This week, probably thanks to multiple b-day celebrations for Anne (yea!), we have sweets on the brain, so without further ado, let’s get started on this weeks FAB Finds!

Ideas We Love – Twists on Candy Bars + Dessert Bars

We’ve been seeing candy bars at weddings for awhile now and they are always such a hit with guests. Kids of all ages love them and it’s easy to see why. What better way to end a spectacular and memorable evening! Lately, though we’ve noticed some fun twists on candy & dessert bars being highlighted in wedding mags and blogs and wanted to share a few of our favorite ideas with you.

First, some of the fun candy bars we’ve had the pleasure of photographing (and experiencing!). Seriously, who can’t resist turning into a kid when presented with a candy shop?!?

Laura & Tim’s candy bar featured many classics – Swedish fish, M&M’s, licorice and malted milk balls

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Jenny & Jim’s custom built(!) Candy Corner featured favorites such as Whirley Pops and M&M’s (in their wedding colors, of course!)

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Meghan & Matthew’s pretty spread included pink candies such as Jelly Belly’s, Good n’ Plenty’s and small bags of cotton candy, not to mention cupcakes brought in from Magnolia Bakery near where the couple lives!

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Speaking of cotton candy, why not bring in a cotton candy machine!? Even if you’re not having a fair or picnic themed outdoor wedding, freshly spun cotton candy is a treat sure to bring a smile to your guests faces!

We *heart* this idea from Martha Stewart Weddings:

Bring out the kid in your guests with a confectionery classic. To take cotton candy from state fair to wedding-worthy, have your caterer match the frothy spun sugar to your palette by adding food-coloring powder to granulated sugar. For an extra-sweet surprise — and retro-chic handle — swirl the delicious fluff balls around sticks of rock candy.

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Courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Or treat your guests to a old-fashioned ice cream float/sundae bar!

Courtesy of Brides.com

Courtesy of Brides.com

Ice cream is a fun, delicious and unexpected way to end an evening. Check out this idea we saw from planner Tara Guerard in the premiere issue of Southern Weddings magazine.

“Sure, if you’re serving ice cream at your reception, you could just place the tub in a cooler packed with ice, but it isn’t the most elegant look in the world. Karly and Judd had their favorite ice cream, a brand called Graeter’s [editor’s note: best mint chocolate chip ever], shipped in from her native Ohio. Because it only came in tiny pint-size narrow cartons and because, by happy coincidence, the design of the tubs went very well with our color scheme, I wanted to find a great way to display it. I designed a very simple ice sculpture–basically, just hollowed-out blocks of ice that allowed us to showcase the tubs of ice cream, while still keeping them adequately frozen. It actually became a really cool (pun intended!) focal point at the reception.”

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Image by Liz Banfield, courtesy of Southern Weddings magazine

We’ve actually had the pleasure of having Graeter’s ice cream (thanks Graydon & Heather!), which is a cult classic out of Cincinnati, and it’s amazing. They ship anywhere and everywhere in dry ice and your crowd is guaranteed to enjoy such a unique treat! And if you’re having an outdoor, laid-back affair, we think coolers or large tin buckets filled with ice would be just fine to display your ice cream favors.

Another recent trend is one-color candy bars. Imagine an all-white dessert bar with homemade marshmallows, coconut macaroons, and white chocolate truffles, just to name a few. Well, here, now you don’t have to!

Image courtesy of Grey Likes Weddings

Image courtesy of Grey Likes Weddings

And of course to satisfy most any sweet tooth you can bring in a donut bakery, just for your wedding. Charlottesville-area couples have the luxury of being able to hire Carpe Donut to make all-natural, made-from-scratch donuts all night long for your wedding guests. Now how fun (and cute) is that?!

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Image courtesy of Carpe Donut

Links We Love – Retro Treats

Now that you’ve decided that you want to do a fun, retro candy or dessert station, where do you find what you need? We’ve come to the rescue with some websites that stand ready to help you outfit your sweet treat station! When my brother and I were growing up, we were lucky enough to have a Pop Shoppe just a short drive away in Alexandria. We were thrilled to see that while that store is no longer, this Canadian company has enjoyed a popular resurgence online and will ship their tasty concoctions to where ever you are.

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Also, to find rock candy on a stick, Whirley Pop’s and other retro goodies, head on over to the Candy Warehouse!

People We Love – the event company

We get to work with some great wedding planners, but two of our favorites come from Charlottesville’s the event company. Jessica and Sheila are incredible at what they do–truly skilled at making dreams and visions come true – and are just darn nice, genuine people to boot! If you’re in need of a talented planner, you’ll definitely want to check them out. They even have a frequently updated blog featuring some of their past (and future!) creative events, as well as some of their favorite planning tips.

We recently had the pleasure of working with Sheila at Angela & Webster’s stunning Summer affair at Veritas Vineyard. We loved the rustic, linen-free head table, brown candles and of course, lighting by the a.v. company. (Thanks also to rock paper scissors, who did the invitations, Pat’s Floral Designs and Cakes Unlimited, too!)

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Jessica was Tessie & Matt’s planner for their lovely Winter wedding at the Clifton Inn.  The vine wrapped clear tent, strung with lanterns was especially gorgeous. (Lighting by the a.v. company, invitations by Watermark Design and floral design by Pat’s Floral Designs.)

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Hope you enjoyed this installment of Friday’s FAB Finds. We’d love to hear your comments/thoughts. Happy TGIF and have a great weekend!!

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