wedding reception bar

Photo by kyryll ushakov on Unsplash                                                              
Written by Lucy Mackay

Get Jolly  


Stocking the wedding reception bar yourselves is a popular choice – that way, you can have all your favourites! Read on for five things to include in your open bar that aren’t alcoholic.

1. A Wedding Reception Bar Menu

Including a wedding reception bar menu will make things easier for your guests and staff. Position menus around the room so guests can decide what they want to drink before they get to the front of the line. Creating a customised menu can also be a lot of fun; you can be a little playful with the names of the drinks, while the style of the signage itself can tie into your wedding’s theme. If you’re serving cocktails, be sure to list the ingredients so nobody gets an unwelcome tequila-surprise!

2. Mocktails

If you’re having a signature cocktail or two, don’t forget to include its non-alcoholic counterpart. Making a mocktail isn’t as simple as just removing the alcohol from a cocktail; the best mocktail recipes are designed to be delicious without alcohol. Consider a non-alcoholic option to toast the bride and groom; instead of sparkling wine, opt for alcohol-free wine or cider so nobody feels left out.

3. Hydration Station

It’s a legal requirement for bars to offer water as well as alcohol, but it’s a good idea to set up a hydration station away from the bar as well. Remember, you want to encourage your guests to drink as responsibly as they can, so by giving them a place to get a glass of water without lining up at the wedding reception bar again is a smart choice.

4. A Policy

One of the best ways to practice responsible service of alcohol (RSA) is to have a plan and stick with it. Discuss a drinks policy with your servers or venue staff and make sure everyone’s on the same page. For example, you might want to implement a rule of maximum one to two drinks for each guest.

5. An RSA Contact

Ideally, all your guests will drink sensibly, but it’s best to be prepared in case someone does have a bit too much. Ask one of your guests to take on the responsibility of being the RSA contact. If there’s an issue with anyone drinking too much, your venue staff can alert them, so they can step in before it becomes anything goes awry. This might be as simple as taking the guest aside and making sure they have a few glasses of water, or finding them a safe place to sleep it off.