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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.

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