How to Create a Wedding Reception Signature Cocktail

Two women at a wedding reception holding red signature cocktails.

It’s always fun to put personal touches into your wedding day, but choosing between the different options may seem intimidating. One way to personalize your wedding a bit while offering your guests a fun culinary treat is to craft a signature cocktail to serve at either your cocktail hour or throughout your reception. Signature drinks are definitely a fun way to bring your wedding to the next level and they’ll be a fun detail that you’ll always remember! Here’s everything you need to know to create your own.

What Is a Signature Cocktail?

Before we get into how to create your signature wedding cocktail, let’s decipher what they even are. These drinks are a simple concept: an established drink that acts as a “trademark” of your event. They are typically something unique that holds special meaning to you as a couple. Yours may represent a geographical area, a custom, or even a taste that is meaningful to your relationship with your soon-to-be spouse. You’ll want these drinks to say something about you as a couple—in a fun way!

Decide How Many Cocktails You Want to Serve

First, you’ll want to decide on the number of signature cocktails you’ll have at your wedding. While you can certainly serve one, some couples decide to serve two, usually in a “his and hers” format. This choice is completely up to you, but it may make more sense to serve two if you both have completely opposite beverage preferences.

Choose the Type of Drink

Now is the time to choose the taste that your drink will have, which will influence the actual ingredients that go into the cocktail. To do this, decide what the drink is going to be based on. For example, if you met each other while working in Manhattan, it would be clever to create a twist on a traditional Manhattan cocktail. Your signature cocktail could also be something that goes along with your venue or the time of year you’re getting married. If you’re having a barn wedding in the fall, a spiked apple cider could be a great option that goes with the theme. Otherwise, the bride and groom could both choose their favorite alcohol to make those “his” and “hers” drinks we mentioned above. Perhaps the bride loves gin, while the groom loves whiskey. That means two versatile drinks for your guests to choose from!

Decide When to Serve It

Next, create a plan with your venue and vendors as far as when this drink will be served. You may opt to serve it at your cocktail hour or during the thick of your reception. Perhaps it will be waiting at each place setting when guests sit down or maybe it will be available throughout the entirety of the night. The fun thing about this detail is that it’s completely up to you!

Discuss the Plans With Your Caterer or Beverage Provider

A group of signature cocktails at a wedding reception.

You’ll want to have a conversation with whomever is providing the drinks for your wedding reception or cocktail hour. This is an important step as it allows you to gain an understanding of whether or not you’ll need to pay for this drink separately or if it will be included with your beverage package. It also allows you to discuss how much of the cocktail they’ll need to make to ensure that they are well-prepared.

Name the Cocktail!

Naming your signature cocktail may take some careful thought and a bit of cleverness. You can go with something personal to you as a couple, highlighting an important place or moment in your relationship. If you’re going for something more wedding-themed, consider names like “Something Blue,” “Love Potion,” or “Main Squeeze.” You could also incorporate your first or last names.

Make Sure the Cocktail Is Advertised With Signage

You’ll want your guests to know about your signature cocktail, so make sure you have some kind of signage advertising it. Set it up at the bar so guests know they can order this drink if they so choose. You can make a sign yourself to be framed or propped up, or you can even have a more professional wooden or illustrated sign made that you’ll treasure forever.

Accessorize the Drink

You may want to pair your signature cocktail with some other fun details for guests to enjoy. These could include anything from a custom cocktail napkin or fun straws to swizzles sticks or printed coasters. Whatever you choose, be sure to tell your photographer about these details along with your signature drink so that they can be sure to capture these items as they document your special day.

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