How to DIY a candy or dessert bar

Photo by  Igor Ovsyannykov  on  Unsplash

A couple of years ago, candy and dessert bars became hugely popular.  They are a lot of fun and one of my favorite things to add on to a reception.  Instead of hiring a company to create a bar for you, here are some tips so you can do it yourself:

Tip #1: Decide on your budget.  How much do you want to spend?  Depending where you live and what you end up placing on the candy/dessert bar, your cost can start as low as $100.  

Tip #2: Decide if you want a candy-only bar or if you want to include desserts.  There are dessert bars that only have the couple's favorite desserts.  Then there are bars that have just different types of candies the couple loves.  And finally, there are bars that have a combination of both.  There are so many ways to go with this, have fun with it, but once you decide, stick with it so you don't stress out about it later. 

Tip #3: Start buying candy early.  The great thing about having candy on the table is that you can start stocking up on candy months in advance, which can help when planning your budget. Most candy lasts for awhile and if you're color-coordinating your table, stores in your area may have a limited supply so make sure you plan ahead and buy early.

Tip #4: Who will make your desserts? Will your local baker or your aunt make the desserts for your table.  If it's the local baker and if they're making your cake as well you may be able to get a deal for the desserts.  If it's a personal acquaintance, you'll want to make sure you discuss how much they need to bake.  Great Aunt Martha makes the best cookies but she's only use to baking a dozen at a time.  For a wedding, you're going to want to several dozen for your guests.  Not to mention variety.  So plan ahead and make sure your acquaintance knows how much work will be involved, your allotted budget for supplies, and they have enough time to make it.  

Tip #5: Who will bring the desserts and do they require a cooler?  Many venues will not let you use their refrigerator to store your goods so if it's an acquaintance supplying the desserts make sure they are either making goodies that don't need to be refrigerated or they are coming from a location (aka home) where they have a refrigerator and the desserts remain fresh. 

Tip #6: Make sure you have enough.  It's always a shame when you have a dessert bar and half of your guests don't get to try the goods on the table because there wasn't enough to go around.  Make sure you order enough items so the majority can get a taste.

Tip #7: Who will be in charge of the table?  Not just decorating the table but also resupplying it when the candy or desserts go low.  If you're DIY-ing you'll need to make sure you have containers for the candy and trays for the desserts.  You'll want to factor that into your budget and then who will be the person to set it up and restock it as the night progresses.  The last thing you want is at the end of the night you find bags of candy that you'll have to take home because no one refilled the table.  

Are you going to DIY your candy or dessert bar?  What kind of goodies are you going to put on it?  Share with us below!