Help me host a sweet reception
June 15, 2010 11:28 AM   Subscribe

We’ve decided to do a Candy Buffet for our wedding reception in early August. I decided to ditch the color theme in favor of a “really yummy candy” theme. I’ve found several places from which I could purchase candy in bulk, now I just need help deciding what to get…

If you were one of my guests with what would you want to fill up your goodie bags? I want to make sure I have a nice selection of candies from which my guests can choose. The reception is going to be in a private home and the candy buffet will be in a nicely air conditioned part of the house so I’m not too worried about things melting. Since we’re getting married on a boat in Alaska a few weeks prior, this is just a casual reception so we don’t have to worry about kids (or their parents) messing up their fancy clothes. We’ve purchased and borrowed some fantastic glass apothecary jars and I’ll have scoops so I’m also ok with unwrapped items. What candy must I not forget for our celebration?

posted by Palmcorder Yajna to Food & Drink (42 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'd say if you can get candy from the time you and your guests were kids, but isn't readily available anymore, that would probably be a big hit. Nostalgia at these kinds of events makes everyone feel all schmoopy.
posted by xingcat at 11:30 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

We did jordan almonds (because I love them and they're traditional), Reese's Pieces, my favorite flavor of Jelly Bellies, and those mints with the crunchy shell and chocolate inside that come in the pastel colors.
posted by freshwater at 11:32 AM on June 15, 2010

M & Ms of course. And if you have Skittles too please for the love of all that is holy make sure you can differentiate the two. Nothing is worse than thinking you are about to eat one and it tastes like the other! (Yes, this happened to me. At a candy reception.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:33 AM on June 15, 2010

How about old-fashioned penny store candy?

Like those candy dots/buttons on the wax paper, the flavored wax lips (do they even make those anymore), those little wax "soda bottles" that you bite the top off of to get to the sweet (chemical) nectar inside. Maybe some gummi something-or-others. Cowtails, or those creme-filled caramels.

Oh, and jelly beans!
posted by couch fort dinner party at 11:47 AM on June 15, 2010 [3 favorites]

The blackberry/raspberry things....and all things Haribo.

I personally cannot stand Jordan almonds. They are the physical embodiment of evil as far as I am concerned.

Custom printed M&M's might be good too, with your initials or something.

And you can get custom tags for your hershey kisses too.
posted by TomMelee at 11:55 AM on June 15, 2010

High quality chocolate, straight up
Chocolate with chunks in it (nuts, crunchies, mint cookies, etc)
Jelly beans
Runts, Nerds, Skittles, or any suitably fruity candy
Necco wafers
Individual Fun Dips
Pop Rocks
Rock Candy
Laffy Taffy
posted by soelo at 11:56 AM on June 15, 2010

I'd hate to be the Debbie Downer here, but I'd also recommend some non-candy treats for those who don't want candy, can't eat it, etc. Something like different flavors of popcorn, corn chips, etc. And if you have candy with nut ingredients, definitely label them! A guest's allergic reaction could put a damper on the entire shindig.

As for favorite candies, I'm a huge fan of anything involving licorice, especially black. I also love Gummi candies.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:57 AM on June 15, 2010

Bridge mix, both the licorice and chocolate are delicious. The all sorts especially look beautiful in glass containers.
posted by annaramma at 11:58 AM on June 15, 2010

Any gummies need to be Haribo brand. They are absolutely the best.
Chocolate covered pretzles or chocolate covered nuts
Andes Mints or some other chocolate mints

I'm also a huge fan of banana flavored Laffy Taffy and Tootsie Rolls. If you got Pop Rocks it would be awesome.
posted by TooFewShoes at 11:59 AM on June 15, 2010

Hershey's Kisses
Salt water taffy
Sugar-free Gummy Bears
posted by valoius at 11:59 AM on June 15, 2010

For those with allergies or what have you, 'accidentally vegan' candies include Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Smarties, Lemonheads and Twizzlers.
posted by lhall at 12:04 PM on June 15, 2010

M & Ms of course.

Be sure to personalize them.
posted by ericb at 12:05 PM on June 15, 2010

Nobody said Swedish Fish?
posted by Busmick at 12:06 PM on June 15, 2010

Sorry, Ihall did...
posted by Busmick at 12:08 PM on June 15, 2010

Ok I'll try again...Runts or Runtz if you can get them.
posted by Busmick at 12:09 PM on June 15, 2010

You must include love hearts, of course!
posted by hazyjane at 12:10 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

My cousins did this at their wedding last month and it went over really well. They had bags with their names and wedding date on them so it was a cool take-home favor that wasn't the old fashioned Jordan almonds wrapped in netting that I remember from weddings long past.

That said, I love Jordan almonds and I think you should have some for the sake of tradition.

My cousins had chocolate covered soy nuts, which I thought were chocolate covered espresso beans when I grabbed them and then was sorely disappointed when I realised what they really were. So please make sure everything is clearly labelled! And have some chocolate covered espresso beans so you don't disappoint the coffee junkies. :)
posted by elsietheeel at 12:11 PM on June 15, 2010

Candy with great names - Smarties, Nerds, Bit-o-Honey (wink, wink, nudge, know-whut-I-mean).
posted by theora55 at 12:13 PM on June 15, 2010

Those tiny individually-wrapped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Label accordingly for people with peanut allergies.

Rock candy swizzle sticks of various colors look beautiful in jars.

Do you have a Japanese grocery store near you? Japanese candy tends to have beautiful packaging and might be a fun element to add, whether it's novel or familiar to your guests.
posted by corey flood at 12:15 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding rock candy, and how about those swirled, gigantic rainbow lollipops?
I'd have at least a few sugar-free options as well.

And Lindt truffles - all flavors - yum.
posted by funfetti at 12:27 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding gummies. I would get several different kinds (bears, worms, sharks, raspberries etc).
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 12:31 PM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: We did this for our reception last year. We had the following:

Rock Candy
Lindt Chocolate Truffles
Swedish Fish
Gummi Frogs

The truffles and the rock candy were real hits and went nearly too fast. The gummi frogs and Swedish Fish lasted a bit longer (probably due to thematic overlap). We had a few left over caramels, but fed them to friends throughout the following month or so. We still have about a pound of butterscotch candies that I really ought to throw out already.

Basically, get fun awesome candies. We got the Butterscotch candies thinking "maybe some grandmas will want them" but they were just big disappointments.

Labels are highly recommended.

Don't bother with half-ass candies like sugar-free or carob or anything that'd make a child disappointed. People who like candy will like the good stuff, people who don't really like candy will do fine with the rest of the food at the wedding.
posted by explosion at 12:33 PM on June 15, 2010

Did anyone mention Jolly Ranchers? I love those things and I'm not a big candy person. Pixie Sticks and Smarties are also yummy. Ditto Chocolate covered almonds or the Hershey Kisses with almonds.
posted by victoriab at 12:41 PM on June 15, 2010

I think the key is to come up with a set of categories that span the full range of candy types that people tend to like, and make sure you have at least one representative for each category. Categories I can think of off the top of my head (and based on the answers people have given here):

-Candies that are primarily chocolate (Kisses, M&Ms, truffles)
-Gummi candy
-Candies that are primarily hard sugar (this could be subdivided into fruity vs. non-fruity)
-Candies that are primarily soft sugar (e.g. caramels, taffy -- also could be subdivided into fruity vs. non-fruity)
-Minty candies (I think I consider this a separate category)
-Maybe chocolate-covered things should be separate from candies that are primarily chocolate? Hmm...
posted by pluckemin at 12:45 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

I really like this idea for a theme. I like all the suggestions so far, especially the rock candy and large lollipops - both items are great "eye candy" as well. And I'd like to second corey flood's suggestion: imported candy.

If there's anything better than candy, it's new candy you've never tried before! What fun!
posted by anemone at 12:57 PM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: I was obsessed with the colors (blue and white) which limited me some, but the things that went fastest at our wedding candy buffet were Lindt Truffles, Charms Blo-Pops, and Giant Pixie Sticks. People snagged the giant swirly lollipops pretty quickly too, but I don't think most people actually ate them.

People did not partake of the rock candy, though it looked cool as part of the display.

We had a ton of salt water taffy left over, and some gummy candy, but I started with kind of a lot of both.

Chocolate things were by far the most popular.

Except with the kids: we put out some novelty kids candies--bubble tape, ring pops, tongue paint...all kinds of silly things, and they were gone immediately. The kids had blue tongues for the rest of the night, too!
posted by terilou at 12:58 PM on June 15, 2010

A good friend did this and it was awesome. Great pictures too. She raided the internet nightly for weeks. You might take a look at Economy Candy they have old school stuff plus imports.
posted by shothotbot at 1:44 PM on June 15, 2010

Love Hearts have been mentioned upthread but you can get them personalized with your own message if you order them direct from the manufacturer.

You could also order traditional English sweets - and there are tons of wacky varieties - with ease.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:52 PM on June 15, 2010

I just have to say WOW WHAT A GREAT IDEA. As for candy:

gummi bears
gigantic jaw breakers
posted by fifilaru at 2:09 PM on June 15, 2010

Those non-chocolate mini tootsie rolls. I love these and only ever see them at Halloween.
Also, seconding Bridge Mix and Licorice All Sorts.
posted by kitcat at 2:19 PM on June 15, 2010

I just discovered candy legos.

Good n Plenty, Junior Mints, chocolate malt balls, Quality Street ...
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:37 PM on June 15, 2010

Sour gummies look really pretty in apothecary jars. Sour watermelon slices especially!
posted by Swisstine at 3:52 PM on June 15, 2010

Bottle caps and Razzles.
posted by jockc at 4:07 PM on June 15, 2010

Best answer: I was tasked with doing a candy buffet at my brother's wedding a couple of years ago. He and his wife's only rule was for all the candy to be unwrapped - they didn't Werther's wrappers all over the floors or left on the tables. The candy selection consisted of every member of the bridal party's favourite candy, plus a couple extras for fun. We had sour coke bottles (gone in 5 mins!), sour keys, Twizzlers, Junior Mints, M&M's in the theme colours for the wedding, Reece's Pieces, Sweet Tarts, licorice all sorts, wine gums, and I'm failing to remember what else.

I spent almost $400 (CDN) on candy and from what I heard, it was all gone in 30 mins (there were about 120 guests). We made labels to identify all the candy, and whose favourite it was ("Mother of the Bride's favourite - licorice all-sorts"). Like you, we used various funky jars and found tiny little scoops, and found small Chinese take-out boxes for people to scoop the candy into. Apparently it was a big hit - I never got to see, and much less eat any of it, since I was getting pictures taken. Ah well.

Have fun!
posted by just_ducky at 4:13 PM on June 15, 2010

posted by Sassyfras at 4:23 PM on June 15, 2010

I second (third?) sour stuff. I can't stand it myself, but I have a whole collection of friends who hate chocolate but can't resist a box of Sour Patch candy (or white chocolate, in two cases.)

And I commend you on abandoning the color theme.
posted by SMPA at 4:28 PM on June 15, 2010

For my birthday this year my girlfriend spent 2 days making candied oranges for me. They were a lot like the ones in this recipe, and she also dipped them in chocolate. My lord they were tasty.

Also, a second vote for anything Haribo. They're European, mostly pretty weird looking, and delicious. I'm personally fond of Pico Balla.
posted by tuck_nroll at 5:29 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some personalised rock candy? No ideas for USA based places, but here is the Australian version of what I am thinking. This place does really tasty rock candy (trying to paddle back to your original question!); the passionfruit is delicious.

Also some USA friends sent me over some of the personalised M&Ms they had done for their wedding (with photos on it!) - might be another good novelty that has also been listed above by many as something they'd like to see on a candy buffet.
posted by AnnaRat at 6:17 PM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Lotsa Fizz is a strip of individually wrapped fruit-flavor hard candies each having a fizzy center. Yum.

I'm always a sucker for those old-fashioned hard candy sticks, plus they look great in jars.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:30 PM on June 15, 2010

Dark Chocolate Nonpareils.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:10 AM on June 16, 2010

I am a satisfied customer of Nuts Online. They excel in price, service, and variety. They have 92 varieties of old fashioned candies, 32 flavors of M&M style cadies, 57 varieties of hard candy, etc. They are the only place I have seen that sell naked (no chocolate) malted milk balls amongst their other many varieties, which is mighty happy for me since the crunchy middle part is my favoritest part..
posted by cross_impact at 9:44 AM on June 16, 2010

Best answer: I could eat a metric ton of those Tootsie Fruit Rolls.

That fake vanilla flavor is evil incarnate. It's just too damn good.

Also, get thee to Mitsuwa and buy loads of Milky. And then, you know, send me the leftovers.
posted by davidjmcgee at 1:40 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

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