May 5, 2014 -- When it comes to wedding food formats, the customized toppings buffet has always been a winner with guests.
After all, who hasn't enjoyed loading up baked potatoes with sour cream, butter and bacon, or topping a few scoops of ice cream with candies and sauces at a make-your-own sundae display.
Now, some wedding experts predict that the trend is moving to that other popular area of the reception: the bar. An increasing number of couples are choosing to create serve-yourself drink stations at their weddings, where revelers can customize cocktails.
"A lot of caterers will do a bubble bar, which is champagne and variety of syrups and fruit for guests to add and customize their drinks," said Anja Winikka, site director of popular wedding resource TheKnot.com. "Make-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bars complete with all the veggies and sauces are also popular. This is a great idea for intimate weddings, for the morning after brunch or rehearsal dinner."
As caterers begin to take notice, some beverage companies are also putting together packages to help fuel the trend.
"We started seeing the mimosa bar concept popping up and decided to create one for a workshop we participated in with juices and fruits that perfectly compliment our wine," said Megan Robinson, Art Director + Product Development for ONEHOPE Wine. "The image taken at that event became the number one pinned mimosa bar on Pinterest, with questions from countless users from how to purchase one to advice on creating their own."
So the company decided to create a product that would streamline the process. Since launching the package last month, the ONEHOPE Mimosa Bar has become the company's best selling gift/hosting item online, said Robinson. A set including 6 bottles of ONEHOPE Brut Sparkling, 5 carafes, 4 fruit bowls, 1 muddler, 1 muddling tray, straws, carafe tags and fruit cards is currently being sold for $179.
But are self-serve cocktail stations a recipe for disaster? Is there any greater risk that guests may over indulge without a bartender there to monitor pours?
On a Wedding Wire discussion board on the subject, some brides expressed concern over self-serve stations without any supervision.
"Is there anyone under 21 invited to the wedding? Some kids try to sneak drinks and that could get you in trouble," wrote one.
Another counseled to consult local liquor laws and any contracts with the reception venue.
"In many states, failure to have a professional bartender renders you potentially liable if one of your guests gets drunk and has an accident on the way home," she wrote.