How much does a Candy Buffet really cost?


Hey party peeps!
How much does a Candy Buffet for 24-48 guests really cost? Ever wonder how much those GORGEOUS Candy Buffets that you see in party features all over the web actually cost to recreate? Well, today I’m breaking it down and getting real by giving you the cost breakdown of my Girly Baby Shower candy buffet table. CLICK HERE to check out my post on How to Set Up A Candy Buffet in 6 Easy Steps including that million dollar question: how much candy do I need!

Candy Buffets are all the rage in party planning. They have actually become a party staple and definitely one of my favorite party trends started by Amy Atlas. Let’s dive right in and breakdown the cost of this GORGEOUS table along with my GO-TO VENDORS for Candy Buffets!  Click on any of the vendors names to go straight to their shops making it super easy to recreate this table for your next party.

Girly Baby Shower Candy Buffet for 24 guests:

GIRLFRIEND TIP: This Candy Buffet could accommodate a much larger guest count if all your guests take a few items and not some of every item.  For instance you could easily serve this to 50 guests but not every guest will get one of each of the individually portioned items on the table.

Candy Warehouse:
Swirl lollipops (24, pink & white) $48
M&M’s (5 lb., pink) $59.50
Rock candy sticks (36, light pink) $36
Jelly beans (10 lb. case, bubble gum flavor) $79.50
Ribbon candy (32 pcs – 4 boxes of 8 each, pink & white) $16
Sugar candy beads/Sixlets (5 lb. bag, pearl white) $59.50
Puffy poles marshmallow twists (1 bag, pink & white) $9.90
Foil wrapped chocolate balls (5 lb. bag, light pink) $59.50
Gumballs (1 inch, 850 pc box, shimmer pink) $69.50
Super giant marshmallows (1 bag of 25, pink & white) $6.25

Soiree Event Design Shop:
Cotton Candy Bags with custom labels (24 @ $2.99 each) $72
“Girly Baby” Printable Collection: $55

Soiree Event Design:
Signature bling bear centerpieces (bear, rhinestone onesie, bow, rattle & pacifier, Lolli-tag™) $150 each

Bubblegum Backdrops:
Vinyl backdrop 8’x8′ (pink button cushion with top rod pocket): $125.27

Koyal Wholesale
Apothecary jars (6 jars – two 3-piece sets @ $39.98 each) $80
Mini cupcake stands (3 @ $6.00 each, white) $18
Glitter cupcake wrappers (1 pack of 12, baby pink) $11.15
Acrylic Cupcake stand $91.00
Sequin tablecloth (90″x132″ fits 6′ table): $125

eFavor Mart:
8″ cake stand plates (4 @ $4.99 each) $20
12″ acrylic cake tubes $6.99
18″ acrylic cake tubes $7.99
Acrylic mini ice (2 packs of 400pcs @ $9.99 each) $20

Pier 1 Imports:
Stemmed hurricanes small (2 @ $16.00 each) $32
Stemmed hurricanes large (2 @ $20.00 each) $40

Anchor Hocking 1/2 gallon glass jars with lid (set of 2) $12.99

Acrylic shadow boxes
Acrylic frames

The TomKat Studio Shop:
Square plastic bottles with lids (8 ounce, set of 6) $12
BABY ceramic letter dishes ($14.99/letter) $60
Plastic candy tubes (24 @ 6/$8.99) $36

Made By A Princess:
Sparkle sticks™ (12 for $12)

Talia’s Creative Printing:
Bling tongs (4 @ $3.50 each) $14
Bling scoops (4 @ $3.50 each) $14


Total cost does not include the cost of shipping.

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Tonya Coleman is a premiere event stylist & graphic designer. She blogs and shares party tips & inspiration at Soiree Event Design and is a bi-monthly contributor to Hostess With The Mostess blog writing the popular “Look for Less” and “Trend Alert” blog series. Her unique and creative party printables are exclusively available at Soiree Event Design Shop. You can connect with her on FacebookPinterestInstagram and Twitter.

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  1. Jocelyn H says:

    ..and there we have it folks! The real deal. It’s not cheap.

  2. I sure do appreciate you and your sharing. This breakdown is on point. Thanks.

  3. And that is just the cost of the food… it does not include the set up and design price which I think you did another post about a while back correct?

    • Yes Heather! Clients need to know that if they hire an event planner to handle this for them there is an additional fee to cover the planner’s time for design, 2 hours to setup and 1 hour to breakdown. INVALUABLE when you don’t have time to do it yourself. In many cases hiring a planner may save them money since planners have most of the containers and decor already on hand so those costs will be a fraction of the purchase prices listed here. I did share a full breakdown of a designer party in a previous post where I showed how in that case, it is actually cheaper to hire a planner than to do it yourself:

    • And i’m guessing the time factor isn’t even costed in yet??

      • That is correct Patti! Event planners like myself charge a design fee and charge for setup and breakdown. A definite timesaver as it takes almost 2 hours to setup and an hour to breakdown PLUS most planners already own the containers, decor and scoops, so clients don’t have to purchase all of this, but rent it instead at a fraction of the retail cost.

      • Nope, it took me 2 hours to set this up and 1 hour to break it down. That doesn’t include the hours of planning the design, ordering and managing all the candy and decor. It’s a lot of work that average clients don’t realize.

  4. That was my million dollar question…the grand total. Thanks for an honest tally!

  5. Lol @Joceyln……but this is a real reality. Thanks for sharing this with everyone Tonya 🙂

    • Sure thing! Hopefully it is helpful to give a reality check on how much these candy buffets actually cost so clients have a realistic idea of what their budgets can get them. There are many ways to achieve this look for less which I plan to do a post on. Stay tuned!

      • I am actually working on an idea based on this set up, at a fraction of the price. BUT, it is taking much time and research to get it done! 🙂 (Time, I thankfully have!) I look forward to your post of the budget way to do it, and to see how far off I was from hitting that mark! 🙂 If you want, I will share the outcome! (Wish me luck!!)

        Thank you so much for sharing this! If I had not found your steps, It would have been a huge mess! (I am sure!!)

  6. Silvia L. says:

    Great way to break it down! You did an amazing job on your HWTM Trend Alert.

  7. So glad you showed this, I remember giving a client a price of $500 for a candy station which included a backdrop (it was discounted for them) and they still complained about the price. All they see is candy and they think it should be cheap. Also I should add that this client spent over $400 on a cake.

  8. Thank you! I also have clients that call with a $200 budget, and I have to try and get them to understand just what goes into the work of a candy buffet! Big or small.

  9. I absolutely love this post! and also the post How to set up a candy buffet (step by step instructions) it was so beyond helpful! Thank you so much for sharing your resources!!

  10. Great break down!!!!! So many clients don’t realize how much money and time a candy buffet takes to create. All they think about is the candy and not the whole visual appearance of the table. Great post!

  11. Shantise Dabney says:

    My sister does candy buffets for her cliens every wk. She charges $500 or more depending on the number of guests attending the event. Just transporting all those glass jars is time consuming. Not to mention the two hrs its takes to set up all the candy and decor for the buffet. Clients really neex to realize that color coordinated candy buffets are not cheap! Thanks for sharing this info.

  12. I love nothing more than a beautifully-executed party but spending $1700 on candy for 24 adults at a baby shower is just crazy! That’s $71 per guest. Do you know how many truly amazing things you could do at a baby shower for $71 per guest?

    • Hi Kristi,
      Yes, this price point is not for everyone, but I do think it at the least provides a much needed reality check for those of us who see those gorgeous setups in magazines and all over Pinterest and blogs and want to do them ourselves or show them to event planners like me and want us to give them a similar look without any frame of reference of cost. This setup can definitely provide candy for more than 24 adults (not every guest would get one of the individual items like the lollipops) and could be used at a wedding with way more guests easily by switching out the baby shower decor to wedding decor. Thanks for your comment. I love to hear all viewpoints. Have a great day!

    • Pauline says:

      I am planning a baby shower for my daughters anda having a candy buffet. I am on a very strict budget anda was able to do it Fairy cheap. I ordered all my candy from “Oriental Trading” and made all the candy jars from ítems I purchased from the “Dollar Tree”. I used ivy bowls and glue cande stick holders to give the height. I decorated the stem with flowers and ribbon. I have to say The turned out beautiful. I also made flowers arrangments using masón jars. I hope i was helpful with some ideas to sabe money.

      • Thrift stores have a ton of glass containers for 1$ or less. I have some left over from my daughters baby shower and plan to use them for my wedding next October. If you are unable to pay that amount you can do an amazing candy buffet for much much less. Also instead of an expensive tablecloth get a beautiful piece of fabric from walmart or another fabric store. Just be creative and have fun!

  13. Thank you for all the info. The step by step instructions are going to be so helpful they are really going to help us !!
    Thanks Again

  14. wow that is expensive.! i think iv changed my mind on getting one now

  15. First of all – this is so beautiful!! Just amazing and I love that you did a real breakdown, something we rarely see.

    Now a question on the cost. You mention in your “How to set up a candy buffet” post that for a party for 24 people you would need about 15 lbs of candy (based on 8 oz per person). I noticed the list of candy you bought is over 40 lbs. (Actually it is more like 45 lbs+ as the 40 lbs does not include the lollipops, rock candy, ribbon candy or the marshmallows.) This is more than 3 times the candy needed for a group this size. Did you use all of this candy in the display or is some of it inventory for future events? If you used all of the candy, can you let us know what % was actually eaten at the party? Thanks so much!

    • Hey Melissa,
      Thanks for the question. Yes, all of the candy was displayed except for the gumballs. Only a small portion of the 850 gumballs were displayed on the table. The bulk candy is enough for more than 24 guests. I’ve used this same amount of bulk candy for a wedding table that supplied enough candy for up to 100 guests. The 24 guest count comes into play with the 24 individually portioned items like the swirl lollipops, rock candy sticks, jumbo marshmallow sticks, ribbon candy and cupcakes. I usually don’t have leftover candy at events. Most of the time it is all consumed either during the event or taken home in appropriately sized take home bags. If you click over the original post on Hostess With The Mostess I do a breakdown on how I came to order this amount of candy for this guest count.

      • Tonya,
        Thanks so much for answering my question! Can I ask one more? I love the backdrop that you used, and looked at Bubblegum Backdrops based on your recommendation. Their work is wonderful. How does a a vinyl image of something dimensional, such as the one you used, look in person? I understand why it works so well in photographs, it actually looks like a real tufted backdrop. Could you use this in a buffet for an event where it would be right in front of guests?

  16. Tonya,
    Thanks so much for answering my question! Can I ask one more? I love the backdrop that you used, and looked at Bubblegum Backdrops based on your recommendation. Their work is wonderful. How does a a vinyl image of something dimensional, such as the one you used, look in person? I understand why it works so well in photographs, it actually looks like a real tufted backdrop. Could you use this in a buffet for an event where it would be right in front of guests?

    • Hey Melissa,
      I own quite a few backdrops from Bubblegum Backdrops and they are wonderful both in person and in photos. I use them behind my dessert tables all the time for actual parties as well as styled photo shoots. They look great. Highly recommend them. Great quality and you can request them to come with top and bottom or just top rod pockets for easy hanging. Be sure to get the HWTM coupon code in the original post to get 20% off any backdrops on Bubblegum Backdrops. It’s good for 30 days from the date of the HWTM post.

  17. Beautiful! I dont see the trays in the front of the buffett listed. How much were these and where did you get them from?

  18. Omg this is so helpful, specially for me that I am starting at this business as a event planner. Yes so many clients that thinks that this is not only an easy job but that things doesn’t cost, I have people coming to me with the idea that a candy buffet all candy and cake included will cost them less than $300.I will definitely safe this info and give to them.

  19. Yes, yes, yes! This was a brilliant idea Tonya! Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to explain the costs involved in setting up a candy buffet to clients. Not just a candy buffet, but a super visually appealing one like this one! I’m sharing this some and then some more. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Keena Woods says:

    Hi!! This is an amazing tutorial! I checked out the original post and I really like the white boxes that the hurricanes are sitting on. Are you able to tell me what kind of boxes they are? Thank you!!

  21. I was thinking of trying to do my own candy buffet but I am blown away by the prices. Why is 5 lbs of m&Ms almost $60.00. I understand that they would be more than a bag of assorted m&Ms that one would get at a grocery store but that price seems like highway robbery. Is that the best price you have found?

  22. Hi Tonya,

    I absolutely love your candy buffet. I’ve been doin csndy buffets for tge last 3 years for my side hustle . I truly enjoy doing them. I’m just starting off legally and would appreciate if you can offer me a sample business plan for this type of business.

    Thank you ,


  23. I have a few questions…
    1) how did you hang the backdrop?

    2) Its vinyl with a pole in it?

    3) also if you have a 7 foot table how high should it be? wondering how you hang the backdrop? Also

  24. Rachel Cid says:

    So is the $1000+ price tag the total cost of the candy & set up?

  25. Is it so…Are candy displays for parties cost this much…


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