10 Ways to Serve Hot Cocoa at Your Winter Wedding

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

Hot cocoa cocktail with sugar cookie garnish

Photo by Abby Jiu; Planning and Design by Lauryn Prattes​

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.

Hot cocoa is a crowd-pleasing 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 the ceremony to warm everyone up, at cocktail hour if it's spiked, or even around a bonfire late-night as dessert. 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 example, 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 fun shapes 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 delicious ways to serve hot cocoa at your winter wedding.

01 of 10

Raise the Bar

Hot cocoa station
Photo by Abby Jiu; Planning and 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. We also love the little bows atop the cocoa dispensers and the gold containers for toppings.

02 of 10

Offer Toppings and Flavors

Toppings and flavor syrups at hot cocoa bar
Photo by Abby Jiu; Planning and 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, and whipped cream. This couple offered extra variety with three different flavor syrups—gingerbread, peppermint, and salted caramel—so each guest can customize their own cup.

03 of 10

Add Homemade Marshmallows

Two mugs of hot cocoa with star-shaped marshmallow
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. Stars make for a festive shape, but you can also do hearts (because love) or even Christmas trees.

04 of 10

Create Food Pairings

Coffee cups with donut holes on a stick
Photo by Love & Light Photographs

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

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

05 of 10

Hang a Statement Sign

Hot chocolate station with "Pour Some Sugar On Me" signage
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. It looks great paired with gold accents, greenery, and seasonally-inspired red and white florals.

06 of 10

Elevate Your Serveware

Winter wedding table setting with hot cocoa in a copper mug
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 for a favor they'll love.

07 of 10

Serve It Frozen

Hot cocoa cocktail with sugar cookie garnish
Photo by Abby Jiu; Planning and Design by Lauryn Prattes

It may be in the name, but who says hot cocoa has to be hot? Consider wowing everyone with a frozen hot cocoa-inspired signature cocktail. We promise they'll think it's as sweet as this sugar cookie garnish.

08 of 10

Think Outside the Mug

Caramel hot cocoa on a stick
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 off the web, but there's always the option to take it on as a DIY project.

09 of 10

Offer Multiple Flavors

Dark chocolate and salted caramel hot cocoa on a stick
Photo by Lili Durkin

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

10 of 10

Make Hot Cocoa Favors

Hot cocoa mix in a copper mug wedding favor
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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