Signature Cocktails

Infusing Personal Touches into Your Wedding Cocktails


August 28, 2023
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of various

Destination weddings are a perfect opportunity to infuse your personal touch into every aspect of your celebration, including the cocktails. Signature cocktails are a trend that has taken the wedding industry by storm, allowing couples to create unique, delicious, and fun drinks that reflect their personalities and love story. If you’re planning a destination wedding and want to make your cocktails extra special, here are some tips and ideas outlined by Anastasia Shevchenko of Sheff Production Photography & Videography and expanded on by other experts in the industry.

Photo by Haley Richter Photography // Venue: Crossed Keys Estate

Reflect Your Style

Your signature cocktails should resonate with you and your partner as a couple. Think about your favorite flavors, colors, and even the story behind how you met. Consider your personalities and interests when choosing the ingredients and names for your drinks.

Signature cocktails are a great way to personalize your wedding and bring a bit of fun and flair to the day. Lately, we have been loving our clients’ unique twists on cocktail hour with specialty treats like boozy popsicle, slushes, and more!” Ari Busch of Bridal Bliss says.

Photo by Catherine Band // Planner: Cape Cod Celebrations

Taste Test

Before finalizing your signature cocktails, have a taste test to ensure they are delicious and balanced. Experiment with different spirits, mixers, and garnishes to find the perfect combination that will appeal to your guests’ palates.

“We recommend that each drink has a different liquor to offer a nice selection for your guests,” Jamie & Stephanie of Cape Cod Cape Cod Celebrations say.

Photo by Sheff Production Photography & Videography

Balance and Presentation

A great signature cocktail is not only delicious but visually appealing as well. Consider the color and presentation of the drink, as it can add to the overall aesthetic of your wedding decor.

Don’t forget to stylize the bar itself too! One easy way to achieve a unique look is to incorporate the bottles of alcohol themselves. For this, you’re going to want to select bottles with compelling glass designs. 

“If you want to create a unique experience,” says Andrew Borenzweig, founder of The Beverly High Rye, “I suggest featuring an ice sculpture displaying the bottle, with a personalized design, and–of course–a luge to serve chilled whiskey through. It’s sure to be a guest favorite.”

Consider the Season

Depending on the time of year and the destination of your wedding, think about what ingredients are in season. Incorporating fresh, local ingredients can add a unique touch to your signature cocktails.

For a summer-friendly twist, try a boozy milkshake! “They are always a hit with guests,” Heather of Heather Durham Photography advises. 

“Whereas,” Casey of Casey & Co. Events adds, “a Hot Toddy would be best suited for winter time.”

Photo by Catherine Band // Planner: Cape Cod Celebrations

Non-Alcoholic Options

Don’t forget about guests who don’t consume alcohol. Having a non-alcoholic version of your signature cocktails ensures that everyone can enjoy your special creations.

“We’re seeing a surge in not just specialty cocktails but specialty mocktails as well,” Chloe Skelly of Chloe Alise Events says, “which is a great way to be inclusive to those who opt not to drink or do so out of health reasons.”

Photo by Natalie Bray // Planner: LuckEleven Events

Personalized Names

Give your signature cocktails names that have a special meaning to you as a couple. It’s a lovely way to tie your love story into the celebration.

“Guests love a signature drink with a backstory!” Jessica Rodriguez Hanselman of Crossed Keys Estate adds. “Did you share a particular drink on your first date? Or a cocktail you like to enjoy together? Don’t feel pressure to do a ‘His/Hers’ but instead an ‘Ours!’”

Photo by Heather Durham Photography // Planner: M. Elizabeth Events

Collaborate with Your Bartender

Work closely with your bartender to ensure they can efficiently prepare and serve the signature cocktails to your guests. This helps keep the service smooth and enjoyable.

“Find out from your bartending company how long it takes to make each cocktail,” Melanie Levin of LuckEleven Events. “A cocktail like a margarita is easy to pre-batch whereas an espresso martini is typically made individually. With that being said, couples should consider when the cocktails are offered and how quickly they need to be served as they choose the complexity of their drinks.”

Photo by Melissa Habegger // Planner: Chloe Alise Events

Printed Menus

Display a small menu at the bar or on the tables that describes the signature cocktails. This way, your guests will know what’s available and can try them without hesitation.

“Signature cocktails make getting creative with signage a breeze as well, as hand-drawn illustrations, unique fonts, and even quirkier names make for fun visual interest for guests to feast their eyes on,” Ashley Lachney of Alston Mayger Events says.

Photo by Haley Richter Photography // Venue: Crossed Keys Estate

Share the Story

“During the reception, consider having a short toast or sharing a few words about the inspiration behind your signature cocktails,” Anastasia of Sheff Production Photography & Videography says. “It’s a nice way to engage your guests and make the drinks even more special.”

Incorporating signature cocktails into your destination wedding is a fantastic way to add a personal and unique touch to your celebration, but Alexandra of Eventlightenment Planning warns: “Many venues and/or caterers will charge a per drink fee to account for the increased ingredients they must stock to accommodate the requests for it. While it’s a nice touch for those who really want it – don’t feel peer pressured into it if it doesn’t truly reflect your vibe!”

Photos by Zoom Theory Photography

When in Doubt, Leave it to the Pros

Having a hard time deciding on which flavor profiles or what vibe to go with for your wedding bar? Consider handing it off to the menu-building professionals like those with Tipsy Pear, a Southern California-based, premier licensed and insured bar provider led by Le Cordon Bleu and Michelin Star-trained Chef Meg Walker. From meticulously planning the beverage menu to ensuring accurate quantities to crafting perfectly balanced cocktails, the Tipsy Pear team takes care of all the heavy lifting from a bar perspective so that clients can relax and enjoy their event to the fullest.

“With our crew of certified bartenders and our dedicated Beverage Director, Heather Ramirez, we’re on a mission to bring each client’s dream bar to life for all types of special events, private events, and weddings,” Chef Meg Walker says.

Whether you opt for classic cocktails with a twist or innovative creations that reflect your personalities, your guests are sure to appreciate the effort you put into making the drinks extra fun, unique, and yummy. Cheers to your beautiful day!

(Header image by Cheers Babe Photo)

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