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Food and Cakes

Candy buffet, sundae bar, or dessert station?

Which do you prefer? I was originally thinking of doing a candy bar to save money since it's cheaper and can double as guests' favors but after talking to some people I've heard it's more preferable to do a sundae bar or dessert station. I love ice cream myself but I am worried about people not really utilizing this and think a dessert station will entice more people and since I'm paying per person that might be a better bang for my buck. I'd have to do the candy bar myself but my venue serves the sundae station and dessert station ($1pp more). This will be in addition to cake. What do ya'll think?

Re: Candy buffet, sundae bar, or dessert station?

  • Is your wedding during the summer or winter? Will it be warm at the reception? If summer and/or warm, I would vote sundae bar. I had a friend do one at her wedding and it was a HUGE hit - she got married in July and her reception was outdoors. In comparison, if I were a guest at a winter wedding, I would prefer a dessert bar - maybe with some that are even served warm? Pies and the like. Yum.

    As for the candy bar idea, I've seen it done at a lot of weddings and I always partake, but to me it's not very special. That being said, you're right in that it makes for an easy favor - just do yourself and your guests a favor and don't pick candies that only match your colors - pick ones that you think your guests will actually like, regardless what color they come wrapped in. Otherwise you'll probably find yourself with a lot of leftovers at the end of the night.
  • Would your venue let the dessert station serve as the favor?  That is, could guests have the option to take something to go if they didn't want to eat it in the moment?  If yes, I think that definitely gives you the most flexibility.

    And I agree that the ice cream bar would be a better choice if you are marrying in the summer and/or in a really warm climate.  Keeping that in mind, I think I would go with the dessert bar.

  • Thanks for your input! I'm having a fall wedding. After reading your posts I'm leaning towards the dessert station. Pies and such are more fallish than ice cream, even though I love ice cream! =)

  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    They all sounds good.  I would be all over that sundae bar, though, I think.
  • My nephew's wedding had a dessert station, and it was wonderful. His food was great too, and that caterer was just the best.

    Me and H are ice cream junkies, so we would have been pounding that sundae bar.

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    $1.00 is really a bargain! Jump on it!
  • KahlylaKahlyla Moncton, NB member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    I have a massive sweet tooth, but you know, candy just really doesn't do it for me. I don't dislike it, but it's definitely not my favourite and it's not very exciting (although it can make for a gorgeous display). It's very hit and miss, too - you could easily have a dozen different varieties, all of which any given guest doesn't care for, whereas I think it's far easier to assume that most people (who like sweets, anyway) will like some variety of baked dessert.
  • 'ala mode' Dessert station?  Slice of pie with a scoop of ice cream? Warm brownie with a scoop of ice cream? Might be able to swing both if you aren't adding all the toppings.  Who doesn't want a little ice cream with their pie?  See if your venue would allow you to bring in some desserts.  My venue is totally find with me picking up some cider donuts, pie and other fall treats and he even mentioned adding in pumpkin ice cream served in a pumpkin! How awesome is that? This is what it looks like: image
  • Wow, if my reception site did a dessert bar for only $1 p/person extra I would've totally did that. We had a very long and late reception and a sugar boost would've been cool. I vote for that. 
  • I'd go with the dessert bar, so you can appeal to more people.    I've been to some wedding with them and they were fabulous!    I wasn't allowed to bring in any outside food (besides our favors) to my venue and they wanted to charge insane amts for any add ons such as candy or dessert bars ($10 pp for candy bar, um no thank you!)  but I always think they are an nice addition for a end of night treat. 
  • edited June 2015

    I'm out.
  • Candy station is overdone. Seen too many times. Dessert station would be better.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    They're all delish.

    Is there a way you can combine the candy and ice cream into a dessert station?
  • I feel like i'm being robbed now $1.00 per person for those! I'd do both, that ala mode station a PP mentioned sounds the best.
  • Barbara83 said:
    Thanks for your input! I'm having a fall wedding. After reading your posts I'm leaning towards the dessert station. Pies and such are more fallish than ice cream, even though I love ice cream! =)
    FWIW, I wanted a candy bar (I love candy and I love the way it looks) but the person who runs my venue and my de facto adviser told me I would basically be wasting $ b/c only a handful of people actually eat the candy (mostly kids).  He said he and his team are invariably left with piles of overpriced Swedish Fish and jellybeans :)  I went with a late-evening passed beignet and cafe au lait extra, which saved about $3pp.  I vote for the dessert station or passed mini pastries. Also, my adviser told me people are more likely to eat things that are passed rather than at a station.  No idea if you have the extra servers at your venue but just an FYI.  Either way, I'm sure you'll have a sweet ending to your reception, best of luck! 
  • for only $1.00 per person, I would jump on either of the ones that venues offers. By time you buy the candy, get containers for the display, serving spoons, container for guest to put candy in, it will end up costing you more then $1.00 per person probably & then you still have to go through work of set up & tear down & your stuck with any candy that is left over. Now personally I would love the ice cream station but unless the venue is going to put it out as guests come up or it's a soft serve machine that people can do themselves, I would pass. I hate getting melted Ice Cream. The dessert station with different baked goods would probably be very popular too as people can take small pieces & try a variety of items. If you can't do this as a favor, don't worry about the favors. As a guest, if it came down between a favor and a dessert station, I'll take the dessert station gladly not get a favor to take home.
  • I prefer a ice cream bar, but all three of those ideas sound awesome. Candy is nice because you can keep any leftovers (maybe the dessert bar too, I guess)  We are doing an ice cream bar, and ours is $3 a person extra. I feel like only half of our guests are going to actually take advantage (but who knows!) and we can't take any leftovers for obvious reasons, so it's not necessarily the best bang for our buck - but I just love ice cream!!

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