Monday, May 14, 2012

Tip Of The Week: Drink Stations

Happy Monday morning to you!  I hope you all had a fantastic Mother's Day with your families - I know I did!  I also hope that you got a lot of your wedding planning taken care of.  For those of you getting married this summer, make sure you are rereading your contracts and verifying things with all of your wedding vendors.  You should have your flowers chosen, venues for sure, decor figured out, and you should know which drinks you will have for your pre-ceremony and cocktail hour drink stations.  I bet most of you didn't even think about this - did you?  I HIGHLY recommend, at least, a pre-ceremony drink station.  Your guests will start to arrive about 1 hour prior. If your celebration day is outside, they will start to get parched, especially if it is a hot day. 

There are a number of ways you can go about setting up a drink station.  Here are a few of my suggestions:

1. Set out a simple cooler or some galvanized tubs full of water bottles and a table with some wine bottles, openers and glasses.  This is fast, easy and very economical.  Though you may not have put much time and effort into this, your guests will really appreciate it.

2. Hire a couple of bartenders through a catering company.  Purchase some wine, champagne, water and soda.  Set-up an 8ft banquet table, put a nice linen on it, a couple of simple flower arrangements {even just one flower head floating in a vase}, and have the bartenders greet and serve your guests.  This is still a very economical way to go about something that your guests will look at as quite eloquent.  Hiring bartenders for 1 - 2 hours is pretty cheap...

3. Do you have an old canoe, or some wheelbarrels?  Fill them with ice and drinks, put up a chalkboard telling your guests to help themselves and voila!  A fun, unique and appreciated drink station.

4. Buy, rent or borrow a few dispensers.  Make lemonades, iced teas and flavored waters and fill them up!  Add the fruit to the drinks for a little extra ooomph.  Spread glasses on the table and there you have it.

5. Are mason jars your thing?  Fill a bunch up with a signature drink with a super fun name.  Pre-ceremony you could have a non-alcohol drink and your cocktail hour could have both drinks with alcohol and drinks without.  Put a fun straw and a cute ribbon and label with your monogram on the jars and it is a perfect "Signature Drink Station".

Some things to keep in mind are:

1. If you want your guests to "help themselves" make sure there is a sign somewhere that will let them know this.

2. Give all of your drinks a fun name.  I mean, a dispenser with "Lemonade" is not quite as fun as a lable that reads something like "Marital Mimosa" or "Sassy Sangria"...just sayin...

3. Place your drink station in an easily accessible area.  This is where your early arriving guests will most likely "hang out" so keep it nearby.

4. You don't have to do a lot to the area, but do dress it up a little.  Even just to add a linen and a flower in a vase {you can buy some flowers at the grocery store and borrow vases from friends and family if you need to}, is all you need to do.

5. Always make sure to have water on hand.  Not everyone likes soda, and not everyone will want to drink alcohol right away, but water will quench peoples thirst.

6. Designate someone to keep an eye on the ice situation.  If it is going to be a hot day, it would be a good idea to have a few coolers around specifically for ice bags.  It should be this person's responsibility to make sure the water is dumped and fresh ice is added.

Are you having a drink station at your celebration?  What are you serving up?  How are you designing it?  Please leave a comment and share your ideas.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Theme Thursday: Cinco de Mayo

It's been a while since I've been able to post.  That's a good thing!!  It's wedding season and that means I'm busy.  But, it is Cinco de Mayo and I really can't pass up this opportunity to bring you a couple of Inspirational boards.  I hope you have a wonderful day of celebration.