Just when you thought I’d forgotten to continue with this series…
The claim is that Style Shoots are unfeasible and hard to translate to your own wedding planning. I partially agree with that. But only because when I see pictures in the magazines/blogs/publications there is no caption explaining how it was done or how to replicate the idea into something that fits a different wedding style. Varying on the look, we’re also not told how much effort it goes into collecting decor pieces and how you can adjust the look to work with your venue or guest count, etc. Many of us just need a little guidance for the inspiration so that we can make it our own.
The idea of a self-serve wet bar came up when trying to think of elements that could make a wedding unique without having to be overly extravagant. We also wanted something that guests would enjoy that was already part of the wedding, not something that would take attention away from the reason they were there to begin with, to celebrate with the couple!
Following the photos I will explain how this sort of idea will work for you as well.
What we did:
We selected one spirit type (gin), offered several mixer ingredients so that guests had variety of cocktails to choose from (thank you Sarah of fuzzynk for the delish recipes on the menus!), and incorporated our color palette with a small flower accent and an arrangement from Floral Occasions to tie-in to the rest of the wedding theme. In our case, the decor was a striped ice bucket and martini shaker from my house, an art-deco serving tray from Pier-1, crystal decanters (which can be purchased anywhere from Ross to Macy’s), the rest of the pieces were basic drinkware & condiment containers available just about anywhere. We added the dish of pistachios to hold over the folks waiting in line to mix their own drink (or waiting to be served).
As for the awesome wooden blocks, those were loaned to us by the MCASD the morning of the shoot, we saw them sitting in another part of the museum and just had to ask to use them… otherwise, this bar was originally going to be set-up on a standard 6′ folding table with a navy blue linen.
What you can do:
DIY: As you can see this is a complete Design-It-Yourself set-up, totally easy to replicate & customize if you are getting married at a private residence. If your wedding is small, it can be self-serve and just put someone in charge of refilling it, if your wedding is bigger, a caterer will usually offer extra labor you can hire for just this task. You can also use dixie pete cups instead of glass so there isn’t a need to rent glassware or have it washed continuously.
If you’re at a venue or working with a caterer where they have to provide the bar services- customize it! Many caterers will allow you to customize it the way you want from the type of spirits you want to serve to how you want it set-up. Since this was shot at MCASD, all they would make us change about this set-up would be to insert a bartender or two (depending on your guest count) to do the mixing & serving of the drinks. You’ll find that most venues have liability requirements which mandate an trained, insured bartender. Often times, full-service caterers/bar services have all the rentals too (glass ware, condiment holders, serving tray, decor. etc), check out their stock before the wedding day and make sure you include it in your order. OR give them your key decor pieces to use in the set-up. The key here is communication! Just because you can’t do it yourself, doesn’t mean it can’t be the way you want.
For a “Dry” celebration, whether at a venue or private home. Put some white sage in the decanter to infuse the water with a mild and unique flavor. You can freeze berries and mint into your ice cubes, add fresh cucumber slices to a pretty pitcher. You can also stock your drink station with different types of mix-ins for your water, have you ever tried these water enhancers? Also offer different types of lemonade, iced teas, gourmet sodas… just because you aren’t serving booze, it doesn’t mean your palette can’t have a little fun!
What do you guys think? love? hate? eehh?