The 10 Most Impressive Ways to Serve Cocktails at Your Reception

Yes, this does involve LED lights, shooters and white-gloved attendants.
andrea fowler the knot wedding planning expert
Andrea Fowler
andrea fowler the knot wedding planning expert
Andrea Fowler
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Andrea Fowler is an Editorial Content Manager at Sony Music Entertainment.
  • Andrea is a New York-based content strategist and creative producer.
  • Andrea worked as an Assistant Editor for The Knot from 2015 to 2017.

1. With Popsicles

Wedding signature cocktail with champagne and a popsicle
Brittany Graham Photography

Up the ante on your average champagne with a variety of fruity popsicle garnishes. They're the perfect combination of playful and classy and doubles as a refreshing summer drink that's perfect for a light, pre-ceremony sip.

2. In an Ice Mug

Wedding reception with beer served in ice mugs
Jennifer Lindberg Weddings

Serving a cool local brew is impressive; serving a cool local brew in ice mugs is straight-up awesome. Not to mention it's a fitting detail to round out a winter cocktail bar. (And don't forget the mittens!)

3. On Tap

Beer bar on tap during wedding reception
Lauren R. H. Campbell Photography

Beer snobs, rejoice: A wall of beer is the perfect reception bar for you. Pick a couple of your favorite brews and put them on tap for guests to try for themselves. Supply beer mugs and pitchers so guests can bring group servings back to their table or top off their drink before hitting the dance floor.

4. LED Ice Cubes

Wedding cocktail with multicolored LED light ice cubes
Megan Chase Photography

Nothing says "after party" like multicolored LED lights. Ask your attendants to start plopping these into drinks after a certain hour in the evening, along with a nighttime snack (cookies and milk, anyone?), so guests stay awake and energized.

5. Keg On a Cart

Home brewed beer for wedding reception
Under Grace Photo

The home-brew revolution has officially hit weddings, and it's evolving to new heights. Introducing: the craft beer cart. Bring the party to each table with a convenient three-tap serving system.

6. Prepped and Ready

Mason jar cocktail station with salted rims
Joseph Lin Photography

Set out glasses that are already prepared with fun garnishes or salted rims, and let your guests play bartender. Have some easy-to-serve cocktails out, like party punches or pitchers of sangria, so it's quick (and neat!) for guests to fill their glasses and get mingling.

7. Classy Shooters

Green cocktail shooters
Laurie Bailey Photography

Consider pumping up party with a modern take on shooters. Small servings—just a few sips—of limoncello, a mojito or a cosmopolitan are a surefire way to get people out on the dance floor. Shooters of a mixed-drink variety are much safer than throwing back straight liquor but give off the same festive vibe.

8. With an Unexpected Garnish

Champagne with cotton candy garnish
Jennifer Yarbro Photography

A garnish is like an accessory for cocktails. Why not dress glasses to the nines with something unexpected? Candies, aromatic herbs and infused fruits create a totally memorable cocktail experience.

9. Through a Wall of Ivy

Ring for champagne bell
Elisheva Golani Photography

Talk about elaborate. A wall of ivy is whimsical in its own right, but add a bell for champagne service delivered by a fancy white-gloved attendant for truly showstopping presentation (and the perfect Instagram shot).

10. Ice Bar

Custom scultped ice bar
Brian Dorsey Studios

Don't have a bar at your venue? Make one from ice! Sure, there's a lot of planning that goes into building a cocktail station like this one, but it's totally worth it. If you really want to take advantage of the ice sculpture, add a small ice luge that cools cocktails as they're poured through and caught in a glass.

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