Photo by Hopkins Studios

Let’s be honest, the bar is the hottest spot of the night at any wedding. It gets more action than any fancy food bar and is the center of fun. For that reason, it’s especially important that you not overlook the decor and design of the most frequented area at your reception. Here are some tips to get your creative wheel turning:

  1. Perfect the Lighting:

    Photo by Brandon Lata

     From as simple as putting a couple lamps on the bar top to as elaborate as having a custom light fixture made to hang overhead, think about the lighting at your bar. Lamps bring a sense of home to the bar and are an inexpensive way to provide an impactful piece of decor. Another idea is to have a custom piece of wood covered in boxwood with edison bulbs hanging beneath (I’m dying to try that one out myself!) You don’t want the lighting to be too bright and you don’t want it too dark. Provide just enough for your bartenders to be able to function, but not so much your guests have to squint.

  1. Make the back bar POP: Think about what your glassware will sit on behind the bar. Will it be a simple, overlooked banquet table with a plain white linen OR will it be a beautiful functional furniture piece such as a rustic bookshelf? My suggestion: take option 2. Visit your local event rental company and see what they have in stock. They can start around $150, but it’s money well spent. Give your guests something lovely to look at while they wait for their drinks!
  2. AVOID CLUTTER: Assuming you’ve taken option two in the bullet above and went with a beautiful, functional furniture piece as your bar back, my next tip is to request that your bartenders display all liquors and wines on those shelves rather than the bar top itself. Bar tops are limited with space as is and you don’t want to further clutter it with bottles that can potentially get knocked over as the night goes on.
  3. CREATE BAR TOP SYMMETRY: As mentioned above, you want to keep the bar top clean and clutter-free. You also want to keep symmetry. Be it two floral arrangements (or bridesmaid’s bouquets), clustered candles, lamps, etc., put the same decor piece on both ends of the bar to give height and uniformity. The only other thing you should have up there are your adorable custom cocktail napkins.
  4. hopkins_studios_madelinejoe017

    Photo by Hopkins Studios

    EMBELLISH THE FRONT: Don’t forget the front of the bar! If you’re using a banquet table and simple linen for your bar, consider swagging a beautiful garland on the front. It can be as simple as boxwood springs or your florist can create a more lush piece with fresh flowers. If your bar is wooden and has panels in the front (as pictured at the top of this post), the sky is the limit on what you can do! Some ideas include: having your graphic designer print a custom monogram, cover wooden panels in fabric of your choice, insert mirrors or have your florist create a live piece to hang.



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