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Sam Dobson Writes: Unique Food Bars For Your Next Event

Friday, March 14, 2014

Unique Food Bars For Your Next Event

It's Champagne Friday! That means goodbye workweek, hello weekend festivities. My "festivities" will include cleaning, organizing, and packing (we are moving out at the end of the month, thank god!). Hopefully your weekend plans are more fun than mine. Anyways, Champagne Friday always makes  me think of celebrating which makes me think of parties and events which makes me think of my wedding (the ultimate party). This is how my mind works, a never ending trail of thought.

Thinking of my wedding and all the neat little details that went into it. One of my favorite details was the "Popcorn Bar". Food bars of some sort are all the rave for big parties and weddings. The trick to a great bar is to make it yours. Everyone does candy bars but if that's your forte, then party on. If you like the idea of having a food bar but aren't thrilled on the idea of a candy bar, fear not. There are tons of other options, but first you should determine if your favorite food or desert would be a good fit for your event.

My obsession, as many of you already know, is popcorn, so it's only natural to include it in my wedding. The popcorn bar was an extra novelty that I really wanted for my wedding. It was very DIY as we didn't hire anyone to come out and set it up. I designed the whole idea, right down to the popcorn labels. I found a local mom and pop shop that specialized in popcorn, Maw 'N Paw Kettlekorn in Laguna Hills. We went to sample the flavors and picked four of our favorites. I ordered large sizes and picked them up myself the day before the wedding (our venue was nice enough to store them until the event).

Dobson Wedding Popcorn Bar
Photo Cred: Mel & Tim Photography

It's not just about the food itself, you have to think about the details. I made a little sign that matched the decor of my wedding that simply said "Popcorn Bar". I bought black and gold popcorn boxes off of Oriental Trader. They were simple but I wanted to add a little something extra so I used a rubber stamp "D" and some craft paper to make the boxes fancier. I made little labels to identify each kind of popcorn with sparkly gold scrapbook paper. My mom found large black bowls at a party supply store that were the perfect size. We used scoops from the Michael's craft store wedding section. All in all, the popcorn bar ended up being a very cheap additive to our reception but it was fun, unique, and a big hit among our guests.

Dobson Wedding Popcorn Bar
Photo Cred: Mel & Tim Photography

There are so many other unique food bar ideas, you just have to get creative. Through the dozens of wedding magazines, websites, and Pinterest pins I came across a lot of variety when it came to the type of food bar and the decor. Milk and donuts (or cookies) is a popular one for weddings with lots of kids in attendance. I've seen french fry and slider bars with dozens of topping and condiment choices. Try a bagel bar or waffle bar for daytime events like bridal or baby showers. Taco bars are popular for summer time events, we had one for our engagement party. A coffee bar with a variety of coffee and additives would be great for a brunch event or would go well during cake time at an evening wedding. Cupcake bars are fun for kids' parties. Little ones can decorate their own cupcake with many options for toppings.

When it comes to adding a food bar of some sort to your event, the options really are endless. Don't believe me? Head over to Pinterest.com and search "food bar". You'll be flooded with delicious and creative ideas. It's the little things that make an event yours, stick to the things you love and your guests will love them too. Not many of my wedding guests would go out and buy specialty popcorn just for the fun of it, but my popcorn bar was devoured completely by the end of the night and it wasn't because of me.

Happy Planning/Eating!

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