When it comes to dessert ideas for your wedding, the options are truly endless. From cupcakes and tiered cakes to macarons and pies, it can be incredibly difficult to narrow down what to serve. But the beauty of planning your wedding and deciding exactly what you and your partner want means you don’t have to choose just one treat. And that’s where candy bars come in.
Meet the Expert
Marisa Battaglia is the owner and creative director of B Sweet Designs, a New York-based company devoted to creating custom dessert tables for weddings and special events.
“Candy bars and dessert tables are a great way for couples to provide their guests with a variety of sweets to choose from,” says Marisa Battaglia, owner of B Sweet Designs. “A lot of our couples decide to go with a dessert or candy table for their wedding simply because they can't choose. You can have a cake (either just for cake-cutting ceremony purposes or to serve to your guests), and you can also offer a wide variety of other treats in an even wider variety of flavors to accommodate nearly any preference.”
How to Plan a Wedding Candy Bar
Some candy bars may only feature a variety of store-bought candies, but they can also include an array of other handcrafted sweets to fill it in. Of course, your table can be set up any way you like, but there are a few key tips to keep in mind as you’re planning.
“I always start my consultations off by asking my couples what types of desserts and flavors they are naturally drawn to in their everyday life and then we brainstorm from there,” says Battaglia. “The table should be designed with the couple in mind and should really be a reflection of their tastes for their guests to enjoy.”
Some of the most popular items to incorporate on a candy bar include the following.
- Chocolate-covered Oreos
- Chocolate-dripped pretzels
- Mini cheesecakes
- Gummy bears
- Rock candy
As you’re choosing your candy and desserts, be sure to consider the overall aesthetic. If you’re using the table to make a statement, you’ll want to tie in elements of your decor. Battaglia always considers what else is happening around the reception when she puts together tables. Consider the tablescapes, florals, linens, and the overall vibe.
“Color palettes and themes play a huge part in setting the overall feel of the table,” says Battaglia. “Once a general vibe has been established, it's all about integrating those colors and elements not only into the desserts themselves but also into the decor used throughout the table.”
There are so many options out there, but it’s ultimately all about finding an aesthetic that works for you. Read on for 18 of our favorite setups for inspiration to get the planning started.
Select a Color Scheme
Who says you can’t still have a gorgeous cake if you’re opting for a candy bar? We love the idea of having it all! This color scheme of all-white desserts, paired with splashes of gold and green, is simply stunning. Plus, with cake, doughnuts, cheesecakes, and macarons, what more could you ask for?
Mix It Up
While a candy bar can definitely feature the traditional small dessert additions of cupcakes and cookies, what about introducing something totally unexpected? These mini trifles are the perfect way to incorporate a special treat. Layered with pudding, cake, and whipped cream, your guests will love this unique spin on a cake.
Keep It Small but Mighty
A candy bar can still be absolutely ideal for a smaller wedding. And with that, you may even get to integrate more variety. The idea of incorporating a tall one-layered cake with a spread of small desserts on the table below creates a gorgeous look.
Make a Statement With Height and Color
Now, this is what candy bar dreams are made of! We are obsessed with the simplicity of this design, all while incorporating so many great choices for treats. Consider adding height to your table by layering on shelving or steps to make desserts and candy pop. With glazed, chocolate, and sprinkle doughnuts, gummy bears, sour ropes, and more, this setup is picture-perfect.
Pair Custom and Classic Treats
We love a candy bar that incorporates lovely, elegant desserts, such as hand-painted custom sugar cookies, macarons, and custom truffles, all while integrating a few nostalgic childhood favorites in between. This table paired all of the couple’s favorites, including chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and even flavored popcorn. Talk about a sweet way to treat your guests.
Be Bold With Florals
Candy bars can definitely come in simpler forms, making a beautiful, modern statement. This tiered cake, paired with hand-painted sugar cookies and macarons is the perfect setup. Adjust the concept to fit any color palette and incorporate florals along the way.
This is a neutral color scheme at its best. The decor on this table sets the stage, utilizing dried florals for a gorgeous look. With a large, one-tiered cake, custom cookies, and bars, we love the simplicity of this bar.
Wow With Watercolor
This is definitely the table for the couple who can’t choose. And you don’t have to! Consider incorporating multiple cakes, all with different tiered setups and watercolor designs. Mini-cheesecake cups, eclairs, cookies, and cupcakes round out the sweet options while a stunning color palette completes this beautiful setup.
Opt for Retro Gold Decor
Considering your decor elements can truly make your candy bar shine. We love the way this bar included gummy candies, Rolos, and sour ropes, and even added in custom cactus cupcakes to offer something for every guest. And while the choices are abundant, it’s the setup including a geometric gold design and florals, that really makes it stand out.
Add Height With Greenery
Be sure to chat with your florist about decor options for your candy bar. The big, bold floral statement that accompanies this setup is incredible, and the color palette is an absolute dream. Complete with a three-tiered textured cake, cupcakes, doughnuts, and macarons, this candy bar is simple yet stunning.
What a gorgeous way to incorporate florals throughout a table. This bar boasts everything from mini cheesecakes and cupcakes to pink glazed doughnuts and a multitiered cake, all beautifully decorated around a color palette of pink and gold. The way the doughnuts are displayed on mini white cake stands is such a great way to bring height and depth to the design.
Add an Abundance of Sweets
Consider adding pretty signage to elevate your bar. After all, with so many sweets to choose from, you’ll want your guests to know what they’re getting. This table is abundant and full with two different single-tiered cakes, doughnuts, and sugar and shortbread cookies to offer something for every guest.
Cookies wrapped in cellophane look great on a candy bar and can also double as a take-home item for your guests.
Play With Pops of Color
Hello, color! If you truly want your candy bar to make a statement, don’t be afraid to incorporate bold splashes from your color palette. We love the way multiple cake stands are incorporated into this table to add height while the doughnuts and truffles complement the beautiful florals on the cake and in vases.
Add a Sweet Sign
As you’re planning your table, don’t be afraid to incorporate a huge variety of items, even including classics from when you were a kid. The beauty of a candy table is that everyone will enjoy a little bit of everything, so you don’t have to display huge quantities. We love the color palette of this bar, but it’s the variety of options that we’re really gushing over. From gumballs, cake pops, and chocolate kisses to gummy bears and Pop Rocks, there’s truly something for every type of candy lover.
Elevate With Chic Containers
The chic setup of this candy bar is an absolute dream, weaving in a color palette of white and gold with a touch of greenery. This table is dotted with cupcakes, meringues, and macarons all within the color palette, paired with the most clever of display items to elevate the look, such as gold trays and metal boxes.
Frame the Display
Setting up a candy bar utilizing multiple trays and stands is a great way to incorporate different colors and textures. The setup for this fall wedding table paired unique decor perfectly, tying colors together with stunning florals and pops of greenery. But the way this table was backed by a rose gold metal fixture might just be our favorite part, making a statement with a beautiful floral addition.
Keep It Simple and Elegant
The beauty of a candy bar is that it can be displayed in just about any palette you like, as desserts are so customizable. We love the way this design heavily focuses on a classic white with a slight pop of light purple as an accent. With chocolate-covered Oreos, chocolate-dipped pretzels, macarons, cupcakes, doughnuts, and even rock candy, this design has it all.
Accentuate With Metallic Hues
Love sweets? Make like this couple and serve a spread of petite treats like macarons, cream puffs, custard tarts, and two small cakes. Bonus points for gold accents and edible flowers.