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How to Create your Wedding Mocktail Bar

Your wedding day is a celebration of love, and what better way to mark the occasion than by raising a glass filled with a delightful, alcohol-free mocktail? A mocktail or non-alcoholic bar at your wedding can be a fantastic addition, ensuring that all your guests, including those who don’t consume alcohol, can enjoy refreshing and flavorful beverages. We’ll guide you through the steps to set up a mocktail bar that will impress your guests and add a touch of elegance to your special day.

Why have a mocktail bar?

Including a mocktail bar at a wedding offers a range of compelling reasons for couples. First and foremost, it promotes inclusivity by ensuring that all guests, regardless of their alcohol preferences, can enjoy a special and refreshing beverage, fostering a sense of belonging in the celebration. It also a great way to cater to designated drivers and guests with responsibilities that prevent them from drinking alcohol, providing them with a tasty and satisfying alternative. Even guests who typically consume alcohol may appreciate the option of mocktails, particularly on hot days or when they wish to pace themselves.

Furthermore, a mocktail bar is family-friendly, making it suitable for weddings with children or teenagers attending. It offers a diverse and creative range of flavors, adding a delightful culinary dimension to the wedding experience. Additionally, it accommodates those with health considerations, dietary restrictions, or medications that interact with alcohol. The visual appeal of a well-designed mocktail bar can complement the wedding’s theme and decor, enhancing the overall ambiance of the event. Moreover, it encourages responsible drinking among guests, promoting a safe and enjoyable atmosphere. Couples often find that crafting unique and signature mocktails is a fun way to express their personalities and add a personal touch to their wedding. Ultimately, offering a mocktail bar alongside alcoholic beverages allows couples to cater to a broader range of guest preferences and contribute to a memorable and inclusive wedding celebration.

In recent years, there has been a trend to go alcohol free beyond “dry january” to push back against an alochol-filled cultural expectations. This may also be part of health-conscience choices. But also as budgets have tightened a cocktail bar has gotten out of budget for many – where the mocktail bar can offer a beautiful experience for a fraction of the cost. 

Whatever the reason, the mocktail bars are so cute and fun to set up!

Bride enjoying a mocktail beverage
BG Studios Photography

Step 1: Planning and Preparation

Before you start assembling your mocktail bar, you’ll need to plan carefully. Consider the following:

  • Theme and Colors: Match your mocktail bar to the wedding theme and colors. Coordinate the drink presentations with your d├ęcor to create a cohesive look.
  • Menu Selection: Choose a variety of mocktail recipes that appeal to a wide range of tastes. Include options that are fruity, herbal, and even spicy to cater to different preferences.
  • Ingredients and Supplies: Make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need for your chosen mocktail recipes. Don’t forget to gather the necessary glassware, garnishes, and equipment like blenders and shakers.

Step 2: Mocktail Menu Creation

Create a curated mocktail menu that complements your wedding theme and palate. Simple bar options could be an italian soda bar or a kombucha bar. If you are looking for something more reminiscent of their alcoholic counterparts here are a few non-alcoholic cocktails to get you started that go beyond the traditional Shirley Temple and Arnold Palmer:

  • Virgin Mojito: A classic choice with fresh mint, lime juice, sugar, and soda water.
  • Berry Bliss: A delightful blend of mixed berries, lemonade, and a splash of sparkling water.
  • Cucumber Cooler: A refreshing mix of cucumber, elderflower syrup, and soda.
  • Pineapple Paradise: Pineapple juice, coconut cream, and a squeeze of lime make for a tropical delight.
  • Sparkling Lavender Lemonade: Combine lavender syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water for an elegant option.

Step 3: Set Up the Mocktail Bar

Setting up mocktail bar with cute glassware
BG Studios Photography

On the day of the wedding, allocate a designated space for your mocktail bar. Some areas even have mobile mocktail bar that can take care of your thirsty guests for you too. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Decor: Use tablecloths, flowers, and signage to create an inviting and visually appealing bar area. A bar cart could be a cute and simple area to decorate!
  • Glassware: Arrange a variety of glassware for serving mocktails. Consider elegant stemmed glasses, mason jars, and decorative straws.
  • Ingredients and Garnishes: Get lots of ice! And then display your ingredients neatly, and don’t forget to include a selection of garnishes like lemon and lime wedges, fresh herbs, mint leaves, and colorful berries. You may want to explore some non-alcoholic spirits to include. Other ingredients you may want to gather: ginger ale, coconut water, club soda, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, orange juice, ginger beer, fresh lime juice, diet coke, agave syrup, fresh lemon juice, and apple cider. 
  • Bartender: If you have a bartender, ensure they are well-versed in mixing mocktails and can explain the options to your guests.
  • Recipe Cards: Place recipe cards or menus at the bar so guests can choose their favorite mocktail and even attempt to make it themselves.

Step 4: Enjoying the Mocktail Bar

Encourage your guests to visit the mocktail bar by making it a focal point of your wedding reception.  You can also:

  • Have a “Signature Mocktail” named after the couple to make it even more special.
  • Create a mocktail-making station where guests can customize their own drinks.
  • Include a drink menu that offers non-alcoholic beer and wine as additional options for those who prefer them.
  • Provide a selection of flavored syrups and sodas for DIY mocktail enthusiasts. Either make or assign someone to make their own simple syrup as an easy DIY!
Mocktail bar cocktail
BG Studios Photography

Final Thoughts

A mocktail bar at your wedding is not just a thoughtful gesture for non-drinkers but also a fun and creative addition to your celebration. With careful planning, a well-curated menu, and an inviting setup, your mocktail bar can become a highlight of your special day. We also encourage you to take these ideas to your home bar too! We would love to hear all about your favorite favorite alcohol-free cocktails as you try different recipes. So, here’s to love, laughter, and raising a glass of delicious mocktail to toast the beginning of your beautiful journey together! Cheers!

September 12, 2023

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