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Designing the perfect welcome cocktail

May 4, 2020

A beautifully presented welcome drink builds excitement for the celebration like no other. Guests love nothing more than stepping off a shuttle bus or walking into your ceremony area and being greeted by this seemingly simple yet thoughtful touch. And, of course you could just serve something delicious and leave it at that, but if you’re like me at all, you already know that this is one detail where you can really go above and beyond making it a more intentional experience overall. With that in mind, here are the six things I consider when designing this moment for our clients and their guests:

Image from the candlelit concert planned for one of our legacy clients as captured by Steve Steinhardt.

It goes without saying that the drink or recipe chosen is the most obvious detail. Depending on the venue or region, I love to greet guests with something the area is known for or even a drink that is made from ingredients found right on the property. For instance, if marrying on the East Coast, a well crafted Southside is always a hit. Or in Italy, a fresh Bellini or Aperol Spritz is an obvious choice. If your wedding venue grows grapefruits or has an herb garden, why not create a cocktail featuring these ingredients. Fresh Paloma with rosemary? Yes, please. And if none of these details feel right, you can always opt to feature your own go to cocktail.

Image from Trilby’s birthday at the Nomad Hotel as captured by Lindsey Boice. Star drink stirrers or stirrers in shape of choice available at

The glass the cocktail is served in adds a ton to the overall presentation. Guests can’t help but want to at least take a taste of a beautiful cocktail served in a vintage coupe or a high quality low ball glass with the perfect cube of ice inside. While you can always depend on your beverage caterer to choose the glass for you, don’t be afraid to seek out the perfect glassware to not only accent your drink but your overall event design.

Image from a candlelit concert in one of our client’s homes as captured by Steve Steinhardt.

Nothing can take away from a pretty cocktail more than a tray lined with polyester napkins. While guests won’t necessarily know the difference, if you’re into details as much as I am, finding the perfect tray to present that perfect cocktail on is always a priority. Whether a vintage mirror, a wood slab, a piece of slate or just a gorgeous handmade ceramic tray, this one detail can truly elevate this first impression.

Otomi drink stirrers and cocktail napkins from a wedding in Mexico were a continuation of a beautiful Otomi inspired wedding invitation. Captured by Steve Steinhardt and available at

Whether a tiny bloom, a fresh herb sprig for a playful drink stirrer, the welcome cocktail is a way to show off your attention to detail. There are very few guests who won’t notice your crystal clear, perfectly square ice cubes, or that sweet drink stirrer that ties back to your stationery and other event branding. And don’t forget to add a little touch to the tray too. A perfectly placed flower is all you need to finish off the presentation beautifully.Cocktail in a coupe glass with gray hemstitch cocktail napkins as captured by Steve Steinhardt. Cocktail napkins available with or without customization at or by emailing

Whether a timeless hemstitch napkin or a custom paper napkins with a cheeky phrase, put a little extra thought into this moment to complete the experience. This is a great place to put the motif you’ve created for your stationery or even to share fun trivia or playful fact about your relationship.

Champagne served on vintage mirror trays with custom cocktail monogrammed cocktail napkins from Courtney & Charlie’s Charleston wedding as captured by Steve Steinhardt. Cocktail napkins available at

While people have accused me of being a bit extra with this detail, I love when the server attire reflects the overall look and feel for the day, as well as how it just completes the overall presentation of that first cocktail your guests received. Obviously this is an easy detail to skip, but I can’t help but feel like all is right in the world, when the attire is the perfect compliment for the occasion and the cocktail.

If you get as excited as I do about this moment and want to make it extra special, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at We’d love to work with you on creating the perfect drink stirrer, cocktail napkin or other detail to make your welcome drink that much more special. And as always, don’t hesitate to email us at if you have questions or topics you’d like to see us cover.


Crate and Barrel Pryce Gold Coupe Glass // Shop 


Crate and Barrel Element Metal Antiqued Brass Tray // Shop


Custom Cocktail Napkins // Shop


Crate and Barrel Adina Brass Cart // Shop

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