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Popcorn Buffets for Weddings: A Tasty Alternative to Candy Buffets
By now everyone's seen and heard of candy buffets as a fun alternative to traditional wedding favors or for party favors. But a fun and growing trend is popcorn buffets which in many cases can be cheaper than candy buffets, depending on how you go about it. There are literally hundreds of different types of gourmet popcorn that are on the market now, but be warned! Some of them can get pricey! Besides the basic buttered, cheese, kettle, and caramel popcorn, there is also chocolate, strawberry, Parmesan, nacho, sour cream and onion, cinnamon bun...and many, many more!
However, if you're a bride on a budget, take a look at the prices. Depending on the flavors, gourmet popcorn bought in bulk can cost $10 or more per gallon. Ouch! If you only bought five different flavors and three gallons of each, which really doesn't give you much of a variety and will hardly cover a respectable table, you've already spent a $150! This is just for the popcorn and no décor, bags or boxes for the popcorn to go in, scoops, etc. Just popcorn!
A Cute Way to Display Your Popcorn
If you have an unlimited budget for your wedding, you can order 20 different popcorns and display them in lovely overpriced apothecary jars and order some expensive personalized stickers to go on them and have the gourmet popcorn company set them up and provide an attendant to help serve the popcorn and clean up afterward. Or you can do it my way and save yourself a big chunk of change!
Yes, the gourmet popcorn is delicious and of course, you'd love to have it. However, let's consider the alternatives and a way to pull off a popcorn buffet that's fabulous and will be talked about by your guests for ages AND is within your budget!
Elegant Ways To Display Popcorn
Make Your Own Gourmet Popcorn
How did that delicious gourmet popcorn get so delicious in the first place? Well, it started out as plain old popcorn which is very inexpensive to make from bags at the grocery store. I'm not talking about the microwave kind, I'm talking about the air popped old fashioned kind that you pop in a heavy pot on the stove. You can pop more popcorn that way, maybe not as quickly, but definitely less expensively. Or you can buy plain already popped popcorn in bulk online much less expensively than the gourmet kind. But now that you have all this plain popcorn, how are you going to make it tasty enough to go on a popcorn buffet?
There are tons of popcorn seasonings out there that you can use on that plain popcorn to make it delicious. There are dozens of different flavors, sweet, spicy, and salty like chocolate marshmallow, nacho, white cheddar, sour cream and onion, Cajun, the list goes on and on. Once you oil pop your popcorn, you can put it inside large bags, shake some seasoning into the bag, and shake it up. Voila! You have your own gourmet popcorn!
Apothecary Jars for A Popcorn & Candy Buffet
How To Display A Popcorn Buffet
You've got your popcorn...now how to display it? What's your wedding style...is it classic and very formal or casual and colorful? Do you want your popcorn buffet to follow the style of your wedding at all or just be a fun addition? As a planner, I would advise you to follow your wedding's style and do your display accordingly. Believe it or not, you can make popcorn look elegant with the table coverings and jars you use, as well as the labeling. Try serving your popcorn in wine flutes lined with a cone of foil wrapping paper or elegant scrapbooking paper. If you're on a budget, but still like the look, get plastic wine flutes from the dollar store. You could also make your own bags with white paper bags you can get at Wal-mart, dressed up a little with a band of flocked scrapbooking paper and a pretty gold sticker holding it together.,
Make some baseball size or smaller popcorn balls and display them in a pretty bowl or make them even larger and create a topiary with them. For a more casual looking popcorn buffet, wrap colorful scrapbooking paper into cones, fill with popcorn and display in a long shallow container like a galvanized planter. Fill with jelly beans or plain sugar to hold the cones upright. Or you could just fill galvanized buckets with the popcorn and provide brown paper bags with a colorful band of scrapbooking paper wrapped around them and your monogram stamped on it. Use movie type small popcorn boxes for a fun and colorful buffet or even rent a really cool old fashioned popcorn machine.
Display your popcorn containers at different levels on the table to add visual interest. Make sure you label each popcorn carefully, so Great Aunt Susie, who's allergic to jalapenos, won't eat the jalepeno popcorn! And have a sparkling water fountain to drink nearby, because popcorn really makes you really thirsty. With a little bit of time, a little bit of money, and some careful planning, you can set up a fabulous popcorn buffet that'll be the hit of your wedding with money to spare!