I hope everyone is staying warm in these chilly temps ’round the DMV! We have something awesome to warm you right up! Before the holidays I had a party at my house in DC and we put together a hot drink bar to keep guests toasty and well hydrated! Of course we couldn’t do a drink bar without decorating the table…and the cups! (Plus, I’ll do anything for a free wedding printable!) We have a printable for a coffee sleeve or klatch sticker that you can download and use for your wedding or party. You and your guests can use this fun, interactive sticker to keep drinks properly labeled and hands all nice and warm!

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My girls at Little Bit Heart designed the most adorable coffee sleeve or klatch sticker printable. I’ll give extra hugs to anyone who uses this at their next party or wedding! Notice the cuteness of the printable and its relation to United With Love’s logo. Tracy Timmester was so sweet to take such amazing pictures of the par-tay!

Here is how we put together this super chic and delicious hot drink bar. You can use these tips for your next party or at your wedding. For all of the winter weddings in the DC area, greeting your guests with a drink bar as they exit the ceremony on their way to the reception would be like giving everyone a big huge hug!

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Dress it up!

  • The table will get messy, so put down something on the table before you put your pretty table linen. Here we used kraft paper, which is very affordable and you can throw it away when the night is over.
  • We saved money on a linen and went with an inexpensive table runner in a bright pattern that added a little pop of color.
  • We let the drinks and the fixings provide much of the decor on the table. The rest of the decor we placed in the back so guests could get to the drinks. You don’t want your table to be so over designed that you sacrifice function.
  • Sometimes decor is just as easy as a quick trip to Whole Foods for simple, beautiful flowers. We also used mini cupcakes from Fluffy Thoughts that provided a decor element guests could also eat – an easy two-for!
  • More two-for decor items are the drink flags and the stirrers. We love decor items that are as functional as they are pretty; this way there is no wasted space on the table. (Look out for these as free printables in a future post!!)
  • Arney Walker Calligraphy did such a beautiful job on hand lettered tents. If you love calligraphy, but can’t afford it for your invitations, try using it on food and drink labels. They are beautiful and functional! Tent signs are a nice touch that not only provide a little bit of decor, but also its saves guests from having to ask, “What is that again?”

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Who, what where?

  • Nothing gets guests talking and mingling like something simple and interactive like a “bar.” A hot drink bar like this gets guests up out of their seat and talking together. We added the a name-your-own drink to make it even more fun. Read below for how we made the coffee sleeves that you can make too.
  • Let the guests do their own mixing. If you are planning to provide “spikes” or alcohol for your guests, consider offering it on the side so guests can add as much or as little as they want. This makes the drink table fit for everyone; even the kids can enjoy the bar.
  • Keep the drink fixings and mix-ins limited. This will save you time, money and lots of left overs. Guests can only put so much into and on top of their drinks. You only need to provide a few different choices; don’t go crazy with lots of extras.
  • Here is a list of what we provided for our guests: hot apple cider, hot chocolate, broken-up candy canes, mini chocolate chips, cinnamon sticks, powdered sugar and cinnamon, marshmallows, peppermint liquor, spiced rum and coffee liquor.
  • Consider the placement of your bar. We put the hot drink bar outside to increase the amount of space that guests could use throughout the house. The drinks kept outdoor guests warm and kept them mingling throughout the house and not all crammed inside.

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How to make the coffee sleeve stickers:

  • You’ll need: a sheet of sticky paper, scissors or paper cutter, coffee cups, coffee klatches, and markers.
  • Download the free coffee sleeve sticker printable and print it out onto sticky paper.
  • With scissors or a paper cutter, cut the sticker tags out into individual stickers.
  • Along with the cups and klatches, leave the individual stickers and markers out for guests to name their own drink!

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So, that’s it! I hope that you enjoyed our how-to on a hot drink bar and that you’ll consider it for your next party or wedding. The following Washington DC area wedding vendors not only helped me with my party, but also helped to make this hot drink bar happen:

Planning & Set Up: Bellwether Events, Bella Notte, Event Accomplished
Photography: Timmester Photography
Calligraphy: Arney Walker Calligraphy
Printable: Little Bit Heart
Table Runner: Fantasy Vintage Bridal
Coffee Cups & Klatches: Garnish
Cupcakes: Fluffy Thoughts

And, a special shout-out to {a}strid photography and Michelle Lindsay who let Tracy photograph them and their cold hands!

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen. You can also connect in our DC area wedding forums and share your wedding announcement with the world!

Photo Credits: Timmester Photography

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