Cheers! Santé! Prost! Sláinte! Salud! It’s joyous, it’s celebratory, and it’s a must to celebrate your special day. No matter how you say it, libations are an important part of your wedding. Messina’s Catering and Events shares some of the top wedding bar trends to get those glasses clinking!
Trending now are satellite bars – a fun, off-set special bar all on its own. These are unique bars, separate from the regular bar, where a specialty drink is served or a custom interactive guest experience. Satellite bars feature that unique vibe. Perhaps a mixologist is wowing the guests with a flaming concoction or fabulous shaker move (think of Tom Cruise in “Cocktail”). Or you offer guests the chance to be their own bartender where they customize drinks on their own. Offer a variety of juices, sodas and liqueurs with fresh fruit slices and purees. Guests can whip up their own cosmos and have fun doing it.
The Wedding Bar Itself
Bars themselves have gotten a makeover themselves as well. Gone are the simple table set-up. Talk to your caterer about fun set-ups that are mirrored, lighted, fabric (like all leather or velvet) or glass. If your wedding is outdoor, consider a mobile food truck-esque bar or retro van.
Who doesn’t love and appreciate the earth? More brides and grooms are bringing forth this zest in their weddings with eco friendly bars serving organic liquors and incorporating fresh juices. Herb infused cocktails are big right now, with their fresh, unique flavor. Think Cilantro Vodka Lemonade, Strawberry and Rosemary Gin Fizz, Peach Basil Bourbon Sweet Tea or Raspberry Thyme Sangria. Use fresh grass on the bar for décor, and garnish drinks with fresh herbs and edible flowers for a beautiful presentation. Reduce your carbon footprint, stay away from plastics and go for all glassware, bamboo stir sticks and paper straws.
Drink pairings are super popular as well. If wine is your focus, work in your favorite wines paired with each course of your meal. Beer flights, bourbon tastings, and whisky samples are also perfect for guests to sample and taste. Go local and incorporate wineries and breweries into your drink selections. Your wedding caterer can guide you on the perfect pairings for your menu.
As family style meals have become increasingly popular at weddings, your drink selections follow suite as well. Place large pitchers of margaritas or mojitos alongside entrees that guests can pass and pour. Carafes of wine and barrel pitchers of beer work in this style as well. For the more formal or cocktail event, include complementary passed drinks alongside your hors d’oeuvres. These can be served passed or in themed stations
Champagne is the timeless trend and always perfect at weddings. Start off with a champagne greeting where guests are welcomed to your special day with servers standing in line with trays of the bubbly. Equally fun is the champagne send-off where guests are given mini bottles of champagne and they pop the cork as the bride and groom make their exit. Finally, the Great Gatsby theme is roaring, so go for the champagne tower. It’s a gorgeous display and spectacular photo opp.
Around the World
Bring some global flair into your wedding whether it’s by showcasing your own culture, favorite locale, or favorite drink. Mix it up with Indian Pale Ales, Margaritas, Moscow Mules, Negronis, and Singapore Slings. Bring in the tropics via cocktails like Pina Colada, Tequila Sunrise, Rum Runner, Mai Tai and Daiquiri. The world is your oyster, so serve it up on your wedding bar menu.
Drinks are now enhancing key moments in your wedding timeline. Go for the pre-ceremony drink with spritzers to set the mood or with beautiful non-alcoholic offerings like infused waters, lemonade, iced teas and sparkling waters. After dinner, the classics are in style like ports, aged rum, brandy and sherry. Alongside your dessert bar, serve up dessert style libations like Tiramisu, Chocolate, Banana Split or Root Beer Float Martinis. In keeping up with the late night snack trend, coffee cocktails and espresso bars are perfect drinks to wind up the evening.
While spirits keep guests lively and entertained, liquor is not for everyone. Serve up mocktails for those designated drivers, mommies to be, and non-drinkers. Speak with your caterer about a “zero-proof”, “sans spirits” or “refreshers” satellite bar with absolutely no alcohol included.
Sending your guests home with a gift from your wedding now includes spirits. Mini bottles or champagne, wine, and scotch make for the perfect gift. Candies filled with liquors, spiked lemonade, and homemade wine all work as well.
Rest assured that whether you opt for a satellite bar, go green, or send guests home with a boozy favor, your bar service will be one to remember. For your wedding, work with your caterer to incorporate these fun and fabulous bar trends. Messina’s Catering and Events has been providing food and bar service for weddings in the New Orleans’ area for over 58 years. Cheers!