Unique Ideas for Your Wedding Reception Coffee Bar

How to pep up the night with a little caffeine.

wedding coffee bar

Photo by Kaylee Chelsea Photography

After your ceremony, cocktail, and reception speeches, it's likely that a few of your guests (and you!) might need an extra boost to make it to the dance floor. Any easy way to supply that is by offering up a caffeine kick. "Coffee bars are definitely a YES," shares planner Syrhonda Calhoun of A Monique Affair. "It's a great way to recharge your loved ones when it's time to party."

Laura Ritchie, co-founder of wedding planning company Grit & Grace, agrees that they are a wedding essential. "To keep the party and energy up, we always encourage a coffee moment. We love incorporating specialty coffees, passed sweets with espressos, or honing in on something more meaningful like using a favorite local brew," she shares.

While you can always set up a few coffee and hot water urns near the dessert table, there are a few ways to make your caffeine station a little bit more special. Ahead, we asked experts to share some of their favorite ideas to liven up your reception.

Hire a Barista

While you can always serve up a regular cup of joe, why not offer some special brews for your loved ones. “Create an interactive experience for your guests,” suggests Calhoun. “You can hire an expert barista to come to pour hand-crafted coffee and give tips and tricks they can take home with them—think of it as a wedding favor that keeps brewing."

Calhoun continues, "If you and your partner have a special coffee shop, you can see if they cater and have them be a part of your special day. Having each cup of hot joe come with your monogram or edible images is also a unique touch." She adds, "Don't forget your non coffee drinkers! Have an assortment of high-end teas and let's not forget the kiddo's hot chocolate with marshmallows."

Ritchie echoes her sentiment. "Our Cuban clients had a custom coffee curator onsite whipping up strong concoctions and it was a huge hit," she remembers of one wedding. However, she does provide some advice for logistics. "If you have a tented wedding, please know that the dreaded coffee maker in the catering tent can make or break your power grid. We always ensure that we have a totally different circuit and generator for the catering tent as well as a dedicated circuit to brew coffee with!"

Make a Toast

It's common at weddings to have a champagne toast at the reception. But, consider changing it up for a fun cheers everyone can participate in. "Think about adding an espresso shot at the end of toasts where the couple thanks everyone for coming and supporting them," offers Calhoun. "At the end, the catering team brings out a round of espresso shots for everyone to take." We love this idea to pump up the party before dancing begins and be considerate to guests who might not drink alcohol.

Try a Coffee Cocktail

For guests that might enjoy a little liquor, you can always consider serving a spiked coffee-based beverage to pep up the night. Calhoun suggests getting creative or going for a classic drink like an Irish Coffee. And, you can always serve up an espresso martini. However, Ritchie suggests changing them up a bit.

"Espresso martinis are the mason jar of the wedding industry right now," she says. "For a different version of the over-saturated standard (albeit delicious treat), pass mini versions on the dance floor or as an after dinner cocktail during toasts with a sweet bite. Less spillage and you still get the caffeine zing!"

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