Hello Washington DC area wedding darlings and happy fall to you! Fall is such a special time here in the DC area with the leaves turning and the weather turning chilly. The autumn months are also bursting with wedding ideas and inspiration from the rich and moody flowers to the pumpkins to anything that makes you feel cozy! Today, we are sharing a great and seasonal trail mix bar inspired by the fall that can be easily adapted to any wedding or special event, like a bridal shower. Trail mix the perfect snack for those chilly fall afternoons and it makes for a delicious – and affordable – wedding snack or favor. You can easily customize the items on this bar and have your guests serve themselves as a wedding snack or take it to go as a wedding favor. We love bars at weddings because they are conversation starters and it gets guests mixing and mingling! In addition to the fall inspiration, we have the details for how you can set up your very own make-it-yourself trail mix favor bar. Sweet and savory, this trail mix bar is perfect for a fall wedding in the Washington DC area, if I do say so myself!
Trail Mix Basics
We went for a rustic autumn theme for our trail mix, inspired by the farms in Virginia and Maryland at harvest time. Having a DIY favor bar is perfect for picky guests, since they can pick and choose what ingredients they put into their gift to take home. The hard part was trying to figure out what to put into the mix, everything sounded so good! Seasonal items, especially around this time of year, are always a sure bet. And M&Ms. (Trust us on the M&Ms!).
Mixing sweet and salty flavors always makes for delicious flavor. We chose M&Ms and candy corn (because fall, of course!) for our sweet ingredients and for our salty items, sourdough pretzel nuggets, Chex Mix Traditional and Bugles, because they resembled miniature cornucopias. Once you’ve acquired your ingredients, try to refrain from snacking (believe me it was HARD!) and do a test bag. Put a couple spoonfuls of each ingredient into a bag and shake. Voila! Perfect trail mix.
Make sure that you are aware of any wedding guests with allergies. Common ones like nuts and gluten are easily avoidable, or just make sure you put a notice near your favor table for guests with food restrictions.
To recreate our DIY trail mix bar, here’s what you need:
- Serving bowls
- Large spoons or scoops
- Fall-themed ribbon in two different patterns
- Circular and rectangular tags
- Small chalkboard and chalk
- Fall-themed candles, garland and pumpkins for decor
- Small plastic bags for to-go favors
- Small wooden box to add height to items
- Food items. We used M&Ms, candy corn, Chex Mix Traditional, sourdough pretzel nuggets, Bugles
- Marker for writing on tags and labels
Putting the ingredients into bowls with spoons is easy-peasy. You can do it ahead of time and cover with plastic wrap or do it just before the event. We definitely recommend setting up the entire table and laying out all of the items and decor in advance and then pouring the food into the bowls just before guests arrive. Pre-make your labels for your ingredients. We saved on serving pieces by using what we had at home and wrapping fall themed ribbon around the bowls to make them look special. Glue the ingredient labels, or simply prop them up against each bowl. Position your sweet ingredients separate from your salty ones – we chose to put our sweet ingredients on top.
Make a separate container and label for the take home bags, so guests know that they can collect their treats and take them to go. We created ribbons with tags that guests can use to tie up their favor bags. Pre-make labels with a cute thank you saying on them for guests to secure their trail mix bags with. We chose “Happy trails to you! Thanks for coming!” Get it?! Trails?! Be sure to make one for each guest and a few extra (just in case!).
Yum! Now, who is hungry? What will you put on your trail mix bar? If you are looking for more bar ideas for your wedding, be sure to check out this post we did on a DIY s’mores bar and this DIY popcorn bar with recipes. Also, these DIY wedding favor bags would be so great for any wedding bar.
For even more locally helpful advice, you may look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.
Photo Credit: Kate O. Photography