Everyone loves options. Especially when it comes to what they eat.
WHAT IS A FOOD BAR?
A trend at wedding receptions is to have a food or dessert buffet (or commonly called “bar,” as in “candy bar” or “baked potato bar”) as an addition to the meal being served.
The idea is to let your guests pick what they want.
Couples like to include a food bar as a way of entertaining their guests. It gets people up out of their seats and mingling at the reception and lets them make some decisions around a menu that is already set.
I’ve seen this done with everything from pasta to mashed potatoes served in martini glasses with topping to dress them up and with an array of desserts that go far beyond just wedding cake.
THE EVER-POPULAR CANDY BUFFET
Candy bars are popular and can be a lot of fun for both kids and adults. It might surprise you that I often see more adults get all giddy over filling up a bag with sugary treats than the kids- and trust me, the kids love it. A candy bar seems to bring out the nostalgia in adults and grant them permission to enjoy those childhood favorites because everyone is at a party and enjoying the evening.
Sometimes the couple will match the candy to their wedding colors, but, in my opinion, the best candy bars just go for the good stuff, without regard to wrapper colors.
But what if you are looking for something beyond candy, something different? Easy: pick anything that can be customized and run with it. If you can easily change ingredients or add toppings, it will be perfect for your guests.
•Set out seasoned tomatoes, olives and cheeses for a bruschetta bar;
•Skip the formal meal and do a taco bar;
•Casual barn weddings would work well with a casual sandwich bar;
•Help guests stay up late with a caffeine fix at a coffee bar;
•For the daring, set up a mixology station and let guests create their own cocktails;
•A s’mores bar could mix traditional and sophisticated into one dessert;
•Serve ice cream and toppings for a sundae bar (I really wish brides and grooms would serve ice cream with the wedding cake-they were meant to be served together! This is a trend that needs catch on…)
One idea I love is the popcorn bar. I loved it so much that I want to have a party, just so I can have a popcorn bar!
You can add in flavored powder seasonings, like ranch, buffalo wing and bacon cheddar. Plus, it’s a fun way to tie in the candy buffet idea with your popcorn add-ins, like peanuts, m&ms and reese’s pieces to sprinkle in.
Recently, I interviewed the owner of Great American Popcorn Co for the Corridor Wedding Guide. Bill had some great ways that they help people do popcorn bars for weddings and graduations. The nice thing about using Great American Popcorn Co is that since they offer over a 100 different flavors, you can get fun ones, like Crunch Berry. (Yes, like the cereal!)
He also offered some smart advice, like choose white cheddar instead of the regular orange so hands are less messy on those fancy clothes. And he suggests your popcorn jars have lids to keep out humidity, especially in the summer. Check out the article for the full interview.
When you give your guests to ability to choose what they get to eat, it adds a little interactive entertainment, they mingle with other guest and they have a great time. It’s a win-win.