Sometimes when I’m helping a customer with their party favors, they’ll ask for a favor idea that the guys will like (let’s face it, not all men are thrilled to get lip balm or lotion favors). I always recommend edibles, and candy is at the top of my list. It’s readily available, can be selected to match any theme, and just about everyone likes it. Added bonus: if you want your candy favors to match the favors we make for you, we can provide additional tags, bags, and bows so everything goes together. (Make sure to ask us about these extras when we’re planning your favors!)

But beyond favors, candy can make really attractive centerpieces, “bouquets”, and (of course) snacks at your parties and other events, and there are so many interesting kinds of candy to choose from. If you don’t have a cool local candy store (always a good choice to support local business, and it saves on shipping cost, too), there are lots of places you can order candy online.

Nothing makes me feel more like being a kid in a candy store than being…a kid in a candy store. Or a Candy Warehouse. At this site, you can choose your candy by color and size, theme, flavor, brand…just about any criteria you can think of. They even have a special page just for wedding candy (I *heart* their heart lollipops). A lollipop tree centerpiece would be a colorful way to share these treats at a party or other event. Different sizes and colors of pops would add height and interest to an arrangement, and could even take the place of flowers.

Lollipops come in lots of shapes and sizes. How about one of my kids’ favorites–the Ring Pop? I love this idea as a treat at an engagement party or bridal shower. (No offense, but I’m sure this rock will be bigger than the bride’s!) Sugar Stand has Ring pops along with a huge assortment of other popular candies. Pastel round up lollipops might make a cute “bouquet” for a baby shower, while brightly colored rock candy swizzle sticks could be a sweet addition to a more sophisticated event.

One of my favorite places for lollipops is Candy Creek, a family owned and operated business in Massachusetts. While they have the traditional flavors like wild strawberry, tangerine, and watermelon, they also make Italian lemon lollipops (Tuscan theme, anyone?). The Atlanta bride might choose Georgia Peach. And what kid could resist Root Beer flavor? We also think their peppermint Zany Cane pops make a perfect alternative to candy canes for holiday-theme events. Other New England candy resources include Timberlake Candies, the colorful barley candy creations of the Timberlake family in Madison, New Hampshire; and Old Port Candy Co. in Portland, Maine, whose selection includes licorice, gummy candies, and award-winning fudge.

A hugely popular trend right now is the candy buffet, which offers a selection of candies at the wedding reception and guests can help themselves. Groovy Candies offers wedding candies like Jordan almonds and candy coated chocolates in all different colors to match every theme. Candy Direct even has a “black tie” almond assortment for the black and white theme. Chocolate lentils are also a favorite at receptions; you can find them at Hometown Candy. More bulk unwrapped candies can be found at George J. Howe Company, including gummie bears, jelly beans, and even circus peanuts for those nights under the big top. Bulk Candy Store has old time candy, just perfect for a retro event or just that nostalgic touch you were looking for. Tootsie rolls fit right in with a nostalgic assortment; try the fruity assortment for bright colors and unexpected flavors.

Licorice is one of those candies you either love or hate. If you’re like me and can’t get enough of it, Dutch Sweets is the site for you. Despite the name, they carry licorice from all over, including the Danish Trolledrop, twisted black licorice and brown salmiak licorice. I prefer sweet licorice, and one of my other favorites is Schoolkrijt or chalk licorice, a Dutch licorice with a candy shell and a strong licorice flavor. I also love Lonka Licorice Caramels, another Dutch treat. If you can’t pick a favorite, no worries: Dutch Sweets will let you order custom mixed bags so you can try lots of them.

Our favorite baby shower candy idea was candy pacifiers; we picture making up tiny bags of these cuties for each guest. The top find for bachelorette parties: Champagne gumdrops. And for kids’ parties, we really love these stackable, buildable candy blox.

Another option for kids’ parties would be to match the candy to the flavor of your lip balm favor, like our candy corn balm (perfect for autumn birthday parties).

Hope this helps you find the perfect candies to sweeten up your celebrations! What are your favorite candies? Are there any candy flavors you’d like to see us make into lip balm flavors? Please share your comments!