One of my favourite ways to jazz up a wedding reception is with the addition of self-serve bars for guests! Sweet bars were trendy for a number of years, but if you’re looking to try something a little different, here are five ideas to get you inspired!
Popcorn bars are a really fun addition to any reception, and they are especially popular in Southern American weddings. After all, what's a Southern American celebration without kettle corn? All you need is a bunch of flavours and toppings (labelled, of course), scoops for each container, and of course, little boxes or bags for guests to fill up. You'll want to plan for about 1 cup of popcorn per guest. If you're really feeling whimsical, you can even set up a little popcorn machine at the bar!
Hot Chocolate, Coffee or Cider Bar
If you’re planning a winter wedding, your guests will love a hot beverage station! Whether it’s hot chocolate, fancy coffee or spiced apple cider, everyone will enjoy cosying up with a piping hot cup during canapés or during the reception. For hot chocolate or coffee, create a toppings bar including mini marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate chips, caramel sauce, hot fudge, peppermint sticks and more.
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Photos by Dani White Photography
For a cider bar, cinnamon sticks are a must - and for any of these beverages, you can kick things up a notch with a selection of liqueurs. Make the experience even more memorable by offering customised drink sleeves with your names and wedding date, and you can label each topping or add-in with an adorable chalkboard sign, too!
S'mores bars are another winter wedding favourite - no campfire required! That’s where s’mores makers or mini hibachi grills come in handy. If the weather permits, gathering around a fire pit with blankets is a cosy alternative. Aside from the essential ingredients (digestives, marshmallows and chocolate bars), you’ll need wooden skewers, tongs and plenty of napkins since they can be a little messy. You can indulge in fancier s’mores with gourmet chocolate bars, caramel, Nutella and other toppings!
As a self-proclaimed foodie, I love the idea of having a tasting bar at your wedding, especially if your venue is a restaurant, a winery or a brewery! A tasting bar can run the gamut from wine and cheese to craft beers, whiskey and bourbon to olive oil, and it’s a great conversation starter during canapes. Depending on what you’re sampling, your serving needs will vary, but tasting sets are a pretty universal choice.
Cigar bars have become insanely popular, especially with grooms! Of course, you’ll want to check with your venue and their smoking policy before setting up a cigar station in an outdoor lounge space. Besides a selection of cigars, you’ll want to include cigar cutters, lighters, ash trays and drinks (cognac, scotch and brandy pair nicely with cigars). You can decorate the station with vintage cigar boxes for a special added touch!
More Wedding Inspiration
Be sure to check out our other eBay guides for more wedding planning ideas and inspiration!