Wedding planning can be a lot of stress. You learn to multi-task, and there really isn’t much downtime. So when you plan on kicking your shoes off and putting your feet up, it’s only understandable to use this time still and plan ahead. Case in point: You might want to consider thinking about what kinds of drinks you want to serve on your big day.
Many couples choose signature cocktails to entertain their guests—drinks that mean something to the newlyweds or ones that go with the season or theme. Figuring out what alcohol you'll serve at your wedding might be one of the more fun parts of your planning. So to make it less of a mind-boggling to-do, we’ve come up with 8 things for you to consider when choosing cocktails for your wedding.
1. Avoid All Allergens
While the most common allergens like peanuts and milk aren't ingredients you’ve most likely considered in your cocktails, you should still be aware of any allergies that might arise from fruity cocktails you may decide on.
Be mindful that you don’t serve something with pineapple in your drinks if you know that some of your guests are allergic.
The best way to get around having allergens in a drink you like is to have the ingredients listed, especially if it's not a common cocktail. You can put the elements up on your wedding website, but you can have them posted at the venue as well.
If you have time and resources, you can also reach out to the guests to communicate possible allergens and make sure they’re informed of what you’ll be serving.
2. Note the Season
When you put fresh fruit in your drinks, you may find that it gives your guests a surge of energy. Fruit contains water, so it'll keep your guests hydrated while they partake in their drinks.
Weddings in colder months warrant spins on traditional favorites. Drinks like boozy hot cocoa are the stars of the show, and you can incorporate richer and stronger flavors, like those in bourbon, in your signature drinks as part of the season.
Keep in mind what type of cocktails and alcoholic beverages fit the season, and you'll have a drink menu that blends with the season.
3. Pick a Memorable Name
The name of your signature cocktail will help your guests see who you are. As a result, many couples tend to name their signature cocktails after puns or pets to impress or awe their guests.
Your theme or venue can lead you to choose the best name for your drinks, too. For example, if you have a fairy tale wedding, consider naming your cocktails after fitting or your and your soon-to-be spouse's favorite fairy tales.
4. Match It to the Theme
You should strive to match your cocktails to the theme of your wedding if you have one. Sweet themes, like anything revolving around desserts or the “love is sweet” motif, should have sweet drinks, not bitter ones.
You can also match the cocktail colors to your primary wedding colors. Berry mojitos can go well with most bright colors, depending on the fruit you use.
Above all, your wedding has a style. Even if it doesn't have a theme, you've stuck to a particular style for everyone's attire and crucial elements like your cake. Your cocktails should be on-brand with your style, too.
As a mixologist, you want to put your best foot forward and show people the kind of cocktails you like to drink — or even make — on any given day. Sticking to your theme is a great way to show who you are.
5. Cocktails Don't Have to Be Alcoholic
You might have extensive knowledge of alcohol, but you don't have to serve it at your wedding. Many people choose to have dry weddings if they're not big on drinking, but the cost is another consideration as open bars aren't cheap. You might also be tired of alcohol if you usually spend all day making drinks.
Whether you're planning for an open bar or a dry wedding, you can find virgin or non-alcoholic cocktails to serve to your guests—as long as it's something that you like.
Overall, this wedding is yours, so it should be up to you and your soon-to-be spouse whether you want to serve signature cocktails — or cocktails of any kind — at your wedding. An alcohol-free wedding can still be just as fun as one with an open bar, but you may need to make up for it in other forms of entertainment.
But don’t worry, you can always find another way to get people on the dancefloor. As long as you have great music and a lovely vibe, your guests will be entertained and eager to party all night long.
6. Watch the Time of Day
The time you host your wedding can also be a significant factor in determining which wedding cocktails you serve. For example, you may choose to have stronger drinks for an evening wedding.
As the sun goes down and people get a few drinks in their systems, they may feel more like dancing and having a good time. They'll have fewer reservations about breaking it down on the dancefloor with your other guests.
Breakfast and brunch weddings don't have to be dry, though—you'll find plenty of drinks that go well with a short reception at the beginning of the day. Mimosas are simple drinks that go well with any kind of breakfast food and will still give your guests the alcohol they expect at your wedding.
7. Don't Overcomplicate It
You don't need to reinvent the wheel. If you have a cocktail that you love, choose to serve it. While it may be nice to tie everything together, you can still have standard drinks with their common names for your guests.
Some guests may appreciate the simplicity and know the drinks the second they read about them. All in all, choose to be as creative or as simple as you'd like.
8. Experiment with Different Cocktails
The perks of knowing about alcohol are creating your own drinks and holding a taste test. Just as you and your fiancé would go to a cake taste testing, consider having one for your wedding cocktails, too.
During this time, you can brainstorm ideas for making these cocktails uniquely yours and just as perfect as the rest of your wedding.
Weddings are a special occasion that, if you do right, you only need to do once. So pour your effort into planning to make it a memorable one by choosing the cocktails perfect for your loved ones as they celebrate the event with you and your partner.
There are many things to consider but at the end of the day, what matters is you and your partner are both happy that your guests can almost taste your joy in every drink you serve them.