How to Elevate Your Wedding Bar Without Blowing Your Budget

Skip the boring and basic without breaking the bank

By: Amanda Mushro

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A lot of glasses of champagne in a luxurious atmosphere. Stylish, toned photo. Secular reception, new year, wedding


A lot of glasses of champagne in a luxurious atmosphere. Stylish, toned photo. Secular reception, new year, wedding

Photo by: Mariana Mikhailova

Mariana Mikhailova

When setting the mood for a wedding reception, brides and grooms are saying goodbye to basic bars and hello to fresh cocktails and bar experiences. However, along with those fancy and delicious drinks often comes a hefty price tag. So if you’re focused on staying on budget with your wedding bar but still want to elevate the style and drinks served, here are a few ways to do just that.

Upgrade the Basics: Beer and wine are always crowd pleasers, but they don’t have to be boring. Check out local breweries and wineries for a selection of local craft beers and wines that your guests will love. You won’t break the bank and your guests can sample some local gems. Be sure to add these special details to your drink menus so guests know they are sampling some of the finest local beers and wines.

Create a Specialized Tasting: If a full bar isn’t in your budget, choose your favorite liquor and offer guests tastings and signature cocktails created from your drink of choice. If you love tequila, then give your guests a fun experience with several cocktail options or sample different tequilas straight up or on the rocks. You’ll save money on the bar bill, but you can make the experience fabulous for your guests.

Share Your Signature Cocktail: It’s your wedding day, so serve what you love. Signature cocktails are still a trendy and budget-friendly way to serve high-quality alcohol. Streamlining to one or more specialty drinks allows you to skip the full bar and the full bar bill. Offer a drink that you love, reminds you of a place you and your soon-to-be-spouse shared on a vacation, or opt for something fresh that’s perfect for the season.

Add Décor: Yes, having fabulous drink options is an easy way to elevate your wedding bar, but don’t forget to add decor. Creative signs, flowers, detailed drink menus, and even beautiful barware jazz up the look and can make the experience more fabulous without splurging on a full bar of premium liquor. Talk to your florist about adding flowers or a garland to the bar, or add some fun lighting to set the mood.

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