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DIY wedding: Expert tips to elevate your drinks offering

Updated: May 17

One of the biggest expenses when planning a wedding is food and drink, but adding a DIY touch to your drinks offering can reduce the price point while also adding a unique and personal touch to your wedding table. Here, David Cooper from glassware company Forever Crystal offers some tips on how to create the perfect drinks for your big day.

When planning a wedding, your food and drink offerings to your guests are often the most expensive part of the event, aside from the venue hire. However, there are many ways to reduce your outlay without compromising on how special your wedding is, and one of these is adding some DIY touches to your special day. You might not have thought of doing your own drinks selection, but this can really be a cost-cutter, as well as making the event more special and unique.

Here, we'll take you through some pointers for creating the perfect DIY drinks spread at your wedding.


Decide on a theme

Many people enjoy choosing a theme for their wedding, and reflecting this in your drinks offering can make it easier to decide on what you'll serve, as well as making the drinks fit with the atmosphere of your special day. If you have settled on a summer wedding, try designing a cocktail menu that includes floral notes and fruit juices to go with the season. If you're hosting the event in a countryside setting, you might want to consider incorporating locally sourced fruit and berries, such as red currants, blackberries, raspberries, and apples.

For a seaside wedding, classic beach drinks like Mai Tais are good choices, but you can also add ingredients like sea salt to your menu to tie it in with the location. If you would prefer serving a selection of wines rather than cocktails, you could source them from local wineries — again, floral notes will work for a summer event, while tannin-heavy wines will be rich and warming enough for winter.

Plan when drinks will be served

Your drinks offering will not only depend on your preferred beverages, but also on when you'll be serving them at the event. Many people start their special day with a drinks reception that serves light cocktails, with more drinks (often wine) then served alongside the meal. You'll usually require drinks for people to consume throughout the wedding party after dinner too (whether you have an open bar or not), so plan ahead for this too.

Reception or welcome drinks should be lighter and fit with the wedding's theme — this is the perfect time to serve cocktails, or Pimms as a classic choice for a summer event. Wine is the usual choice for the meal, while usually after-dinner drinks offer more variety and choice to guests. Whatever you decide, make sure that you split your drinks menu into stages so you know when everything is going to be served and can plan accordingly.

Design your own cocktails

Part of the fun of organising your own drinks is designing cocktails that will forever be associated with your wedding, which you'll remember and recreate for years to come. Try making a list of you and your fiancé's favourite flavours and ingredients, to come up with a menu that reflects the things you both enjoy. If you are a fan of whisky, try creating a cocktail that uses your favourite dram, and if you favour gin, try creating a variation on the classic gin and tonic that uses coloured or flavoured gin to add some excitement and novelty.

Allow plenty of time prior to your wedding to make and taste your own cocktails, to make sure they are exactly what you want. Write down and hone your recipes, and ask family and friends to taste test them to ensure they will go down well on the day. This can be one of the more enjoyable parts of wedding planning, and really allows you to get creative.


Choose your glassware

When you've ascertained which drinks you'd like to serve, it's time to think about the presentation — choose sets of matching glasses that will bring the aesthetic of the table together and compliment the décor at your venue. Crystal glassware is a timeless and beautiful choice that can really set off colourful drinks, making for great photos.

Investing in your glassware will ensure that you can not only use it at your wedding, but for years to come. This way you have a wonderful way to take a treasured memento from the day. It's best to try out some of your drinks in the glasses you're planning to use before the event, to check that the presentation is exactly what you want. You can also add finishing touches such as garnishes of fruit, herbs, and even edible flowers like primroses, to really elevate your presentation.

Add personal elements


The joy of creating your own drinks menu is that you can make it really individual and reflective of the things that you and your partner enjoy. Try naming cocktails after your wedding, after your favourite flowers, or places you love to visit. You can also include engraved glasses for the wedding party, which can double up as a beautiful take-home gift for bridesmaids and groomsmen. You could also use creative ways to include your drinks into the colour scheme, using flowers like hibiscus and blue pea flower to change the colour of your drinks. If you want to get really personalised, try printing photos of you and your fiancé on the glasses that you'll be serving your drinks in, or adding cocktail accessories reflective of your personal style.

Creating your own DIY drinks offering can not only cut costs at weddings, but also make for a more personalised and memorable experience. Use these tips to get started and enjoy the process of getting creative with this part of your special day.


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