Today I want to discuss a particularly fun aspect of wedding planning: signature cocktails! While not required at a wedding reception, a signature cocktail (or two) can be a fun way to show even more of your and your partner’s personalities on your wedding day. They also make for great conversation starters during a cocktail hour as you finish up wedding portraits before getting the party started.
But picking the perfect drink can be a surprisingly tricky task! So I’ve simplified the process into five clear steps for you and your fiancé. With these tips in hand, I’m confident you’ll come up with the best signature beverage for your wedding celebration.
Prioritize your favorite flavors.
First and foremost, discuss what kinds of drinks you both imagine enjoying on your wedding day. Maybe you have an affinity for champagne cocktails while your partner prefers the darker liquors on the bar cart. Either way, take note of your favorite spirits and flavors as you start crafting your signature cocktail — and if your tastes couldn’t be more different, think about offering two entirely different options.
Consider your guest list.
If most of the folks you’re inviting to the wedding tend to drink beer and wine, creating a special take on an old fashioned probably won’t resonate very well with your audience. So as you think about your preferred flavors, remember to factor in your guests’ palettes as well. Maybe a unique take on a white sangria would be more fitting for this crowd while also satiating your craving for a fruitier cocktail.
Keep your budget in mind.
If you’ve selected a certain bar menu with your venue that prohibits certain spirits, make sure your signature cocktail recipe doesn’t rely on them! Also, if you’ve decided to pay per drink and you’re concerned about the total expense tally at the end of the evening, consider a signature cocktail recipe with budget-friendly ingredients. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be fun and delicious.
Make the recipe as simple as possible.
It’s so important to keep your bartenders in mind when it comes to your signature cocktail. If you ask them to muddle fresh mint for mojitos, for example, the line at the bar will never end, making for frustrated wedding guests and annoyed service staff. Instead, consider a recipe with as few ingredients as possible — and ingredients that can be prepped ahead of time — so assembly is both quick and seamless.
When possible, stick to lighter colors.
The last thing you want is excited guests accidentally spilling a bright red cocktail all over your gown as you bust moves together on the dance floor, right? For this reason, I recommend sticking to lighter-color libations like vodka, gin, white rum, or prosecco in your signature cocktail. And if you’re going to add some fruit into the mix, maybe steer clear of options like cranberry juice.
What kind of cocktail are you and your partner considering for your wedding reception? I would love to read your creative thoughts in the comments below!
Happy Wedding Planning!
Sarah Keenan, Photographer
Knoxville, Nashville, Asheville
Johnson City + Chattanooga