order with their option to search for candy by color! Not only do they have some of the most affordable candy online right now, but now they offer free shipping for orders over $65! This is HUGE considering candy is very heavy and most candy companies charge shipping based on weight which can sometimes blow your budget!





Beach Bride Candy Table

This candy table features all-white candy from Sweet City Candy including gummy bears, jelly beans, malt balls, gumballs, rock candy, sixlets, chocolate covered pretzels and hershey kisses. The all-white candy pops off all the gold decor. Displaying the candy in clear glass containers including apothecary jars from Koyal Wholesale and stemmed hurricanes makes sure the color of the candy shows through. For a high end, modern look, add in small touches of beach themed decor like these coral placecard holders and ceramic sand dollar coasters from Kate Aspen along with white starfish which were sleek and modern. Don’t go overboard with your beach decor. Of course, a bridal shower has got to have some sparkle so I anchored the table with sparkly gold sequin backdrop and table linen, a fabulous rhinestone sun wall piece and gold rhinestone candy scoops.





white gumballs







Candy Buffet Budget Breakdown: $378.05
To accomodate 85 guests, I ordered 40 pounds of candy. Sweet City Candy’s general rule for ordering enough candy is to order 1/2 pound or 8 ounces of candy per person. Here is the list of the candy ordered and how much of each.

  • Gumballs white (7 lbs) $68.04
  • Gummy bears white – strawberry/banana (5 lbs) $14.90
  • Jelly beans white – coconut (5 lbs) $33.20
  • Malt balls white (5 lbs) $38.60
  • Rock candy white (120 count) $93.60
  • Sixlets white (10 lbs) $49.50
  • Hershey kisses silver (6 lbs) $28.21
  • White chocolate covered pretzels (5 lbs) $52.00



Tip: Use Your Bridal Shower Favors In Your Decor
For bridal showers, here is an idea for a favor that you can actually use as part of your decor. Here I used a few of the “Seashell” Gel Tealight Holders from Kate Aspen on the Candy Table to add a touch of beach themed decor. I suggest you display the rest of the favors in their pretty packaging on a separate smaller table for guests to take with them when they leave.


Beach Bride Dessert Table

For dessert tables, figuring out how much to order is not based on weight. As an event planner, my general rule is to order 3 pieces of dessert items for each guest. Using that rule, I had to order at least 255 desserts for 85 guests. Since most dessert items come in dozens, I ordered a little bit more. Dessert tables are a fabulous alternative to candy buffets and are a hot new trend at weddings. They are a bit pricier but the gorgeousness of these custom desserts made by today’s most sought after dessert designers is undeniable.  You can work with them to get just the right custom look you’re going for. If you have the budget…go for it!









Dessert Table Budget Breakdown: $659
Here is the list of the desserts ordered and how much of each. (Full quantities of the desserts are not shown on the table. Due to the amounts of each, dessert tables usually require refilling)

  • rice crispy treats (3 dozen @ $20 per dozen) $60
  • chocolate seashell lollipops (3 dozen @ $18 per dozen) $54
  • chocolate seashells (2 dozen @ $12 per dozen) $24
  • gold glittered cake pops (3 dozen @ $32 per dozen) $96
  • iced starfish cookies (3 dozen @ $24 per dozen) $72
  • white seashell cake pops (3 dozen @ $30/dozen) $90
  • meringue kisses (24 @ $15 per 2 dozen) $15
  • bridal heart iced cookies (3 dozen @ $38 per dozen) $114
  • chocolate covered oreos (3 dozen @ $22 per dozen) $66


Tip: Use Dessert Items In Your Decor
To add some fabulous decor to the table, I added 7 fondant topped cupcakes surrounding the gorgeous centerpiece. Ordering 85 of these would have skyrocketed my budget, so instead I only placed a few on the table that added to the decor.


Tip: Use Custom Bridal Shower Favors for your Bridesmaids In Your Decor
The ultimate Bridesmaid’s Favor are these custom lollipops by LolliPics! Here I had 3 of the happy couple’s photos from their engagement shoot placed on these lollipops for each of the bridesmaids. They are completely edible and gorgeous!


Want more? Click over to my blog here for more party inspiration and check out my Pinterest board for a virtual shopping list of most of the items I used in this party’s design along with prices and links to purchase them.

Vendor Credit
By |2018-02-13T06:15:40-07:00June 25th, 2014|Bridal Showers, Sweets|

About the Author:

TONYA COLEMAN is a busy mother of 4 that ”LOVE LOVE LOVES” design & events! She has more than 10 years of experience in the entertainment business with a very successful graphic design studio & has been designing events for the past 5 years.

Soireé-Event Design is a fusion of Tonya’s graphic design studio and event boutique and specializes in upscale children’s events and bridal/baby showers – including their ”signature events”.  Soireé’s in-house graphic design studio custom designs all of the printable elements to make each client’s event truly unique and memorable… As Tonya explains it: ”We do all the work so that you can actually ENJOY your event and look like a rock star while doing it!”

Tonya’s celebrity design clients include Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx, Magic Johnson, & Macy Gray, and her event work has been featured on several top party blogs & websites. In addition to sharing her tips and insider secrets on the Soireé-Event Design blog, she is an Event & Entertainment Editor for PlushLittleBaby.com. We are thrilled to share even more of her event design tips here at HWTM!


  1. @whitestar112 June 25, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Great way to event plan on a budget The Look for Less: Candy Buffet vs. Dessert Tables http://www.hwtm.com/2014/06/look-less-candy-buffet-vs-dessert-tables/ via @SoireeEventDsgn

  2. HoneyBash June 25, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Love love love. Gorgeous. Where did you get the fabric for the backdrop and the table cover?

  3. @SoireeEventDsgn June 25, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    The Look for Less: Candy Buffet vs. Dessert Tables http://t.co/Eg9o5O3Wdj

  4. @SheerBliss_Cali June 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    The Look for Less: Candy Buffet vs. Dessert Tables http://www.hwtm.com/2014/06/look-less-candy-buffet-vs-dessert-tables/ via @SoireeEventDsgn

  5. Emily June 25, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    This is beautiful, very nice and love how you provided two different options.

  6. […] Friends, we are so very excited to share with you another great post featuring candy from our store from our friend Tonya at Soiree Event Design that has been posted  on Hostess with the Mostess! […]

  7. Noel June 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    This looks so fun and seems very affordable!

  8. Marystratton June 29, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Pretty preparation! I loved those golden pops; they are eyes catchy and also the cup cakes. Really amazing work

  9. […] “The Look for Less” from Tonya Coleman from Soiree Event Design come out last week on Hostess with the Mostess featuring candy exclusively from our store (and if you didn’t, click here to read the full […]

  10. Evelyn Cobian August 25, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Very nice I love the white stars cookies.

  11. Martina Harrison March 23, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Gorgeous! http://www.quirkiful.com UK wedding events decor

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