Rebecca, from London-based bar hire company TwentySix, is here with her top tips on creating a perfect drinks reception that will wow your guests and truly incorporate your own personal tastes and story.
When Paul and I launched TwentySix, we wanted to create something unique, enduring and scalable. Coming from a background in fashion buying, I knew first hand that trying to stay one step ahead of trends was challenging and often unfulfilling work. With the instantaneous nature of Instagram, Pinterest etc. and the (often) long lead times of quality project planning, it doesn’t tend to marry up. So when it came the values of TwentySix, it was incredibly simple – we wanted to use quality products and a keen attention to detail to collaborate with our clients in a creative and fluid way.
You can’t ignore trends, and it’s important to be aware of them for client trust and market understanding, but we strive to build something of integrity that has more to say than just a nice cocktail photo for Instagram.
The event bar market is a busy one, but we saw a clear gap in this landscape for something honest and accessible, that applies the care and attention of a wedding planner to the process. For better or worse, the bar is a focal point of all weddings, yet all too often it can be one of the last vendors to be considered or even be seen as a rather inconvenient expense. We are sympathetic to this and we like work closely with couples to listen to their story and personal tastes in order create something unique, that elevates their whole day for them and their guests.
So how do we do this? I am going to share with you a few of our approaches to creating a wedding day drinks menu that you can be truly excited about, and that can become part of the conversation for your guests on the big day.
English Sparkling Wine
We are huge lovers of English Sparkling Wine. There is so much beautiful wine on our doorsteps that add a home grown, premium touch to your wedding day. Not many people are aware that in certain places the South of England hosts almost identical chalk qualities to the Champagne district in France, creating exceptional wines. We are also mindful that choosing British products supports the British economy, significantly lowers carbon footprint and hopefully shows some of your guests something new.
Quality, Independent Wines
Quality does not have to mean pricey! Our wine partner is proud to work with smaller, independent vineyards across Europe and South Africa that produce fantastic wines that give an incredible bang for your buck. The vineyards tend to be family run, have their own story, and are often champions of sustainable farming. Our supplier also provides many organic and vegan options so we can effectively incorporate our client’s values to each menu.
A bar creates an experience for its guests, this doesn’t always mean people drink alcohol.
Toasts, having something delicious to sip in a flute, and meeting at the bar are all rituals that people who don’t drink do not necessarily need to miss out on. We work with fantastic alcohol free companies to ensure the non-drinkers are looked after and have the same experience (minus the hangover) as the drinkers.
Instead of something trendy and ‘of the moment’, why not try bespoke cocktails to your own story. We work with couples to create cocktails based around their relationship and tastes. You can do a timeless classic with a twist, incorporate where the couple first met, a drink they enjoyed together over a special holiday moment, or really anything of personal significance to the menu.
Oh, the power of a shot. Dinner is over, everyone is feeling nicely full on food and wine, the vibe is at a content and relaxed ebb. You want to let your guests enjoy this as it tends to be where the conversation is flowing, but when you’re ready to change gear and encourage people to the dance floor, we recommend a shot to kick start the fun and signal that the party is starting.
So you’ve put all this time and effort into your drinks offer for you guests… we need to tell them. If you opt for English sparkling wine, our staff can let guests know that the vineyard is located (for example) just 80 miles from the venue.
The table menus can have brief explanations of the wine options on them – “This South African, family run vineyard produces elite wines that use no irrigation, pesticides or herbicides -they are sustainable socially and environmentally. The aromas of this Chenin Blanc are flinty with peaches, honey, orange blossom and white stone fruit notes. Delicious.”
The cocktail menu at the bar will have personalised names and also have a brief explanation of the story behind the choice – “This cocktail was enjoyed by L&B on the first evening of their first holiday together.”
When we pull the guests in to read and understand what they are drinking, it becomes a new and elevated experience.
In these uncertain times, with no firm grasp on when your wedding day will actually happen, we hope to provide some comfort in the fact that the drinks menus we create will be relevant now, 2022 or even twenty years from now.
A timeless and personal experience to remember.
Refine your wedding venue search by location, capacity, type, and style.Visit Venue Finder
Planning advice, real wedding edits, and venue showcases to inspire you.View Blog
Visit the Event Diary to find out about upcoming wedding venue open days.View Latest