Every fall, we're impressed by all the creative ways couples incorporate autumnal details into their wedding celebrations. One of our favorite fall wedding ideas? Celebrating the season’s bounty of fruit by setting up an apple cider bar! It's a not-so-expensive way to upgrade your fall wedding, and it's a delicious, crowd-pleasing, (optionally) non-alcoholic beverage that all your guests can enjoy. Plus, a dressed-up serving station can add a beautiful decor component to your reception.
Of course, you'll want to make sure your apple cider bar stands out from the rest. A great way to do that is to specialize it to suit your wedding—for example, if the forecast calls for cooler temps, help guests warm up by setting up a drink station with mugs and beverage dispensers full of piping hot apple cider. Believe us, they'll appreciate such a thoughtful touch. Another idea: Serve up glasses of freshly pressed apple cider at cocktail hour or on the dessert table alongside sugared cider donuts!
Read on for eight apple cider bar ideas that are sure to make this delicious fall wedding trend even more special.
Set Up a Self-Serve Station
Welcome guests by setting up an apple cider station at the entrance of your ceremony venue. Since this will be the first thing guests see, we recommend tailoring the design to the rest of your fall wedding decor, as this couple did by setting colorful canisters atop vintage tables for a rustic-chic vibe.
Make Apple Cups
Take your apple cider to the next level by serving it an apple itself! Recreate this look by carving out the core of the apple, then adding accompaniments like star anise and cinnamon sticks for a picture-perfect (and tasty!) drink. And, we must mention, there's always the option to spike each drink with bourbon, vodka, or cinnamon schnapps.
Get Creative With Glassware
Fall weather can be unpredictable, so it's smart to serve both hot and cold apple cider. And, since you're already giving guests options, consider giving them a selection of glassware as well! We love this bar setup—a vintage furniture rental topped with green goblets, gold wine glasses, and copper mint julep cups makes for a statement display and allows guests to choose how they want their beverages served.
This is a season about celebrating flavors, so ensure your drinks are extra flavorful by adding a selection of fresh garnishes. Apple slices, springs of rosemary, and cinnamon sticks feel like natural choices here. But feel free to set up a "toppings bar," and let guests dress their own glasses themselves (which you can rim with cinnamon and sugar for a super-sweet touch). You can include things like star anise, orange peels, and even caramel sauce.
Share the Recipe
After all the time spent on creating an extra-creative display, ensure your apple cider bar has its proper "decor moment" by adding special signage. Yours can say something as simple as "Apple Cider Bar," but we also love the idea of sharing the drink recipe—especially if it has significance!
We're always fans of special food-and-drink pairings, and sugared apple cider donuts (and fresh apples!) feel like a must-have here. You can provide them at cocktail hour, or as a non-cake option for dessert.
Consider having a dessert bar for a great way to incorporate both cider and an array of fall treats, like apple pie and caramel apples.
Decorate With Apples
Finish your table off with an abundance of apples to really hammer in the theme. Pro tip: You want this look to coordinate with the rest of the day's decor, so get creative by using apples in your color scheme and showcasing them on serving pieces (like this rustic wooden stand!) that feel right for your wedding venue and theme.
A great way to make sure everyone is satisfied is to provide two dispensers, one with regular cider and the other with a hard version. The adults will appreciate the delicious fall cocktail while the younger guests and those who don't drink will enjoy the regular cider just as much. Another great component of this cider bar is the hanging wine glass display. Keep a scissor close so guests can snip the ribbon to get their glass. So creative!