Everything You Need To Know About Having a Cigar Bar at Your Wedding

Add a little something extra to your reception
Wedding reception DIY cigar bar
Photo: Hendrick Moy Photography
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
by
Jessica Estrada
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
The Knot Contributor
  • Jessica contributes wedding planning, wedding etiquette and relationship content to The Knot.
  • She also covers lifestyle and wellness topics for print and digital publications such Refinery29, Bustle, Well + Good, Cosmopolitan, Byrdie, The Zoe Report, The Cut and more.
  • Jessica has a journalism degree from Cal State University, Northridge and is certified as a life and success coach.
Updated Jul 18, 2023

The secret to a fun wedding reception? Personalized touches. Think unique wedding reception ideas your guests haven't seen or wedding favor displays that will grab your guests' attention. A cigar bar at your wedding, in particular, is one way you can add a wow factor to your day. If you're wondering what a cigar bar at a wedding entails, Meagan Culkin, owner, lead designer and planner of Magnolia Collective, explains that a cigar bar is a station set up by a professional offering on-site cigar rolling in a designated area of your wedding reception venue. She notes that you can also have a DIY cigar bar featuring various styles, matches, ashtrays and cigar cuts for guests to enjoy. Either way, cigar bars are a unique, elegant experience that adds flair and pizzazz to a wedding, says Rene Diaz, owner and founder of On-Site Cigars.

Want a cigar bar at your wedding? Keep reading for all the tips, tricks and ideas for bringing the vision to life.

Wedding Cigar Bar Vendors

The first step in having a wedding cigar bar is finding a vendor. Pro tip: The Knot is an excellent resource for finding a cigar bar vendor for your wedding near you. Look under Wedding Bar Services & Beverages. Additionally, Diaz recommends looking around locally for a cigar wedding vendor. "A good cigar bar vendor should have a store or an office where the client can visit," he says, adding that they should also supply samples per the client's request. Culkin also suggests inquiring at local cigar shops for recommendations.

How Much Does a Cigar Bar Cost?

As a rule of thumb, Diaz says, "a fair competitive cost of a cigar bar should be between 1-3 percent of the total cost of the wedding." That said, Culkin notes the cigar bar cost depends on whether you go the professional or DIY route. "Bringing in a professional roller can be anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500, whereas the DIY route would cost closer to $500 to $800 depending on varieties, quantities, etc.," she says.

How Many Cigars Do You Need for a Cigar Bar at a Wedding?

It depends on your budget. To give you a ballpark, Culkin recommends estimating that one-third of your guests will partake while other guests may take a cigar home for a friend or a loved one.

On the other hand, Diaz suggests stocking your wedding cigar bar with a slightly bigger ratio of guests to cigars. For instance, he says for a wedding of 100 guests or less, 50 or 75 cigars should suffice. For weddings of 100 to 150 guests, he recommends 100 cigars. Diaz adds that cigar bar wedding vendors often bring extra bundles of pre-rolled cigars just in case there's a shortage.

When to Smoke Cigars at a Wedding

Ensuring a nice flow is always key when mapping out your wedding reception timeline. For this reason, Diaz recommends opening up the cigar bar after dinner. "Most people that lack cigar experience," he says. "They want to smoke during cocktails. This is not a good time. The cocktail is only one hour, and within that hour, people are taking pictures, greeting friends and family; they are not interested in cigars."

More specifically, Culkin suggests waiting until after the cake cutting and toasts and once the dance floor opens up. This way, "guests are able to relax and enjoy at their own leisure without fear of missing any portion of the evening," she says.

Tips for Having a Cigar Bar at Your Wedding

Now that you're up to speed on how to find a wedding cigar bar vendor, the cost and when to incorporate into your wedding timeline, read on for wedding cigar bar ideas and additional expert tips on how to ensure the cigar bar at your wedding goes off without a hitch.

Set up your cigar bar indoors.

First and foremost, check with your wedding venue to ensure that cigar bars are allowed and, if so, where they recommend setting it up. Ideally, Diaz recommends setting it up indoors in a strategic central location that's part of the main event. "A cigar bar should be part of the main event, because the exhibition of rolling cigars is appealing to smokers and nonsmokers alike," he says. In other words, you don't want the cigar bar tucked away in a corner where no one can see and enjoy it. If the wedding takes place outside, he suggests setting up the cigar bar away from direct sunlight and covered from wind.

Have a designated smoking area outside.

While Diaz recommends having the cigar bar indoors, he advises having a designated smoking area outdoors so the smoke doesn't disrupt guests inside. "It is very important to know that when the cigars are being rolled, there is no smoking," he says. "If guests want to smoke, the cigar sommelier will escort the guest to a designated smoking area." This is the ideal option for the wedding venue as they may be concerned about smoking indoors.

So when shopping around for a cigar bar vendor, ask how many people will be present on the event day. Diaz says two is ideal. One is the cigar roller, and the other is the cigar sommelier, who can escort guests to the smoking area and answer questions about the type of tobacco or what kind of cigar they'll be smoking.

Think of all the details.

To ensure everything runs smoothly on the day of, Culkin emphasizes the importance of considering all the nitty gritty details and logistics and having everything set up for convenience. For example, in the designated smoking area, have a trash can available where guests can throw away plastic and wrappers. And some guests may prefer to take their cigars to enjoy them at home, so having some bags ready for that purpose will come in handy.

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