Imagine you’re walking into a bridal shower – or any party really.
What’s the first thing you’re going to look for? (Apart from scanning the room for a familiar face. 😉)
That’s right…. The DRINKS!
And this, my friend, is why creative drink stations are a fantastic way to greet your guests. You give them something fun to *drink in* (pun intended!) right from the start and kick off their experience at your party in style.
Read on for 5 helpful tips for bringing CREATIVE drink stations to life.
The key is to keep things stylish AND functional – and to have fun with the the design process yourself along the way!
Psssttt… Looking for the printables for this theme? Click here.
*Not to be confused with TLC, but KINDA the same thing because it will make your drink station feel special!* 💖
This is where you decide on the look you want for your station – the Theme, Style, & Colors – and the details really matter here. For example, if you’re planning a wild animal theme, do you want a rustic and jungle-y look or something that leans boho, edgy, glam, etc? Same thought process with the colors. Getting ultra-specific in the beginning will make the rest of your creative decisions so much easier.
For this safari theme, I went with “bold girlie glam” for the style and a color palette of “mainly black & white, with accents of soft pink and gold”.
2. Signature Drinks
Serve 2-3 signature drinks that coordinate with your party theme through their colors, flavors, or both. (These would be in addition to basics like ice water and soda or tea, which can be served in a separate area.)
For this safari-inspired bridal shower, I chose:
- Pink Safari Cocktail – a fruity peach & berry cocktail punch
- Mojito Love – a sparkling mocktail punch
- Mini Espresso Martinis – (love the dark-roasted coffee color of these!)
Your signature drinks don’t need to be complicated to be awesome.
In fact, it’s kinda extra-awesome when they aren’t. (Speaking from experience here!)
I used flavored mixers from Master of Mixes to make each of these signature drinks.
- White Peach Mixer for the Pink Safari
- Espresso Mixer for the Martinis
- Mojito Mixer for the Mojito Love Mocktail
The mixers made the drinks WAY easier to prepare, and they all tasted delicious! 😋
I garnished the espresso martinis with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and served them “grab and go” style. (When serving drinks this way, it’s smart to have a back-up pitcher of pre-mixed drinks chilling in the fridge so you can easily fill more glasses when the tray gets low.)
Beverage dispensers are one of my all-time favorite “party tools”. They keep the drinks flowing, are easy to decorate with creative trims, and look gorgeous filled with colorful garnishes like citrus wheels, mint leaves, and sliced fruit!
3. Height & Balance
Creating different levels of height makes a HUGE impact on the overall look of any drink station. All of the “risers” on this table are actually wooden floral containers turned upside down.
As a general starting point, I usually divide my tables into horizontal front and back “zones”. Elevating items in the left/right areas of one zone and the middle zone of the other is an easy way to create a balanced overall look.
4. Backdrop & Decor
Backdrops can be an intimidating thing to figure out for ANY type of styled party table. Here’s a fun trick: about 90% of the time, I use fabric shower curtains for my backdrops! They come in tons of great patterns and are usually less expensive than buying several yards of material.
Balloon garlands are another great option for backdrops. Plus, they’re super inexpensive. 🙌 This garland is made from marbled and solid color balloons strung together (through the balloon tails) with a needle and fishing wire.
Decorative accents on this table included things like bold black & white patterned vases, toy animal figurines spray painted gold, sparkly cups and straws, and interesting textured trims (like tassels and faux fur).
Animals sipping cocktails!
I love including elements of “surprise & delight” in a party table whenever possible. 😉 The playful little displays in the “back zone” on either side of this table are an example of this. They’re made from inexpensive wall shelves (found at Marshalls) + animal head wall decorations (Target, $6 each). The animals are attached to the wall shelves with zip ties, and sipping “cocktails” constructed from bud vases filled with glitter.
Last but not least, are the paper details! Printables are always the perfect finishing touch that really brings a theme to life. And guess what… you can download my designs form this theme for FREE!
Hope you enjoyed these tips! Click here for details on the drink recipes in a separate post.
Disclosure: I’ve teamed up with Master of Mixes on this post and other creative ideas this year. You can learn more about our current partnership right here. Heartfelt thanks to our readers for supporting the brands that make it possible to keep sending creative inspiration your way. 💛