One of our “must haves” at the very beginning of planning was a candy bar
…and then we changed our minds. Maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal. Maybe we’d skip it. And then a few weeks before the wedding, we decided to go for it (excellent planning, Clover). I meant to write this post up before the wedding, but better late than never!
I’ll get into details below if you’re interested in doing the same. I definitely overthought this a lot—I couldn’t figure out how much candy to buy. I didn’t want to have buckets left over, but I also didn’t want to run out right away (lame). Hive members had posted on the boards about one person filling seven bags of candy and the whole thing being picked clean before cocktail hour had ended and others took most of the candy home with them. Do I put bags on the candy table? One per seat with the place settings? How much will people take?
Finally, Shamrock and Crafty talked me down. Shamrock pointed out we know of several guests that carry their own Ziploc bags (true story) and if they wanted to take a ton of candy, whether or not I provided little cello bags wasn’t going to change it. The funniest was Crafty though…when I told her my worries, she laughed. And then she said, “Then let them take too much candy. Think of the joy it would bring to those greedy people.” And it would. And also, no one actually did.
We had TONS of stuff. MIL Clover does nothing halfway, I was worried about it looking empty or running out, and we ended up with enough for a wedding twice the size of ours. In fact, at the end of the night Clover Dad & his wife were tasked with packing up and taking care of the candy bar. They both have quite the sweet tooth, and Wife’s condition was that NONE of the candy come home with her. So she spent the last 20 minutes frantically stuffing candy into bags and thrusting them at people. She managed to get rid of a good amount, but we definitely brought a candy stash on our honeymoon!
Now for the details:
MIL Clover was tasked with buying 2-3 cute lidded glass jars (I already had or borrowed the rest), and I started a spreadsheet to track items, what they would be served on, utensils needed, where we’d get them from and who was responsible for actually getting them. Shamrock wanted to make sure the candy bar could be used not only take-home fun, but that people would also have something sweet to snack on during the reception. In addition to small tongs & scoops (plastic and from the Dollar Store—metal can chip the glass!) I bought small plastic plates and cocktail napkins (Dollar store), and then small cello bags from Michaels (with coupons). I have a ton of plastic plates & napkins left over. Wedding colors for ever.
I read Mrs. Stiletto’s posts about her Candy Bar (that wasn’t) and looked into pricing at Candy Warehouse, Sweet City Candy and Oriental Trading Company. These companies all let you sort by color, so it was easy to figure out what we would want. But shipping on candy, especially for a summer wedding, is EXPENSIVE. On to Plan B. MIL Clover lives near Albanese Candy Co, and I googled every bulk candy place I could find. Some were really more candy shops (with crazy high pricing to match) but there was one on the Northwest side (Superior Nut & Candy) that was a true bulk candy place–no frills, in a little strip-business-park, with great prices.
So my plan switched to “find all the blue, green and white candy I can locally and figure out what I need to supplement”. Here’s what was included in the Clover candy bar (sources in parentheses):
- Hershey’s Kisses (after Easter sales, I picked out the pink ones and used them for my Bachelorette thank you’s. We used to do the same thing in college around our sorority initiation)
- Cupcakes (won in a contest from Amazing Creations Bakeshop—my former student!)
- Cake pops (ordered from Amazing Creations)
- Cookies (MIL ordered them—she really wanted to, I didn’t think it was really necessary, but whatever makes you happy. And then she ordered six DOZEN. And they were delicious, actually.)
- Salt Water Taffy (Jewel—local grocery)
- White chocolate covered pretzels & raisins (Albanese)
- Custom color M & Ms (M&M Groupon, terrible service brought you by UPS who left them outside a random address 3 blocks from my mom on a hot day)
- Blue gummy sharks, blue & green gummy rings (Superior Nut & Candy Co)
- Mint Meltaways (Fannie May)
- Jelly beans (Albanese)
- And I ended up not needing these, but I was going to do Meringue Cookies (Trader Joes–take up a lot of space for not much money), rock candy (pricey but a big pretty impact) and Garretts Popcorn (a Chicago institution–we would have bought day of but I knew we were running out of room)
Crafty would be setting it up with help from my family members, so I wanted to make things as easy as possible. So I did several things:
- Sketched out a diagram with rough placement
- Put labels inside the jars before packing so it was easy to match treat with vessel
- Pre-filled jars when possible (so our kisses made it to the venue already in their bowl, covered in plastic wrap)—obviously only with the wrapped candy!
- Took lots of pictures, of both the set up and individual vessels
I already mentioned that this was one of the biggest things that was an issue with the rain plan—it was supposed to be set up in the dining room to give guests who chose not to go outside for dancing something to do. But in case of rain it was supposed to be upstairs, both so that people could snack while dancing AND to free up some very needed space on the first floor. That didn’t happen, so Crafty’s beautiful setup was seen only by our photographer.
The dining room table is HUGE, and I always think one of the reasons some candy bars don’t look as cute as planned is because the table isn’t full enough, so I wanted to make sure ours was full. So I had plenty of white platters so I could spread out our baked goods. Of course, it ended up on a MUCH smaller table on the third floor in a more haphazard arrangement. MOH Sis actually spent half of dinner begging the venue to have it moved for me. They were actually very nice about it, but before they had the chance to say they’d do it (once piece at a time, up two flights of stairs), she made sure to give it everything she had: “I have cousins. A lot of cousins. And they’re big.” (And I’m sure they would have helped if asked.)
Also, wedding regret: I never got a cake pop. Boo. They looked so good too!
Did you do a candy bar? Where did you get your candy from?
All photos that are not terrible by Caili Helsper Photography. Crappy iPhone photos by yours truly.
- Up first, we rehearsed.
- We got all fancied up.
- Our ceremony had a few personal touches.
- We made it down the aisle.
- For a beautiful ceremony.
- We took some pictures.
- There should have been a lovely garden cocktail hour here…
- But our reception details were still quite lovely
- And my entrance to the reception wasn’t quite as planned.
- We were toasted and cut some cake
- Dinner and some I Spy