20 Alternatives to the Traditional Candy Bar/Buffet

One of the hottest wedding trends right now is swapping favors for sweet treats at a good, old fashioned candy bar or candy buffet.  Want to take it it one step further?  Instead of offering your guests a traditional candy bar, Frosted Wedding & Events has put together 20 alternatives to the traditional candy bar.  Think outside the box… or the jar…

The Popcorn Bar


The perfect accompaniment for a Hollywood theme or a Vintage Carnival Themed Wedding, a Popcorn Bar is a great candy bar alternative.  You can offer your guests popcorn in many different flavors, matching the colors to your wedding colors, present popcorn balls on sticks, and offering shakers and other fun toppings.  You can very easily, and economically, make all of the popcorn in advance, or rent an old fashioned popcorn machine and have an attendant hand it out in cute popcorn boxes or bags.  {Note: you may want to account for the sound of popping that the popcorn machine will have, and place the popcorn bar in an area that it won’t disturb your guests.  That, or wait until later on in the night, when the music is loud and your guests are hungry after dancing the night away to offer this as a midnight snack!} Photo courtesy of ThePartyDress.net.

The Lemonade Stand

Perfect for any summer event, a backyard wedding, a baby shower, company picnic, or bridal shower- a Lemonade Stand is a great alternative to the candy buffet.  Refreshing and sweet, you can offer your guests a variety of lemonade flavors, even matching the colours of the beverages to your wedding theme. Don’t forget to offer a variety of spiked and non-spiked options. This is perfect for a Pink Lemonade themed wedding! Photo courtesy of AmyAtlas.com

The Potato Bar

Complete with all the fixin’s, a baked potato bar will delight guests at any type of wedding or event.  From mashed potatoes served in martini glasses to shoestring french fries in a paper cone, you can alter the decor and the offerings at a potato bar to fit into any theme.  We’re planning this for our Superbowl party! Photo courtesy of SomewhereSplendid.com.

The Waffle Bar

Love this idea for a midnight snack!  A waffle bar, with all sorts of toppings, including fruits, nuts, chocolates, syrups and whipped cream! Photo courtesy of OurLoveinOctober.blogspot.com.

The Cookie Bar

It goes without saying that a Cookie Bar will be a huge hit at any wedding or event.  Artfully presented, your cookie buffet can be served with shots of flavored milk, or milk in mini-martini glasses to add a little elegance! Photo courtesy of AlwaysaBlogsmaid.com.

The Cereal Bar

Another fave midnight snack is the cereal bar / cereal buffet idea.  Take a trip back in time by offering childhood favorites, healthy granolas or match your cereal offerings to your wedding colors (warning – this will take a lot of time and effort!!).  Other options include a variety of fruits as toppings and different flavors of milk. Photo courtesy of Jubella.com

The S’more Bar

An amazing idea for an outdoor wedding, bonus if you can have a firepit to actually roast them.  If not, you can always use a fondue flame, or even a microwave or toaster oven.  Don’t forget the gourmet marshmallows  and decadent chocolate choices!  Awesome idea if you’re having a camping themed wedding! Photo courtesy of WakeWorkRinseRepeat.blogspot.com.

The Soda Bar

Having an alcohol-free wedding?  Or how about a sweet vintage wedding?  The perfect idea for your reception is a soda bar.  Choose beverages that fit the theme, whether it’s color matching beverages in vintage glass bottles, or fun personalized sodas.  As a bonus, if you add a flag to a cute stripey straw, you can have the soda bottles double as escort cards! Photo Courtesy of OhHappyDay.com

The Fro-Yo Bar

That’s frozen yogurt folks! Mmmmm…  Sprinkles, candies, chocolates, fruits, syrups and whipped cream for toppings!  This concept also works with ice cream or banana splits! Photo courtesy of ILoveSwMag.com

The Espresso Bar

Lattes, London Fogs and Cappuccinos.  If you are having an alcohol-free wedding, or you just want to help your crowd sober up before they leave, an Espresso Bar is a sophisticated alternative to the traditional candy buffet. Photo courtesy of ElizabethAnnDesigns.com

The Hot Cocoa Bar

Another idea for a late night snack or alcohol free event, the hot cocoa bar is perfect for a winter wedding!  Just add gourmet marshmallows, flavored syrups, fancy stir sticks (cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, etc.) and maybe a splash of Kahlua and Baileys. Photo courtesy of FeteFanatic.blogspot.com

The Hot Apple Cider Bar

Whether you’re throwing a rustic fall wedding or hosting Thanksgiving dinner, a Hot Apple Cider Bar will make your guests feel warm and welcome.  Don’t forget to offer several cider options, flat and sparkling, along with cinnamon sticks for stirring.  Of course, you will want to incorporate fresh, crisp apples into the table styling. Photo courtesy of ValleyandCoBlog.com

The Pretzel Bar

Another fun idea for a Vintage Circus themed wedding or a casual backyard affair, how about substituting a Pretzel Bar for your Candy Buffet?  With different flavors of pretzels – you can offer sweet and savoury toppings, such as different types of mustard, frosting and cheese sauce.  Don’t forget cinnamon shakers for the dessert pretzels! Photo Courtesy of SmittenKitchen.com

The Tequila Bar

Nothing makes an event more fun than a tequila bar.  (We love this idea for an at-home-reception after a destination Mexican wedding!)  To take this concept from frat house to fabulous, you have to offer a variety of flavor infused tequilas, different tequila brands and a collection of creative garnishes.  Think cherry, cinnamon, vanilla, even… bacon??!!  You can choose shot glasses that fit your theme, or have them personalized , and guests can keep them as wedding favors! Photo courtesy of Pinterest.com

The Donut Bar

We love the idea of a donut bar!  You can create a HUGE range of options to match your event.  Choose sprinkled toppings to match your wedding colors.  Offer donut holes on sticks to dip into different types of glazes!  Don’t forget the coffee! Some cute table styling like bunting and flowers will make sure this candy buffet alternative doesn’t look like it belongs at a twelve step meeting! Photo courtesy of TinyWater.com

The Pickle Bar

Yep, a pickle bar!  Not just reserved for pickles, you can offer beets, beans, carrots, peppers and more. Photo courtesy of Little-Altars.blogspot.com

The Cigar Bar

A little something for the boys perhaps?  Here’s a great idea to get your fiance involved in one of the wedding planning aspects…. tell him you’re offering a cigar bar!  He can go on the hunt for the supplies!  Don’t forget matches (personalized, perhaps?), lighters and cigar cutters.  And, of course, ashtrays!  It goes without saying that the cigar bar is best located next to the bar and an exit door! Photo courtesy of SnippetAndInk.com

The Macaroni & Cheese Bar

Mmmmmm…. Mac ‘n’ Cheese!  ‘Nuff said!

Photo courtesy of ThePartyDress.net

The Candy Apple Bar

Candy Apples, caramel apples, again another idea we love for our Vintage Circus Wedding Theme or a Fall wedding theme!  Sprinkles, nuts, all sorts of toppings can be offered at this candy buffet alternative!  We love the idea of using real twigs instead of white sticks to hold the apples, it adds such a great rustic touch! Photo courtesy of MaddyCakesMuse.blogspot.com

The Beer Bar

We might be biased because we enjoy our brews, but we’re pretty sure a rustic beer bar will be a crowd fave at your next outdoor wedding or event. Photo courtesy of OneLovePhoto.com

Article submitted by: Jennifer Domansky of Frosted Wedding & Events.

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