If you want to make a particularly fun statement at your wedding, a champagne tower may be the perfect fit. Not only does this sparkling display command attention as a piece of decor, but it’s also a clever way to serve your guests some celebratory bubbly and raise a toast.
Champagne towers are a structure made up of glassware, either stacked on their own or arranged on a platform. The glasses can be pre-filled with bubbly, or the couple will pour from bottles of champagne, starting with the glass at the top of the tower, allowing it to trickle down to fill the rest of the glasses. “The champagne tower is both a design installation and entertainment,” says Wendy Kay, owner of Birds of a Feather Events.
Meet the Expert
Wendy Kay is the owner and creative director of Birds of a Feather Events, a wedding planning and design firm based in Dallas, Texas.
But it’s not quite as simple as just stacking glasses and hoping for the best. Below, find tips for putting together a champagne tower for your wedding, along with clever ideas to make it your own.
How to Set Up a Champagne Tower
Check With Your Vendor Team
According to Kay, executing a successful champagne tower can come with complications. “You want to have a really great vendor team on board to execute this, as champagne towers can be quite precarious and a bit temperamental if not set up correctly and placed in the correct spot,” she says. If you’re working with your catering team to achieve the trickle-down pour, it’s important to make sure they've done it before. “They will be able to set it up correctly so that it is more sturdy and so that the pour works correctly,” she says.
Choosing the placement for a champagne tower is a crucial piece of the puzzle. The last thing you want to be dealing with on your wedding day is having a tower of glassware tumbling down. Be sure to set your champagne tower up in a location within your venue with plenty of space, whether you're planning to pour right after the ceremony to kick off the reception, or you're hoping to serve champagne with dessert. If your venue is too crowded with your guest count, it may be best to skip the idea of a tower or consider another type of structure.
Think About Weather
It’s also important to consider the weather when deciding on a champagne tower set-up. “Wind is no friend of the champagne tower,” says Kay. If you’re hosting an outdoor or tented wedding, be sure the tower can be in a tent with walls or indoors, or double-check the weather forecast to be sure it will remain secure. Otherwise, it may be best to skip the glassware tower and opt to put together your tower with a base structure built specifically for your wedding.
Wedding Champagne Tower Ideas
Choose Detailed Glassware
Simple coupes are stunning on their own, but you can add a bit more flair by looking at other styles of glassware. “There are all sorts of coupe glasses available now that were not just a few years ago, so take advantage of that and bring in a unique glass,” says Kay. “Just check with your caterer first that they will work for the trickle-down if you are opting to do it that way.” Glassware with interesting grooves or etching is sure to enhance the look.
Want to make a colorful statement? While the golden hue of champagne is stunning, you can swap it out with rosé bubbly for an even more eye-catching option. You could even consider using an option such as sparkling Syrah for a bold hue.
Make It Metallic
Another stunning option for glassware is coupes with a bit of metallic flair. These add such a beautiful glam-meets-vintage vibe to a champagne tower. Choose glasses gilded in gold or dressed in silver for a lovely look.
Build a Structure
If you’re nervous about the construction of a glassware-only tower, that’s not the only option! Utilizing a structure specifically built for champagne towers is a great choice for stability and peace of mind. You can commission the structure to match your wedding’s aesthetic perfectly—and then place it anywhere you’d like.
Use a Tray
Worried about spilling? A tray will serve as the perfect catch. Plus, you can customize the look and find a tray that matches your overall aesthetic.
Opt for Another Beverage
Not a champagne fan but love the idea of a tower? Consider other drink options! You can achieve a similar result by pouring hard cider or even kombucha. Or, build a tower with your favorite cocktail in a coupe. Dirty martinis or refreshing margaritas, anyone?
Tuck it Away
While champagne towers are awe-inspiring, they’re also precarious and can easily fall. Find a space that’s both out of the way but still in sight to safely put on a show.
Go Bold With Color
While champagne towers are a wonderful fit for elegant or glamorous weddings, don’t be afraid to really think out of the box and make a splash. If you’re hosting a vibrant wedding, consider colorful or patterned coupes for something different than normal crystal.
Choose a Bigger Bottle
Want to really command attention? Of course, pouring from a typical 750-milliliter bottle makes a statement, but what if you went bigger? Many options for bubbly are also bottled in larger formats such as a magnum or jeroboam. Check with your vendors to see if ordering a larger bottle instead of several smaller bottles is possible.
Consider Shatterproof Glasses
While nothing compares to real glassware, if you’re nervous about building a tower in your venue, trust your gut. Work with your planner or caterer to find shatterproof glassware that looks like the real thing.
Champagne towers can be built in a wide variety of sizes. It all just boils down to
experience. This tower was made up of more than 100 vintage coupes, making a dramatic statement against a black tablecloth. No matter the size of your wedding, check with your vendor team to see if it’s possible and how to best execute the champagne tower of your dreams.