10 Ways to Serve Hot Cocoa at Your Winter Wedding

Take the seasonal drink to the next level with these easy upgrades

guests with hot cocoa

Photo by Whitney Neal Studios 

Let's be real: What is a party in wintertime without hot cocoa? The seasonal drink is a must at any event this time of year and your winter wedding should be no exception.

Plus, this is a menu addition that won't blow your food and beverage budget (it's an easy add-on or replacement for standard coffee service). We love the idea of serving hot cocoa before a ceremony to warm everyone up, at cocktail hour if it's spiked, or even around a bonfire late-night as dessert...but no matter when you decide to serve the seasonal treat, there are a few things you can do to upgrade any standard cup of cocoa.

For starters, forget a white ceramic cup and put the goods in something pretty like a copper mug or coupe glass. From there, it's all about adding "extras" like marshmallows in a fun shape or drink stirrers printed with a catchy saying. You can even let guests channel their inner kid by setting up a self-serve drink station complete with a display of all those toppings (think peppermints and chocolates).

Below, we present 10 ways to serve hot cocoa at a winter wedding. You can thank us later!

Raise the Bar

hot cocoa station
Photo by Abby Jiu; Planning & Design by Lauryn Prattes

Instead of throwing a dispenser on a table, make a show of your hot cocoa station. This little cart is dressed with a greenery garland, calligraphed sign, and custom to-go cups for cocoa.

Offer Toppings & Flavors

hot cocoa bar
Photo by Abby Jiu; Planning & Design by Lauryn Prattes 

Your guests will feel like kids at a candy shop if you set up a display of drink additions like peppermint stir sticks, white chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, whipped cream, and caramel sauce.

Add Homemade Marshmallows

<p>Shaped Marshmellows</p><br><br>
Photo by Ruth Eileen Photography

No cup of hot cocoa is complete without marshmallows. And while we'll always love the little packets that come with the grocery store variety, these shaped confections seem more appropriate for a wedding.

Create Food Pairings

<p>Doughnuts on a Stick</p><br><br>
Photo by Love & Light Photographs

Elevate each cup with a sweet treat on a stick. If the event goes late enough, you can even think of this late-night snack as breakfast.

If you're serving a warm beverage, consider having drink sleeves printed with something special like your initials, wedding date, or a catchy phrase like, "Baby, it's cold outside."

Hang a Statement Sign

Hot Chocolate Station
Photo by Dawn Charles

Again, elevate your self-serve station by decorating it with themed decor. We're especially into this catchy sign, which both directs guests and serves as a photo-ready moment.

Elevate Your Serveware

<p>Hot Cocoa in Copper Mug</p><br><br>
Photo by B.Matthews Photo

Forget a ceramic rental: Your warm beverage will look (and taste!) better when served in a copper mug. Source these from a rental company or buy them in bulk and send each guest home with one at the end of the night.

Serve It Frozen

hot chocolate cocktail
Photo by Abby Jiu; Planning & Design by Lauryn Prattes

Consider wowing everyone with a hot cocoa-inspired signature cocktail. We promise they'll think it's as sweet as this sugar cookie garnish.

Think Outside the Mug

<p>Hot Cocoa on Stick</p><br><br>
Photo by Sugar & Charm

Take traditional hot cocoa to the next level by serving it on a stick. You can buy these modern takes on hot cocoa packets from sites like Anthropologie, Etsy, and World Market—and, of course, there's always the option to take it on as a DIY project.

Offer Multiple Flavors

<p>Different Flavors</p><br><br>
Photo by Lili Durkin Photographer

Even better: Offer multiple flavors! We may be biased, but we think these specialty sticks (in flavors such as dark chocolate, salted caramel, and mint chocolate chip) look next-level amazing.

Make Take-Home Packets

Photo by Amilia Photography

Before guests depart, end the night on a sweet note by sending everyone home with a pre-packaged treat. We love the idea of creating a mini package that includes a mug, a packet of cocoa, and a note to thank everyone for coming. Talk about a favor they'll actually use again!

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