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Planning a wedding can be a huge and exciting undertaking. From the last night of freedom to the first dance, there are literally hundreds of decisions to be made to ensure that it really is the happy couple’s best day of their lives.

When it comes to the important subject of alcoholic beverages, many couples now opt for a ‘signature cocktail’ to be served at the reception. It’s a recent trend that’s taken the wedding industry by storm – and it’s not as extravagant or gratuitous as you might think.

If you love the idea of a signature drink, there’s certainly no shortage of creative inspiration. Here are 50 signature cocktails to be getting on with straight away. To come up with something new and exciting, consult with a professional wedding caterer or mixologist who will all have great ideas for a unique drink which you’ll be able to sample before you approve the recipe for the Big Day.

Far from being yet another job on the wedding planner’s never-ending ‘to do’ list, creating a signature drink can add both efficiency and ambience to a wedding. Here’s how:

It helps to tie the wedding theme together

One of the most popular reasons why couples ask about signature drinks is because the wedding cocktail is considered an integral part of the overall wedding theme. Using uniquely coloured spirits, juices, rimming salts & sugars and other accessories, why not use the signature cocktail to coordinate or reinforce the colour theme of the day?

Beyond colour, you can use your unique beverage to tell the story of the happy couple, perhaps by choosing ingredients that are reminiscent of something that happened on their first date. It’s also an opportunity to name the cocktail something a little more original and personal than ‘The Blushing Bride’, ‘Wedding Bell-ini’ or ‘Mai Tai the Knot’.

Consider displaying the signature cocktail and the meaning behind it in a picture frame on top of the bar. Get the guests excited with anticipation even before the wedding day, by arranging a cocktail making masterclass where the girls can learn to make the cocktail as part of their hen do!

Source: Butlers with Bums

It simplifies the drinks buying process

Deciding on drink service can be a logistical nightmare, depending on whether the wedding is catered, held at a restaurant, hotel or country club. Are your going for a full bar service, or restricted options? If the former, are you prepared to pay extra for premium brands?

Self-purchasing alcoholic beverages for the event comes with added complications. What quantities to choose so you don’t overbuy but won’t run the risk of the bar running dry before the night is out? You’ll need to estimate what and how much each guest is likely to drink.

Opting for beer, wine and a signature cocktail can hugely simplify the entire process by limiting the ingredients available to happily serve the wedding guests through the evening.

It controls the alcohol content being consumed

Weddings reception are prime contenders for overindulgence, and serving a signature drink can help. It’s a good alternative to an unrestricted cash bar, especially if it is suspected that some guests will take advantage and throw caution to the wind.

If intoxication is a concern and you wish to widen the drinks choice beyond wine and beer, choose a signature drink that contains one part alcohol and two or three parts mixer. Another way to limit the alcohol content is to use wine or beer rather than spirits as a base to create a cocktail that is naturally lower in alcohol.

Whichever drink you ultimately go with, it’s worth sharing your reasons with the bar staff and wedding planner, so that they can head off any potentially embarrassing situation from arising and keep the day stress free.


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It speeds up the serving of drinks

Long queues to get served at the bar can spoil a perfectly happy wedding reception. Many guests feel overwhelmed by the sheer choice of drinks on offer and risk succumbing to ‘analysis paralysis’. Enter the signature cocktail and bar service will be drastically improved, resulting in happier guests all round.

With only limited options on offer, choosing a drink is quick and easy. What’s more, most guests will be keen to try something that’s been created specially for the event, particularly if it’s enticingly presented in a pretty colour and served in a cocktail glass.

As for the bar staff, pouring signature cocktails is quicker simply on account of the proximity of the ingredients and the repetitive mixing action involved, as well as the likelihood that they will be making more than one drink at a time.