Image from Eat Drink Chic via Joy & Me

One thing I knew for sure when I got engaged was that there would be a lolly buffet at my wedding. I am a lolly freak!!! At Easter, instead of getting Easter eggs I get lollies. Partly due to my being allergic to chocolate but mostly because I just love lollies! When we got engaged I started searching for lolly buffet inspiration. There are a lot of companies on the Gold Coast that will organise a lolly buffet for you but due to the size of our wedding (120 people) it was going to work out to be very expensive. Instead I decided to be a little bit thrifty and organise the buffet myself. Our wedding is in November and our lolly buffet is nearly finalised so I thought I would share some tips that I have learned for organising your own lolly buffet.

Number 1 – Research

I think researching lolly buffets and knowing exactly what I wanted mine to look like was the biggest step for me. I scoured the internet looking for pictures of lolly buffets that I liked and saved them all to my computer. Then I went through them all and decided what I liked about them and what elements of each I wanted to use in my lolly buffet. Some sites I found helpful for inspiration are Amy Atlas, Mrs A In A Cove, and Sharnel Dollar Designs. There are so many options for a lolly buffet so knowing how you want it to look for the start will help you make decisions along the way. Some great questions to ask yourself are do you want the buffet to be colour coordinated? What sort of table will the lolly buffet be set up on? How many jars can you fit onto the table? Do you want the jars to be coordinated or mismatched?

Number 2 – Jars

Lolly Buffet

My lolly buffet jars

I started buying my jars not long after we got engaged. I again turned to the internet for advice but in the end I actually ended up purchasing nearly all my jars from local stores. Check sites like ebay and gumtree because you can often find brides who are selling off the jars they bought for their weddings. You may luck out and find a bulk lot of jars that will be your entire buffet. You may also find people selling jars in the classifieds section of your local newspaper.

Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family as well. You never know who will have some gorgeous jars tucked away which they may allow you to use. All of my jars were purchased from local stores and most were purchased while on sale. I will also be borrowing one glass platter from my mum.

My tip for shopping for jars is to look often. Each time I went to the shops I would make sure I ducked into the homewares departments and see if there were jars there that could be of use. This way you also can find jars once they have been put on sale. Don’t be afraid to shop at the $2 shops either! I bought two jars from The Reject Shop and they were only $6 each. Remember, the less you spend on your jars the more you have to spend on your lollies! Once you have chosen your jars you will be able to work out what amount of lollies you will need to fill all the jars.

Number 3 – Lolly Bags or Noodle Boxes?

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - Bright White

Practice run of our noodle boxes

Before you are able to shop for your lollies you need to decide what you will be giving your guests to fill. I chose to use noodle boxes but your could use any number of different lolly bags. You can buy them in paper, plastic, fabric or even custom printed. Etsy has a number of sellers who make customised lolly bags printed with any logo you request. I purchased my plain white noodle boxes via the internet and then will be decorating them myself. With a little ribbon, paper and imagination it is amazing what you can create.

Now once you have chosen what containers you will be using you will be able to better estimate the amount of lollies you need. I was lucky enough to speak with a lady who owns a lolly buffet business through my work and she advised me that they use 16oz noodle boxes that hold approximately 500g of allens party mix. I am using 8oz noodle boxes at our wedding which will hold approximately 250g of lollies. Off this I was able to work out that I will need at least 30 kilos of lollies to fill all the guests noodle boxes. Don’t worry if the amount you require to fill your containers is more than you require to fill your jars. You can always buy extra lollies and top the jars up during the reception if need be.

Number 4 –  Lollies

Photo by Lucas Jarvis. Styling by Form Over Function

The first question you should ask yourself before you start buying lollies is, “Will the buffet be colour themed or multicoloured?”. This will greatly affect which lollies you can purchase and depending on what colours you choose, could make your search for lollies easier or harder. You also need to think about what “must have” lollies you want on the buffet. I wanted a colour coordinated buffet to match our wedding colours but my fiances favourite lollies are snakes and peanut m&m’s so we have decided to have a rainbow lolly buffet instead. Once you have decided on your colours the fun part comes, buying the lollies!

Now my biggest tip here is to shop around! The internet is again a great source of purchasing lollies in bulk but depending on the postage costs it can work out just as expensive as buying them from the supermarket. Most cities will have at least one bulk lolly shop where you will be able to purchase lollies in 1kg bags. This will greatly cut down the cost of your lollies. Campbells Cash & Carry is also a great source of wholesale lollies and they have locations all across Australia. Also, if there are any lollies you like that you are unable to find in the wholesale stores don’t be afraid to ask in your local store if they can order a bulk lot for you. They probably won’t sell them wholesale to you but they may offer a discount for buying a bulk amount. It pays to ask!

Number 5 – Decorations

Photograph by HER Photography, Styling by Boutique Affairs

Once you have the lollies and jars organised you can start to customise your lolly buffet with any decorations that you wish. Popular options include bunting, wooden words or letters, coloured tablecloths or balloons.  Don’t forget to speak with your wedding venue as to what they will provide on the table as this will impact what you need to organise. Most venues will provide you with a tablecloth and possible even skirting or swagging. With decorations the sky really is the limit. The internet is again a great source of inspiration and don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild.

The biggest thing to remember is that this is your wedding day so have fun and let your personality shine through!

Corey and I in the Munich Beer Hall

Photos (unless otherwise specified) from Kat and Corey’s collection.

Ms Gingham says: Great advice from Kat. Lollies will always demand attention and are sure to keep everyone happy! A really nice way to express your theme and personalities.

Kat says: I am 23 years old and I live on the Gold Coast, Queensland. I am currently planning my November 2011 wedding to my gorgeous fiancee Corey. I work as an events coordinator and in my spare time I love to bake, knit, sew and blog. I love vintage clothing particularly from the 1950’s.

Read Kat’s last post Kat and Corey – A Love Story