Got wedding cocktails on the brain? You’re not alone! These delicious drinks are a completely blank slate that you can use to get as creative as you’d like. Whether you’re a fan of tequila, vodka, or rum, this is your time to shine! We’re bringing you 17 unique and fun ways to amp up those wedding cocktails. But hey – don’t forget about your sober curious friends! You can use these same tips to amp up the drinks for those who would rather opt out of drinking alcohol. Without further ado, here are our tips to make those wedding cocktails shine!
The Best Wedding Cocktail Tips
Tip #1: It’s All in the Name
Your name says a lot about you – and so does the name of your wedding cocktail! Does it have some sort of symbolism? Is it a cute little pun? Did you name it after the bar you visited on your first date? Either way, try to put some effort into what you’re naming your cocktails. Trust us – your guests will notice and appreciate it!
Having custom cocktails at your wedding is easy to do and helps give your guests an idea of what to drink and something fun to try that they know you both love! Oftentimes, our clients pick their favorite cocktails and then give them a name that is meaningful and fun to them! For example, our clients have named drinks after a street they used to live on, their pets, or even a place they have been! Make it your own and have fun creating it, your guests are sure to love it! – Kari Dirksen, CEO + Lead Planner, Feathered Arrow Events
Sometimes the bride and groom both want a signature cocktail. In a past wedding, the bride and groom tied their wedding motif, a hummingbird, into their custom cocktails. The groom chose a whiskey-based cocktail, called ‘The Branch’, and the bride chose a vodka-based cocktail, called ‘The Bird’. These signature cocktails were served during cocktail hour, and also included in the welcome gift boxes when out-of-town guests checked into their hotel room. – Amos Gott, Event Planner, Amos Events
Wedding Cocktail Tip #2: Dive Into the Destination
Cocktails taste a whole lot better out of a coconut, don’t ya think? Okay, okay, maybe that doesn’t exactly apply for a December wedding in Michigan. But for a June wedding in the Dominican Republic, it sure does! If you’re having a destination wedding, don’t shy away from serving wedding cocktails that are super on-theme.
We have seen couples choose cocktails inspired by their favorite places they have traveled to! Whether it’s a tropical mix that takes you back to your beach vacation or a sophisticated drink that reminds you of that city break, this can be a fun way to include your guests in some of your favorite memories! Our destination cocktail recommendation: Piña Colada. – Ashley Vipond, Co-Owner, Champagne Social Co.
Tip #3: Presentation Is Everything
Zest things up a bit (and we’re not just talking limes)! One sure-fire way to make your wedding cocktails memorable is to present them in a fun and unique way. Ring a bell for a margarita? Sure! Offer a little smoked rosemary on an old fashioned? Absolutely! Either way, your guests will be blown away.
One of our favorite ways to serve cocktails with a wow-factor element is by presenting them in a smoke-filled glass cloche – we promise, guests will never forget the moment you reveal your signature drink inside! Bonus points if you have your monogram etched onto the cloches for an extra personal element. – AJ Williams, Founder & Creative Director, AJ Events
Tip #4: Tasting Bars Are Your Friend
Torn between serving the margarita and the French 75? Serve both! Offering a tasting bar with a variety of spirits is a guaranteed way to elevate the wedding cocktail experience.
Why have one signature cocktail when you could have dozens? If you want to offer your guests a truly unique experience, consider setting up a high-end tasting bar. You can buy a selection of rare and exclusive spirits, mixers, and garnishes, and let your guests sample whatever they like. They’ll be able to try a variety of cocktails and find the one that’s just right for them. This is a great way to add an extra special touch to your wedding. Pair it with a cigar bar for the ultimate in sophistication. – Hannah Berglund, Hannah Berglund Photography
Wedding Cocktail Tip #5: A Little Garnish Goes a Long Way
Are garnishes always necessary? No, not exactly. But it can’t be denied that they make wedding cocktails extra fun! Adding in a colorful dried lime wedge or a fresh sprig of mint is an easy way to amplify any drink for your guests.
A beautifully garnished cocktail is an elegant way to transform a simple drink into something special. From bright citrus fruit to fragrant herbs and even delicate flowers, garnishes can elevate your cocktail from basic to gorgeous. Take it up a notch by customizing your cocktails for the season, your theme, or your color palette. – Anna Rodenbeck, Co-Founder, Whitehead + Co.
Wedding Cocktail Tip #6: Embrace the Ombré
Ombré and color-changing cocktails are always a crowd pleaser! Not only will your guests be treated to a delish, refreshing cocktail, but they’ll also have something extra pretty to admire.
Some popular cocktails we’ve seen created by mixologists and offered lately include ombré colored cocktails to match the decor. For example, a mango-guava ombré cocktail that includes diced mangoes, guava nectar, lime juice, grenadine, and vodka or gin. Top it off with a cherry and fresh mint! – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design
Tip #7: Add in Some Edible Flowers
No, the flowers from your florist or local grocery store can’t be used in your wedding cocktails (or on your cake, for that matter!). Edible flowers are their own thing! Some florals, like are simply toxic to humans and unsafe to eat under all conditions. Naturally ‘edible’ flowers, like peonies, still need to be free of the chemicals that may be used in the commercial growing process in order to be safe to eat. Always be sure to only use flowers specifically marketed as being edible!
I’m a huge fan of edible florals in cocktails and have a handful of clients utilizing this trend for elevated garden party-style weddings later on this year. If floral isn’t your thing, what about a custom ice cube with a design or your new monogram etched in? Even if you’re not customizing the ingredients of a cocktail, what about calling it something else? I’ve seen clients rename drinks after pets to include them in the day as well, even if they’re not able to be present at the ceremony and reception. – Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events
Tip #8: Top It off With Something Sweet
Garnish your cocktails with something unexpected. Instead of a lime wheel, why not use a fig? Your guests will love your willingness to break out of the expected!
You can get creative with the garnishes that you use for those delicious cocktails. It can be as simple as fruit or even rock candy. Do something that you and your fiancé would like to see on your wedding day, and drink of course. – Lisette Gatliff, Lisette OC Photography
Wedding Cocktail Tip #9: Put It on the Menu
Give your guests something to look at! Nothing feels quite as official (and fun to order from) than a formal wedding cocktail menu. Not only will it make your guests’ ordering experience a breeze, but it’s also another opportunity to truly customize your wedding and show off who you are as a couple.
It’s very important to make sure guests know what is being offered, which you can do with your stationery designer on special signage displayed at the bar during cocktail hour. – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design
Tip #10: Don’t Forget the Furry Friends
Pets are family, which means they shouldn’t be excluded from the wedding festivities! Yup, even the cocktails. Pay homage to your doggo or kitten by naming a drink after them – complete with an adorable drawing of that irresistible face.
Custom cocktails for your pups?! YES, please! Or how about one together? Any way you represent your unique self at your wedding, having signature cocktails that represent you both is a crowd pleaser! – Erica Trombetti, Infinite Events
Tip #11: Take the Opportunity to Entertain
Make room for a little extra pizzaz! Your wedding cocktail bar experience can be elevated even further with the addition of a little entertainment. Whether it’s a bar cart or the option to ring a bell, people love to be entertained!
If you’re all about theatrics and going over the top, why not consider serving your guests their cocktails from a champagne cart or mobile bar. This makes the experience more personal and customized; rather than simply ordering a drink at a bar, the champagne cart is a fun experience that keeps your guests entertained! – Ashley Vipond, Co-Owner, Champagne Social Co.
Tip #12: Amp up That Ice
They say it’s all in the details – and that includes the ice! The simplest of things, like a crystal clear ice cube in an old-fashioned, truly do make all the difference.
For many, cocktails are a highlight at a wedding…especially those that got dragged by their partner! They are also a fun way to carry on your aesthetic and personalize your event. I’m a big fan of customized ice cubes, floral garnishes in the glass or pressed in ice as well! Custom stir sticks are a fun way to bring in your monogram or wedding design. – Nora Sheils, Founder Bridal Bliss and Co-Founder Rock Paper Coin
Wedding Cocktail Tip #13: Hobbies Have a Place
You don’t have to shy away from including your personality in your wedding. This is a room of people that love and respect you! Give them a little extra insight into the hobbies you enjoy with a nod to them on your cocktail menu.
Have your guests sip drinks inspired by things that make you, you! Whether you like going to a ball game, having a day out in the park, or chilling at the beach, why not create cocktails built around these experiences?! This way, your guests can not only enjoy their drinks but also get to see a little glimpse of who you are as a couple. If your hobby includes walks in the park try this cocktail: Gin and Tonic. – Ashley Vipond, Co-Owner, Champagne Social Co.
Tip #14: Think About the Glass
Okay, you picked the drinks, you nailed the menus…no what? The glasses, of course! The glasses you serve your wedding cocktails in are considered decor just as much as that centerpiece you took 6 weeks to pick out. Thoughtfully curated glassware, like vintage goblets, makes all the difference in creating your wedding’s ambiance.
Once you’ve chosen the drinks you’d like to serve on your big day, it’s time to decide what kind of glass you’d like to serve them in. It’s completely up to you and your partner how unique or simple you’d like to go. Not to mention that your cocktail glasses can even be a souvenir for your guests. – Lisette Gatliff, Lisette OC Photography
Tip #15: Mocktails Are Essential!
Just because it doesn’t have alcohol doesn’t mean that it can’t count as a wedding cocktail. More and more people are exploring a sober curious lifestyle, so it’s important to offer options that are equally fun and just creative as the drink options that contain alcohol.
Keep it fun and your guests will definitely appreciate the thought you put into it (and the alcohol). That being said, creative mocktails are another way to ensure all your guests feel welcome and considered! – Nora Sheils, Founder Bridal Bliss and Co-Founder Rock Paper Coin
Tip #16: Give It a Boost
Some people like their drinks a little on the stronger side, and that’s a-okay! Give them a hand by offering your guests the option to boost up their drinks just a bit.
Get creative with your cocktail concepts! Try The Booster. A margarita on the rocks served with a syringe of Corona. Get your cocktail booster shot! – Stephanie & Aaron (Bride & Groom), Phillip Casey Photography
Wedding Cocktail Tip #17: Put Your Personality Front and Center
Our final tip includes making sure you really represent yourself! Do your friends know you as someone that spends their day dreaming of sleeping under the lemon trees of Positano? Amazing! Don’t be afraid to tie that in by adding in some ultra-cute cocktail covers!
A classic way we see some couples express themselves is by simply choosing their favorite drinks that also match their personality. Whether you consider yourself a spicy marg or classy like an espresso martini, this is guaranteed to have your guests smiling when they take that first sip and think of you! Be you with this cocktail: Frozé. – Ashley Vipond, Co-Owner, Champagne Social Co.