What makes a wedding more memorable than all others are unique touches and personalized details for the bride and groom that make the day an intimate affair no matter the guest count. Everything should be a reflection of you and your hubby-to-be, and cocktail hour is no different. After the ceremony and before a long night of imbibing, guests will delight over a custom cocktail while you and your wedding party take photos, and it’s an easy way to make your wedding uniquely you.
Not sure where to start? These easy tips should lift your spirits.
All about YOU
Boozy bevvies are a great way to bring in your color palette and give guests a taste of what they can expect for the night. No matter what you’re planning, always start by asking yourself what your favorites are and what makes the most sense for your theme or venue.
1. Pick your poison- What are your favorite spirits? Do you like floral, herbaceous tonics like gin or the oaky, vanilla notes of bourbon? You can choose to do one signature cocktail or a "His and Hers" where you each choose one. There is no limit to simplicity here. It can be as simple as Prosecco with a splash of Elderflower or as involved as a Lavender Margarita.
If you really don't have a preference, most cities or regions have "unofficial" cocktails you can use, from Mint Juleps in the south to Sea Breezes and Mai Tais in the coastal, beachy cities. Classics like a French 75 for an elegant affair or Moscow Mules for something a little more rustic are always a fine choice. Work with your venue to make sure you understand pricing and whether they have the resources to handle it.
2. Make it colorful- Use different ingredients, like liqueurs, fruit purees or wine, to make it not only ooo-and-ahh-worthy but also complementary to your palette.
3. Accessorize it- Add some glam with a sugar and spice rim, edible flowers, your favorite candies, a sprig of lavender or fresh herbs. The cocktail itself doesn't need to be colorful to catch guests' attention, and you can always add a straw, napkin or drink stirrer that symbolizes the happy couple. (Have fun with this! Think about your alma mater's logo, your new initials, a symbol from an inside joke or a silhouette of a shared pet. Anything you can giggle about with your guests.)
4. Glassware can get pricey, but it certainly adds a swoon-worthy touch of aesthetic appeal if you can swing it. Ask your venue what kind of glassware they'll be able to provide, or consider renting it.
It’s all in the name
Regardless of the drink you choose, personalize it by naming it. Encourage guests to toast your new last name together by creating a drink around it or a play on words. If you plan on having a creative wedding hashtag, you could even name your cocktail after the hashtag - just another way for guests to remember it! Whether it’s a destination wedding or a venue closer to home, there is likely something unique about the location. Think about street names and why you chose it, what makes it so very special, and a name should come to you!
Set the scene
Consider how it will appear within the bigger picture. It can be written on a sign or served by the waitstaff as guests exit the ceremony or enter the reception area. Think about the theme you’re going for and how you can creatively tie it in. For example, if your theme is Vintage, how about writing the name on a vintage mirror or on a sign within an old suitcase or umbrella? If you’re going rustic, maybe a tree trunk touts the signature drink. If you fell in love biking, maybe it’s a sign attached to a darling old bicycle. (We're personally partial to passed trays on this one . . .)
Not to worry, we have you covered with some of our favorites that can fit within a variety of color palettes and themes!
Bonus: These signature drinks can also be incorporated into any pre-wedding party to toast the guest of honor. Think about the location and the bride. What ingredients and accessories are unique to them? Does the bride have a favorite color, nickname, hobby or even embarrassing moment you can incorporate into the name or recipe?