Once you've finished your meaningful wedding ceremony, you're going to move on to the reception to celebrate your newly married status. And you want your festivities to be full of dancing, fun, and the right drinks.
But planning a wedding bar can be complicated when you don't know how many choices you should offer or what kind of cocktails to feature. Check out the following six tips to help you navigate your wedding bar.
1. Consider the Time of Day
You can predict how much your guests will drink, depending on what time of day you have your wedding. If you have a morning or daytime affair, your guests will likely drink less. But if it's in the evening, stock more drinks at your wedding bar.
2. Offer a Limited Selection
Don't try to cover every kind of drink to accommodate tastes, because too many options can be overwhelming and expensive. Include about two or three kinds of white and red wines, a few popular beers, some hard liquors and one signature cocktail.
3. Go Beyond Champagne for Toasts
Champagne is the typical toasting alcohol, but not all guests care for it. Let your guests keep whatever drink they picked for themselves when it's time to raise their glasses.
4. Overestimate the Amount of Alcohol
To protect yourself from running out of drinks at your wedding, overestimate the amount of alcohol you need at the bar. A safe guide for wine at your wedding is one bottle of wine per person.
5. Designate a Cocktail Hour
Your reception will probably last around two hours, and coincidentally, guests generally drink more during the first two hours of a celebration. Limiting the cocktail hour can help you structure your event and maintain your budget.
6. Pick a Signature Drink as a Couple
You and your soon-to-be spouse can choose a specialty cocktail to serve at the bar, so guests have an easier time deciding on their mixed drink. Come up with a fun name for the drink to make it your own and showcase your personalities.
Wedding Cocktail Ideas
Whether you're selecting a signature cocktail or stocking your bar with many, you need some mixed drink ideas everyone will love. But picking out the perfect drinks to represent your love and please your guests can be tricky — there are tons of options to choose from. Consider the following cocktail ideas for your bar on the big day.
1. Spiked Berry Lemonade
For a cocktail that's tart but tasty, feature a spiked berry lemonade for your wedding guests to sample. Check out these ingredients to whip up the recipe:
- 4 cups of water
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 ounces of vodka
- 2 ounces of triple sec
- 1/2 cup of strawberries
- 3/4 cup of blueberries
- 1 tablespoon of mint leaves
- 1 ounce of sparkling water per glass, optional
Cook the simple syrup by combining water and sugar. After you have allowed the syrup to cool, mix the rest of the ingredients in large pitchers. Set out the pitchers at self-serve stations to make your wedding bar a hands-on experience.
2. Pomegranate Wedding Punch
Ample bowls of punch can keep your guests’ content during your lively reception, plus a tangy pomegranate version will have them coming back for more. Try it out with these ingredients:
- 3 cups of cranberry juice, chilled
- 1 cup of pomegranate juice, chilled
- 1 bottle of prosecco, chilled
- 2 cups of vodka
- 1 1/2 cups of chilled ginger ale
- 1/4 cup of simple syrup
- 1 pomegranate ice ring
Stir the ingredients together in a serving bowl with the ice ring in the center.
3. Classic Mojito
Weddings include several beloved traditions, so why not add one more age-old favorite? The cool but classic mojito recipe is a refreshing drink that's an effortless choice to include in your bar's selection. Use the following ingredients for this sweet and satisfying drink:
- 3 mint leaves
- 1⁄2 ounce of simple syrup
- 3⁄4 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 ounces of white rum
- Soda, to top
Muddle the mint and toss everything but the soda in a shaker. After pouring the mixed drink into a glass, add soda and the mint garnish to complete the classic mojito.
4. Rosemary Citrus Punch
For a creative big-batch cocktail, include a citrus punch with a pleasant hint of rosemary. Use the following ingredients to make it:
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 large rosemary sprig
- 1 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups of London dry gin
- 1 cup of orange juice
- Orange slices, for garnish
- Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Fix the rosemary syrup beforehand, then combine the ingredients in a punch bowl for a unique and delicious punch.
5. Lavender Champagne Cocktail
Make your toast have an aromatic twist with a lavender-infused fizzy cocktail. Gather the following ingredients to begin:
- 1/3 cup of gin
- 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried edible lavender
- Champagne, to top
- Unsprayed lavender flowers, for garnish
Create the lavender simple syrup, then fill your serving glasses with the remaining ingredients.
Put Together a Successful Bar for Your Celebration
You can curate your bar to include everything from self-serve punch options to individual cocktails, but it all comes down to your choice. Select drinks for your bar that reflect your favorite flavor combinations, because this is your special occasion. Make it a memorable and joyful one with tempting cocktails, wines, Champagnes and more.