Who doesn’t love popcorn? If you look around, it’s easy to see that popcorn is one of America’s most popular snacks. It’s the perfect movie-watching snack, great for birthday parties, and it’s also a great food to have at your wedding
Popcorn wedding bars are attractively designed displays where guests can enjoy serving their favorite popcorn alongside various flavors and toppings. If you’re looking to create a fun and unique wedding bar, setting up a popcorn bar is the way to go! Here are some tips on how to plan a popcorn wedding bar.
How Do You Make a Popcorn Bar for a Wedding?
You might have seen some dazzling photos of unique wedding popcorn bars when you scroll on social media. Perhaps you might wonder where to start when creating such a set-up. Well, don’t worry because we are here to break it down into five basic steps:
1. Choose a Theme
First, you need to pick a theme for the popcorn bar. The main items to be customized to match the theme include:
- Shakers with the popcorn seasoning
- Containers used to store the popcorn
- Structure or table supporting the popcorn bar
- Packaging material used to serve the popcorn
- Signage used to point guests to the popcorn bar
Hence, with these main decor areas, you can play around with different themes to create a look that works for you. For instance, if you want a rustic wedding, you can choose an old-fashioned font for the signage, metallic buckets to hold the popcorn, and a rustic table to support the popcorn station.
On the other hand, a sophisticated black-tie wedding reception can have large glass bowls to display the popcorn and an elegant italic font for the signage.
Luckily, you can easily purchase decor items for the popcorn bar from a supply shop. Alternatively, you could choose to create them yourself by following DIY tutorials. There are plenty of tutorial videos online where you can get creative ideas on how to plan a popcorn wedding bar.
2. Choose a Serving Style
Secondly, you need to decide on your preferred serving style for the popcorn bar. Will it be self-service, so guests can create their own popcorn mix from the available flavors and toppings? Or would you prefer pre-packed popcorn servings that guests can pick when they go?
TIP – If you choose to go with a self-service model, then this means that you need to have enough packaging material for all your guests. Furthermore, you might need to have someone monitor the popcorn bar to make sure that the place remains tidy since, at times, self-service can get quite messy.
On the other hand, if you choose to go with pre-packed servings, you can be extra creative by customizing each bag with your guests’ names.
3. Decide Whether You Want On-Site Popping or Pre-popped Popcorn
Thirdly, you need to decide on the location for popping the popcorn. For instance, the on-site popping of kernels means you will need to rent a popcorn machine for running at the venue.
Fortunately, one of the main benefits of on-site popping is that your guests will enjoy fresh hot popcorn in all its crunchy glory. Furthermore, hiring an old-school popcorn machine can create a unique vintage theme that your guests will love.
In contrast, pre-popped popcorn can help to save time, especially if you are expecting many guests at your wedding. The Knot Real Weddings Study reveals that the average wedding guest count is about 105 attendees. If you do not have enough time to pop the kernels, you can rent bulk popcorn from wholesale suppliers since this will be cheaper than buying it from retail stores.
4. Choose your Popcorn Flavors, Toppings and Seasonings
A popcorn bar is not complete without a delicious array of toppings and flavors. According to a survey by National Today, the top five most popular popcorn flavors are:
- Kettle Corn
- White Cheese
- Caramel Corn
- Cheddar Cheese
Therefore, you should serve at least three different flavors in addition to plain popcorn.
Once your guests have picked their preferred flavor, next is the seasonings. Popcorn seasonings can be sweet, salty, or savory. Since everyone has a different preference, you need to have a variety of seasonings that your guests can choose from. For example, you can include paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, curry powder, and other crowd favorites.
If you want to be extra creative, you can play around with the collection and create your own DIY seasoning mix.
Finally, the last ingredient for your popcorn bar is the toppings. Popcorn toppings make each serving uniquely amazing since your guests get to create their own tasty mix. For example, here are some great toppings to serve at a popcorn bar:
- Chocolate chips
5. Estimate the Amount of Popcorn Needed
The last step in planning a wedding popcorn bar is to estimate how much popcorn you will need for your guests. This will mostly depend on whether popcorn will be the primary snack during the wedding or if there will be other foods available.
Furthermore, the age of your attendees will also affect the amount of popcorn needed. If you expect children at the wedding, the kid-sized portions will be smaller than the adult servings.
How Much Popcorn to Order for a Wedding?
America has earned the title “popcorn capital of the world.” In fact, an article on ABC News reports that Americans consume about 17 billion quarts of popcorn each year. Since people love popcorn so much, you need to make sure that you order enough for your wedding so that everyone can enjoy the crunchy treat.
When popcorn is the primary snack, a typical adult serving size of popcorn is approximately two tablespoons of unpopped kernels. This will produce about four to five cups of popped popcorn. If other snacks are available or you are serving popcorn to children, you can reduce the serving to one tablespoon of unpopped kernels. This will produce two to three cups of popped popcorn.
To sum it up, here is a table outlining the amount of popcorn needed for different amounts of people:
|Number of People||Amount of Kernels||Amount Popped Popcorn|
|1||2 tbsp (1 oz)||4 cups|
|25||3 cups and 2 tbsp (25 oz)||100 cups|
|50||6 and a half cups (50 oz)||200 cups|
|100||13 cups (100 oz)||400 cups|
|150||20 cups (150 oz)||600 cups|
How Much Popcorn Do I Need for 50 People?
You will need about six and a half cups of unpopped kernels for 50 people. Consequently, this will produce approximately 200 cups of popcorn.
How Much Popcorn Do I Need for 100 People?
You will need about 13 cups of unpopped kernels for 50 people. As a result, this will produce approximately 400 cups of popcorn.
How Much Popcorn Do I Need for 150 People?
You will need about 20 cups of unpopped kernels for 150 people. Consequently, this will produce approximately 600 cups of popcorn.
Is Popcorn a Good Wedding Favor?
Popcorn is an excellent wedding favor since it is affordable and can be enjoyed by guests of all ages. In addition, you can order customized popcorn bags with the wedding date and a thank you message printed on the package.
This is a fun and tasty way to show appreciation to your wedding guests.
Always Plan Ahead!
When trying to figure out how to plan a popcorn wedding bar, many people end up with either too much or too little popcorn. For this reason, you should do your best to correctly estimate your guest list beforehand so that you don’t end up with either extreme. Popcorn is a creative, easy-to-make snack that will add to the joy and fun of your big day.
If you want to make sure your guests are fully satisfied, be sure to also include some tasty accompanying food and drinks that go well with popcorn.
Sue’s favorite pastime? Watching a good movie with a giant tub of popcorn by her side. Her friends and family know that if they want to get her something, popcorn is always a safe bet. Sue has an adventurous spirit and loves to travel exploring new places – she’s been to more than 40 countries!