Everyone knows that a good wedding starts and ends with a good beverage selection. However, it can really make or break how amazing or magical a wedding is if the bar isn’t up to par. You want your guests to enjoy a good selection of curated drinks, both alcohol and non-alcoholic, to accommodate everyone’s different tastes and preferences in beverages.
With just a bit of knowledge and planning, you can set your wedding up for success with an expert selection of beverages.
Here are some tips and tricks to help your reception drink selection stand out from the rest and leave your guests smiling for hours on end.
The Wine List
When planning the list of beverages for your wedding reception, you should keep the wine selection simple. Choose one white, one red, and one sparkling for your guests to choose from. You don’t need a huge selection of wines for each type.
Most guests will be perfectly happy choosing from the three selected for them. What is important is selecting wines that will go hand in hand with your menu, like a Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. Guests will love and appreciate the pairings and major bonus points if you display the pairings on a cute poster or glass board.
Wine as a symbol of your love
Telling a story with your wine selection is also a perfect tie into your wedding day. Select wine from a region where you met, your honeymoon destination, or just your favorite place to visit. You don’t need to have a lavish bar set up or servers consistently serving guests.
For an inexpensive option, place opened bottles around the reception in the dining area with a note about the wine or sweet message on the tables so the guests can serve themselves.
Setting up a Champagne bar with different juices, liqueurs, and fresh fruit would be a great and unique option, too!
The Beer Selection
If you are holding a more low-key wedding or have many beer drinkers on the guest list, consider adding a couple of craft beers to the selection.
While there are multiple types of beer and everyone has their preferred drink, it is your wedding day, so feel free to select what you like the most or a fan favorite among your guests. Also, if your reception is small enough, ask your guests what they prefer.
You can display the beer in an ice bucket near the bar with a few bottle openers to keep it casual.
This is where you can truly get creative. Use your imagination to come up with the cocktails that perfectly match your wedding palette and the couple, whether it be color, flavor, or the name.
Selecting what types of cocktails you want for your wedding doesn’t have to be super expensive – you can choose pre-mixed cocktails or drinks like sangria instead of having a full open bar. Then, just like the beer and the wine, serve these pre-mix-style cocktails in a pitcher on a table with glasses so guests can help themselves.
Expand the cocktail list
Don’t just stick to the classics. Instead, branch out when it comes to the cocktails list. Just think about all of the flavor possibilities like lavender, raspberry, mango, or espresso.
This summer’s popular cocktail is the espresso martini, and what better way to get your guests dancing all night than a little caffeine? But, of course, a coffee bar with an array of different liqueurs will do the trick, too! Think spiked cold brew, a caffeinated cocktail, or even a round of Kahlua shots.
Give your unique cocktails personalized names. For example, if you have pets, name the drinks after your pets or perhaps your favorite vacation spots or honeymoon destinations. Then, serve them in fancy glasses, and you know they will be a hit!
While alcohol is typically a wedding staple, you should definitely include a few non-alcoholic choices for your guests. Provide a special drink for guests who won’t be drinking alcoholic beverages like a sparkling cider or a unique and fancy mocktail.
As mentioned, don’t forget the coffee and tea bar. After hours of dancing, your guests will gladly appreciate a bit of a pick-me-up. Make sure the coffee, tea, and espresso bar have all the goods like sugar, mix-ins like cinnamon sticks and chocolate, a variety of milk, and creamers like oat creamer for a non-dairy alternative and some cute mugs and espresso cups.
Keep the party going…
Direct guests to this set up later in the evening or when the cake is being served because what pairs better with cake than a cup of espresso? If you really want to create a personalized experience, customize cardboard coffee cup sleeves with a sweet message or the couple’s name, and if you and your spouse have a favorite coffee shop, consider asking them to cater the bar to make it that much more special.
If you are hosting an outdoor summer wedding, have fun with the non-alcoholic beverages! Root beer floats, milkshakes, or malts are a great way to surprise the kids or put a smile on a guest’s face. But, don’t hold back on creativity. You can personalize each glass or match the drink to the wedding palette.
A Successful Beverage List
Weddings are so special, and a wedding beverage line-up is no different. Regardless of the type of wedding reception, curating a unique and exceptional list of drinks will make your wedding stand out from the rest.
Think about your guests and yourself when selecting the types of drinks you want at your wedding, whether that be a wide selection of finely curated cocktails, a round-up of the finest wines, a groom’s favorite IPA, or an extensive coffee bar.
The amount of thought and detail put into the beverage list will easily be noticeable and will leave your guests feeling special and happy throughout the night. Your wedding will be a hit!
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