Are you looking for a low-cost, low-maintenance way to feed guests at your wedding? Are you looking for snack ideas that are fun, funky, and a little laid back? If so, then these wedding popcorn bar ideas might be just what you’re looking for.
In this post, we offer tips, tricks, and trendy wedding popcorn bar ideas. Whether you’re looking for a popcorn bar design that will fit in your reception space or are looking for the perfect popcorn company to provide provisions, this post covers it.
Explore 45 unique and stylish wedding popcorn bar ideas your guests will love
Planning a wedding popcorn bar
Before you begin ordering pounds of popcorn or purchasing a plethora of display jars, take a few moments to get a clear picture of what you would like the popcorn bar at your wedding to look like. Set a budget and produce a plan of action before making frivolous purchases.
1. Build the budget for your wedding popcorn bar ideas.
Sit down for a brainstorming session to get a clear idea of what you would like your wedding popcorn bar to look like. Ask yourself questions like:
Will setup materials be provided?
Will popcorn be the primary snack?
How many guests will you be serving?
Will you order pre-popped or plan to pop it yourself?
Decide which aspects are negotiable, which are non-negotiable, and determine an alternative snack solution — just in case. Set aside the appropriate funds you will need to turn your wedding popcorn bar ideas into reality.
2. Determine the amount of space you have available for setup.
How much room you have to set the bar up will be a big piece of establishing your limitations. What type of wedding venue are you using? Will you have the space for an expansive buffet or will you need to create a tall display to make it fit? Are you using long tables for your display or a large round table?
Decide where the popcorn bar will be stationed and get a measurement of the area. Avoid getting too far into planning without proper setup measurements.
Find the perfect wedding venue!
3. Select a service style.
Determine the style of food service you would like the popcorn bar to follow. Some couples choose to set up a self-service buffet so guests can build their own popcorn creation with the toppings of their choice. Others may choose to pre-pack popcorn bags for guests to grab on the go or have it made to order by food service staff.
4. Designate a popcorn bar buffet refresher.
The materials for a self-service popcorn bar can be purchased and prepared in advance. Items will just need to be refreshed during the event. This task could be assigned to a generous member of the wedding party or a venue staff member.
5. Ask event staff for assistance with on-site popping in advance.
If you would like to pop the popcorn on-site, you will need a staff member dedicated to working the popcorn station — popping fresh batches and serving guests. Should you need event staff to work the station, communicate that information with staff in advance and ask if they have someone available to assist. Assuming a helping hand will be available may lead to an un-staffed snack bar.
6. Estimate how much popcorn you will need.
Will popcorn be the primary snack available or will there be a variety of options for guests to choose from? Popcorn bars may be set up during cocktail hour or other wedding events where it’s the primary snack. In this case, anticipate that most guests will consume 2-2.5 cups of popcorn on average. If your wedding popcorn bar will be a part of the reception, accompanied by meal service or other snacks, the per-person serving estimate can be lowered to 1.5-2 cups. To help prevent overordering, really think about what time the popcorn bar will be open and how much other food guests will have available at the time.
7. Practice the perfect popcorn ratio.
Many couples choose to pop their own popcorn to save time, money, and to avoid dealing with on-site cleanup. It can be difficult to gauge just how much popcorn should be popped in preparation for a wedding popcorn bar, but this ratio can help you prepare:
One pound of un-popped kernels = approx. 60 cups of popped popcorn. A single cup of kernels will provide 32 cup-sized servings — or two gallons — of popped corn.
8. Order from popular distributors early.
Once you have estimated the amount of popped popcorn needed, you will need to either pick up the supplies yourself, delegate the task to a wedding party member, or select a distributor to ship the popcorn. Reserve the product needed early to ensure its availability and allow for ample shipping time to help guarantee supplies arrive before the wedding.
Wedding popcorn bar ideas for supplies
Popcorn bars are fun and affordable, but they do require a few setup supplies. Choose the wedding popcorn bar ideas you really like and make a list of the supplies you will need.
9. Include a diverse assortment of popcorn flavors.
Provide wedding guests with a variety of popcorn flavors to choose from. With top-quality gourmet popcorn brands releasing exciting new flavors all the time, there’s a lot to choose from. Serve classic flavors — butter, white cheddar, caramel — while also surprising your guests with exciting flavors like cranberry, key lime, chipotle, or even ketchup!
10. Satisfy both sweet and salty snack lovers.
There is no flavor combination quite like sweet and salty! Add a variety of sweet elements to your list of wedding popcorn bar ideas to complement the inherent saltiness of traditional popcorn. Include a variety of fun candies — gummy worms, M&Ms, Sour Patch Kids, and other favorites — that weddings guests can mix in with their munches.
Are you hosting an outdoor wedding in the warmer months? Help guests keep cool with popcorn and popsicles!
11. Include savory seasonings and popcorn toppings.
Engaged couples can have tons of fun testing and choosing unique, delicious savory popcorn toppings. Butter and cheese are savory popcorn staples, and for good reason, but do not get stuck thinking “traditional” popcorn thoughts! Impress your wedding guests with out-of-the-box offerings such as garlic salt, bacon bits, chives, sriracha, chili lime seasoning, or other full-flavored fixings.
12. Pick a popcorn container type.
Popcorn can be displayed in a myriad of large receptacles: Bowls, jars, buckets, drawers, and so on. Cups, paper cones, bowls, paper bags, and pop-up cardboard boxes are also popular options. Don’t forget to order twist ties, ribbon, decorative tape, or even twine to help keep popcorn bags tied tightly.
13. Store all popcorn, seasoning, and toppings safely.
Keep your wedding popcorn bar supplies in a cool, dark, and dry place prior to the event.
14. Use a crockpot to keep warm toppings at temperature.
Keep butter, olive oil, fresh caramel, or hot fudge in a small crockpot to keep it warm. Setting a small crockpot to warm helps maintain the ideal temperature for optimal popcorn coating potential.
Wedding popcorn bar ideas for the display
Setting up a popcorn bar at your wedding is a fantastic way to provide weddings guests a whimsical and tasty treat. Whether you prefer to arrange a simple popcorn buffet or are looking for ways to create a stunning arrangement, there are a lot of attractive options to choose from.
15. Pop popcorn on-site in a vintage popcorn machine.
If you have access to a vintage popcorn machine, now would be the ideal time to use it! Since most of us do not have a mansion full of antique machinery, it’s helpful to know that vintage-inspired affordable popcorn machines are available through Target, Walmart, and other major retailers. Set the popcorn machine up beside a cotton candy machine, a snow cone cart, or a funnel cake fry station to create an outdoor fair or carnival aesthetic.
16. Parade an old-fashioned popcorn cart.
Serve guests from an old-fashioned popcorn cart. The cart can be on functional wheels, or remain stationary, depending on the wedding venue layout and the availability of a cart pusher. If event staff aren’t available to assist, consider hiring an outside popcorn cart service to serve wedding guests.
17. Invite a popcorn-themed food truck to surprise wedding guests.
Gourmet popcorn has emerged as a popular food truck item, and more trucks are attempting to get in on the action. Research food truck weddings in your area or check the traveling schedule of renowned gourmet popcorn food trucks: Froggy’s Popcorn, Popcorn Fix, It’s Poppin Time Kettle Korn, or Popped! Republic.
18. Turn a vintage dresser into a popcorn bar display.
Upcycle old furniture to create a DIY display for your wedding popcorn bar at little to no cost. Do you happen to have an old dresser laying around? What about a similar piece of antique furniture that looks unique or particularly interesting? Use it as your popcorn bar!
Fill individual dresser drawers with napkins, bags, cups, or paper cones. Pull the drawers out and leave them open at various widths to create a unique tiered display of popcorn bar essentials. The top of the dresser can be used as the serving station.
19. Build a towering display that fits in tight spaces.
Stack popcorn boxes in an attractive design to create a stunning tower of treats if you’re low on floor space. Use sturdy containers to ensure that each serving will stack safely and securely.
20. Choose food covers to keep popcorn protected.
Popcorn absorbs moisture very easily, so it’s always at risk of going stale quickly, especially in humid environments. Placing food covers over the popcorn bar when not in use can maintain freshness and help keep bugs away from the edible display. Covers are especially important at outdoor weddings where weather, wild animals, or insects may make an appearance.
21. Let the games begin.
Create a popcorn-themed game and offer prizes for guests willing to compete. Put your own spin on ring-toss or other target games with popcorn as a substitute for more traditionally-tossed items. Don’t forget to document the competition for your wedding photo book!
22. Give your guest popcorn treats to-go.
Couples who are working with a limited wedding budget, space, resources, or event staff may want to consider to-go-style wedding popcorn bar ideas. Prepare portioned popcorn bags decorated with the date, your wedding hashtag, or a small tag thanking guests for attending. Display on-the-go goodies near the exit, or set up a small self-service station with toppings, bags, and twist ties.
23. “Step up” your setup.
Set up your popcorn bar display on wooden step ladders for a unique shape and style. Lay a large piece of wood (or a similar surface) between the rungs of the ladder to create a tabletop. Individual steps on the ladder can be used to hold multiple containers of popcorn, while the table in the middle can hold decorations, candy, toppings, and serve ware. Play around and let your imagination take flight when designing the setup of your step ladder wedding popcorn bar.
Wedding popcorn bar ideas for decor
There’s no need to break the bank decorating a wedding popcorn bar. Try these low-cost wedding popcorn bar ideas to save money on decor.
24. Establish a theme.
Design a popcorn bar that fits the wedding theme you’ve already established or design a snack bar that has its own theme. Whether you’re planning a Game of Thrones-themed wedding or a Mardi Gras-inspired affair, popcorn bar displays can easily be decorated to fit any style.
25. Include a popcorn bar at your rustic-themed wedding.
Popcorn bars are the perfect addition to rustic and barn wedding venue decorations. Decorate the bar with tin buckets, a burlap table runner, use mason jars to store toppings, or drape dainty string lights around popcorn containers to add farmhouse-style flair.
26. Beautify the bar with bright colors.
Decorate your wedding popcorn bar with bright, bold, and beautiful colors. In addition to candy and other vibrant toppings, use neon markers, paint, or colored paper to make the popcorn bar pop with creative accents.
27. Create a midnight snack-themed popcorn bar for late receptions.
Does your wedding reception start late in the evening? Will guests be heading off to bed when they depart? If so, send guests home with a midnight snack-themed popcorn treat bag.
28. Design disposable but delicate paper popcorn cones.
Paper cone cups are easy to make, carry, and clean up. Disposable serving ware, however, can lead to environmentally harmful waste. If you’re interested in planning an eco-friendly wedding, source your paper cones from Packnwoood, Bio & Chic, or other eco-friendly food packaging manufacturers.
29. Display popcorn in impressive glassware.
Large glass vases, pitchers, jars, or canisters can be used to create a simple yet stunning popcorn display. Tie an elegant ribbon around each container, or weave throughout the display, to give the glassware a delicate but impactful pop of color.
30. Create an old-fashioned candy bar-inspired popcorn bar.
Display popcorn in old-fashioned glass jars of all sizes and shapes. Mixing up the jar style will help create a more authentic “old-timey candy store” feel. Create attractive candy displays with rock candy, gumballs, or other classic sweets.
31. Give the wedding popcorn bar a cozy feeling.
Line wooden baskets with embroidered handkerchiefs, place lace doilies on small plates, or use a subtle floral tablecloth to give your wedding popcorn a cozy cottage vibe.
Trendy sign ideas for a wedding popcorn bar
Point your guests to the wedding popcorn bar with a sign that really pops!
32. Label the popcorn bar and each ingredient.
Label the popcorn bar with a clear sign so guests can locate it easily in crowded reception spaces. Use signs to display whether guests should help themselves to the bar or request service. Label each additional ingredient on the popcorn bar, especially nuts, dairy products, or other allergens.
33. Etch an elegant design on glass.
“Elegant” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of popcorn bars, but they certainly can be! Display an etched piece of glass reading “Popcorn Bar” to add a hint of sophistication.
34. Design a decorative chalkboard sign.
Chalkboard signs are affordable, resilient, and are a blank canvas for any design you desire. Chalkboard pens come in a wide range of assorted colors to fit your wedding theme. The easy-to-handle art supplies can be used to create a gorgeous sign for your wedding popcorn bar — as simple or intricate as you would like. Use mini chalkboard signs to identify toppings or menu items on a buffet.
35. Show off your pyrography skills.
Pyrography is the art of burning decorations and designs into wood or similar materials. If you’re a fan of wood-burned signs, or it happens to be your hobby, help guests pinpoint the popcorn bar with a pokerwork display.
36. Hanging signs are perfect for indoor popcorn bars.
Is the popcorn bar at your wedding going to be set up inside? If so, a hanging sign could be a terrific way to direct guest attention to it. Be sure to ask your wedding venue if they allow hanging signage or if they have restrictions before setting up the display.
37. DIY a paper garland sign.
Gather up your craft supplies and DIY a creative paper garland sign for your wedding popcorn bar display. With paper, pens, scissors, and a little bit of string, you can create a festive paper garland in no time.
38. Light up the popcorn bar.
Create a custom neon “Popcorn Bar” sign for a retro popcorn display. Neon tube lights can be used in an 80s-themed wedding, at dance-heavy receptions, or even to keep the fun going at the wedding after party.
39. Use the popcorn bar display sign to hold to-go containers.
If you’re setting up a to-go-style popcorn bar, assign your “Popcorn Bar” signage double-duty. In addition to helping guests locate a snack for the road, you can use the sign as a standing display to hold popcorn containers. A container display will help keep the bar clean and organized.
6 gourmet popcorn companies engaged couples recommend
Are you looking for the right company to provide the popcorn for your popcorn bar? We’ve compiled a list of some top-rated gourmet wedding popcorn companies. From allergen-free popcorn to pop-at-home options, there’s a brand to fit every wedding style.
Opopop is a microwavable non-GMO popcorn that comes in an array of exciting flavors. To achieve the perfect Opopop pop, their popcorn pros recommend purchasing the reusable Opopop popper, a custom microwavable popping bowl.
Fun flavors: Salted Umami, Fancy Butter, Cinnalicious, Vanilla Cake Pop, Maui Heat, and Like Buddha
41. Thatcher’s Gourmet Popcorn
Offering two- and four-pound party bags, Thatcher’s Gourmet Popcorn is a great option for couples looking to buy in bulk. Thatcher’s is a family-owned business located in San Francisco that has been preparing small-batch old-fashioned popcorn since 1983.
Fun flavors: Tiramisu, Cinnamon Toast, Sriracha, Fruit Medley, and the award-winning White Cheddar Truffle
Consider ordering from Popcornopolis if you don’t have room to set up a large popcorn display (or if you just don’t want to). There will be no need to stage a grand setup or display, as your order comes pre-wrapped in single-serving cones, perfect for easy cleanup and snacking on the go. Decorated with red and yellow circus-style stripes, Popcornoplis’ pre-packaged popcorn is a festive treat for any wedding guest and is an excellent choice for carnival-themed weddings.
Fun flavors: Snickerdoodle, Jalapeno Cheddar, Kettle Corn, and Red Velvet
43. Harry & David
Harry & David is known for producing decadent gourmet snacks. Celebrated worldwide for their top-tier gift baskets and gourmet Moose Munch (a premium popcorn mix that includes caramel, chocolate, nuts, and more), Harry & David has earned the unofficial title of “America’s premier choice for gourmet gifts.”
Since Harry & David began to craft gift baskets with handpicked fruit in 1934, Moose Munch has become a celebrated treat across North America. It’s the perfect popcorn to include as a maximalist wedding menu item, or on an over-the-top popcorn bar.
Fun flavors: Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Chocolate Churro Moose Munch, Iced Gingerbread, and Cranberry Almond
44. Safe + Fair
Allergen-free, vegan, preservative-free, and non-GMO, Safe + Fair is great for health-conscious engaged couples, as well as those who have food-related concerns, like severe allergies or a gluten intolerance. If your inner circle includes a fair number of allergy-prone individuals, opting for Safe + Fair popcorn could prevent distress on the big day.
Fun flavors: Everything Bagel, Dill Pickle, Birthday Cake, and Key Lime Pie
45. Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn
A homemade Amish classic, Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn is handmade in Lancaster, PA, and has been since 2006. With more than 40 popcorn flavors total, engaged couples have an enormous number of gourmet flavor combinations to select from when shopping Emma’s Gourmet Popcorn.
Fun flavors: Amish Peanut Butter Schmier, Salt and Vinegar, Honey Mustard & Onion, and Coconut Cream
You’re all set to design a one-of-a-kind wedding popcorn bar!
Are you on the hunt for budget-friendly wedding snacks that will impress your guests? Then check out these 35 wedding finger foods we love!