Nov 30, 2010

Self-serve Refreshments

Today GB has some super helpful details for your own DiY wedding out there. I personally die for cucumber water. Why does it taste so damn good?
When you're going through the wedding planning process, you eventually hit the Wave of Practical Details. Among these are basic hydration arrangements for your guests... because dehydrated guests are not what you want. This may be part of your catering or venue package (and I recommend double checking that they have a plan), but if your wedding is outdoors or at all DIY then you probably need to figure out how your guests are going to wet their whistle with something other than whiskey and wine. This includes the standing around time BEFORE the ceremony. A self-serve beverage bar is an affordable alternative to paying for bar staff to come a couple hours early just to hand out water. While it's practical and low-budget, it doesn't have to look cheap.

Here's a couple of cute self-serve refreshment tables

A wide variety at this rustic wedding on Ruffled
From a backyard wedding on Ruffled
We borrowed a dispenser from a friend and bought another one to use and have around after the wedding. Keeping it simple, but with a touch of class, we served two flavored waters: orange and cucumber:

Torrey Mandell Freeman
Photo Credit: Torrey M F

The creative opportunities here are labels for the beverages, decorations for the table, and the beverages themselves (um, anyone want to make horchata? Cause that sounds delicious). I made a cut-paper sign ("Refresh") and some festive oilcloth, which I bought by the roll here.

On the nuts and bolts side, it's a good idea to start researching available beverage dispensers early. Borrow as many as you can and give plenty of time for ordering any additional ones you need to buy as stores may not carry too many of these in inventory, if at all. Here's a little help on some research:

$43 at Crate and Barrel

$50 at Bed Bath and Beyond

$60 on Amazon


  1. That last beverage dispenser is such a beauty! I'd totally use it on the regular, if possible.

  2. I know! And this time of year, I'd throw some persimmons in there, mmmmmm :)


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