A few years ago, a friend asked me to design a cocktail for her wedding reception. I was beyond honored, but understandably a bit anxious about the task at hand. Of course a million questions ran through my head. Could I possibly create one signature drink that would perfectly represent this couple? What would I coin this concoction? Would it even taste good?

Fortunately, it all worked out in the end and the glasses were held high on their wedding day. Truth be told, you don’t need a bartender or cocktail connoisseur to create a memorable drink. All you need is good taste and a little imagination. Here are some tips:

• Start with the ingredients. What do you and your partner enjoy in a cocktail? Think about the alcohol and mixers that make you happy. It’s your signature drink afterall.

• Consider color. Is it important that your cocktail match your wedding theme? If so, choose your alcohol, mixers and garnishes around a particular hue.

• Stay seasonal. Indoor or outdoor? Summer or winter? Keep these details in mind when choosing spirits.

• How does your cocktail pair with your wedding cake? Try to pick flavors that complement the other sweets at your table. For example, a bit of Grand Marnier sounds delightful with chocolate, and a splash of espresso liquor could be heavenly with vanilla.

• Glassware. Here’s a great opportunity to combine your toast with a guest favor…have your glasses personalized for the special day and invite your revelers to take them home.

• Come up with a catchy name and consider putting the recipe on the table for your guests to enjoy on future occasions.

Oh, and keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a cocktail that includes alcohol — one of our featured real weddings couples in the current issue (Stevie & Blake) chose to have a signature “lemonade” to serve to their guests.


Blog Post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.