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DIY, Inspiration, Q & Advice, Twists on Tradition

Wedding Hack: How to Make Big Batch Wedding Cocktails


Photograph by Natali Truax of Mirror Mirror Studio.

We’ve been talking a lot about wedding hacks around here. You know, clever ways to make your wedding more awesome, that don’t cost an arm and a leg. The goal with wedding hacks, in general, is to keep the impact high but the effort low. To that end, we’ll be running a series on some of our favorite hacks, starting with this easy one for offering signature cocktails without all the hassle using a big batch cocktail mixing method.

It’s a common dilemma: you want to have a signature cocktail at your wedding during your super-fabulous cocktail hour, but your bartenders are your brother’s friends from college. You love them dearly but also know that there is no way they can froth, swizzle, and shake drinks to order, and keep the drink line moving. There is a simple solution here, and it is big batch cocktails  that are pre-made so that your bartenders only have a couple of steps to mix each drink. It allows them to move quickly, and lets you make sure each drink is balanced without working to hard. Here’s how it’s done, along with a whiskey sour recipe.

glass and napkin

Photograph by Grace Photography.

Select a wedding cocktail that is reasonable for an amateur bartender. That means: no muddling, no flames, no egg white frothing, no “rinses”, no blended drinks. Select drinks that can be made ahead of time, like the one that we are showing you today. Punch recipes are also excellent examples for batching. The basic key is to create a cocktail base that you can make in a large batch, and then on the day of your wedding, your bartender just needs to shake your mix with ice and pour. One additional step is also okay, like topping the drink off with sparkling wine or water, and maybe adding an easy garnish.

Make a big batch of your wedding cocktail ahead of time. This is easy. It’s a simple matter of multiplication and a couple of special supplies.

First, look at your wedding cocktail recipe, figure out the ratio, and just multiply the recipe by the number of cocktails you want to provide. Let’s look at this recipe for a single whiskey sour.

  • 2 oz. whiskey
  • 1 oz. sour mix (see below)
  • .5 oz. simple syrup

For 100 cocktails, you need:

  • 2 oz. x 100=200 oz. whiskey
  • 1 oz. x 100=100 oz. sour mix, and
  • .5 oz. x 100=50 oz. simple syrup.

This is where the special equipment comes in. You’ll need the following:

  • Large (4 quart or more) liquid measure pitcher, available at Smart&Final, Cash&Carry, any restaurant supply shop. Or here. About $10.
  • Stirring spoon
  • Funnel
  • Storage vessel (clean bottles, juice pitcher, carafe, anything you can store your drinks in at your bar. These are an excellent choice, and you can get a lid. You can also just re-use the bottles your ingredients came in.)

Your four-quart pitcher will hold 128 ounces at a time, so we’ll do four batches at a time. First, fill your large pitcher with 50 ounces of whiskey. Then add 25 ounces of sour mix, then 12.5 ounces of simple syrup. Stir your concoction, and taste it to make sure it tastes right. If it’s too sour, add more simple syrup. If it’s too boozy, add more sour mix—you get the idea. Give the whole thing one last good stir, and then use your funnel to fill each carafe (leave a little space at the top). Repeat three more times. Be sure to taste each batch as you go. Keep your vessels in a refrigerator or on ice at your bar, until cocktail hour, when your bartenders can just add your mix to a cocktail shaker with ice, pour it, and serve!

A note about settling: Be sure to provide either a stirring spoon for your bartenders, or make sure that your storage vessels can be shaken without leaking. Your mix can settle and will definitely need a shake-up before it is poured out.

A note about measurements: You may need to do some math at the store, when you are buying your booze. Unfortunately, some spirits are sold in ounces, others in liters, others in quarts, pints, or gallons. I highly encourage using this smartphone app or this one, or this website for your conversions.

A note about open containers: If you batch your cocktails at your house and are planning to transport them to your venue, be sure to check your state’s laws regarding open containers in vehicles. In many places, keeping them in the trunk is fine, but make sure you are transporting your booze legally!

Sour Mix Recipe: Yeah, real sour mix is actually just citrus juice. The secret is out! So, just mix the juice of any citrus you want together. I like a ratio of 1 part orange juice, 2 parts lemon juice, 1part lime juice. So, your recipe for 100 drinks is as follows:

  • 50 oz. lemon juice
  •  25 oz. orange juice
  •  25 oz. lime juice

Grapefruit is also good in there, as is blood orange juice. I’d also recommend making a little extra, so you have enough to adjust for taste. If you’re really into juicing, you can juice these yourself; I like to use Trader Joe’s or Odwalla juice because I’m lazy. Just remember, if your juice has added sugar, taste your batch before adding simple syrup.

Cool finds, Inspiration, Twists on Tradition

Cowgirl boot wedding shoes (and my saloon-girl ancestry)

So if you and I have emailed, or if you follow Glö on twitter or facebook, you probably know that I moved from London to Colorado just about a year ago. I love it here! And I’m pretty gosh-golly excited to announce that I’ve acquired my first pair of cowgirl boots:

My new cowgirl boots!

The beauties came from the legendary Colorado store Sheplers. I have to confess…I feel pretty sassy when I’m struttin’ my stuff in them.

Although this is my first time living in the Wild West, my family hails from these parts. In fact, my great-great Aunt Lizzie was a saloon girl in Wyoming in the late 1800’s. (The high-kicking, beer-pouring, put cowboys in their place with a glance kind of saloon girl – not the special-lovin’ in the back room kind – she was a happily married lady!)

I’ve been told by my great Aunt (who was born and raised in Colorado and will turn 102 this Christmas Eve) that Aunt Lizzy was one independent-minded, strong-willed and all-around-awesome lady.  I like to think I’m channeling Aunt Lizzy’s girl-power when my new boots are on my feet. My high-kick…that leaves something to be desired.

In light of my new obsession with all things western, I was rootin-tootin excited to see that Sheplers has a selection of wedding boots!

I could totally imagine rocking them in a gorgeous lace-covered dress, getting married in an open field with the mountains as a backdrop. And considering how comfortable cowgirl boots are – dancing is definitely in the cards! (high-kicks are optional.)

Sheplers actually has a whole range of western wedding apparel and accessories. Yee haw!

Western Wedding items

Anyone planning some western twang in their own wedding? I’d love to hear about it!

Inspiration, Twists on Tradition

Make Your Wedding Registry Website Fun for All

If you’re planning a wedding, I bet you’re looking for anything that lets you cut down on stress and save time.  Well here’s a tip!  With sites like Deposit a Gift and Glö, you can bring many aspects of planning a wedding, like the registry and invitations, into the modern era.  The pressure of family and tradition might give you pause, but there’s no reason that wedding websites and online registries can’t be pleasing to your family and friends – in the end they may even thank you for making their lives easier by keeping things online and at their fingertips anywhere in the world.

Here’s some guidance to make a modern wedding registry or website super fun for your friends and family:

  • Add a Personal Message: Guests want to know that they’re interacting with you, not some robot inside their computer.  Write a personalized note that welcomes them to your site and introduces them to the wishes of your modern wedding registry.

Example Registry

  • Customize It: Take advantage of all the options your have to personalize your pages.  Choose a site design, add pictures and import designs, videos, and widgets that express your personalities.

Picture 2 -wedding website article_07-18-11

  • Update It With the Latest Info:  Keep your wedding registry and website up-to-date and let guests know if any plans have changed and how the planning process is going.  Use the e-mail function to send out messages to remind guests of your impending nuptials and how excited you are to see them!

Picture 3 -wedding website article_07-18-11

Going paperless for your wedding might seem nontraditional at first, but you’ll likely find that the benefits of having an interactive site add a new dimension to the wedding day experience that you just don’t find when going the totally traditional route.

Dana Ostomel-Deposit a Gift-BioHeadshotDana Ostomel is the founder and Chief Gifting Officer of the cash wedding registry site: Deposit a Gift. She works closely with her users to ensure they are able to craft the perfect gift list for them. Years before Dana got married, she wondered how anyone could store so many presents—and even if they could, how they had the time to unwrap, return (often), track and use them all. Her marketing background led her to believe she could simplify the registry process—and not just for weddings, but for any big gifting event. And so Deposit a Gift, the next generation gift registry, was born. For more creative registry ideas, keep up with Deposit a Gift on Facebook, Twitter and their blog.

Twists on Tradition

Urban Outfitters Goes Bridal

Words cannot express how fun this is: Urban Outfitters - yes the same company that sells fantastic things such as “The Hangover” bobble head dolls and eye lashes for your car – is now making unconventional (or as it says on their site, “atypical”) wedding dresses. Big. Time. Score.

With categories including Nostalgic Romantic, Neo-Sophisticate, La Bohemienne and Lady With a Twist, you’re sure to find something fun and funky in their collection regardless of if you’re getting married in a church or in an old-school amusement park.

And if you can’t make up your mind, you can take their online “what kind of bride am I” quiz! Have I already mentioned how fun this is?

As if that’s not cool enough, they also have all the shoe/jewelry/lingerie options you need. And we all know how cool their accessories tend to be

Honestly, I’m actually really really bummed right now that I’m already married because I would snatch one of these beauties up so quickly it would be ridiculous. But alas, I’ll just have to live vicariously through all of you…

So, all you Glö-Brides out there, join with me in a great big cheer for more “atypical” options for your unique wedding!

DIY, Inspiration, Twists on Tradition

Something Blue


Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.  Even if you aren’t exactly a “traditional bride” following some wedding traditions can still be fun. Personally, I do not consider myself a blue garter sort of person and we were not into the whole garter-grab-flower-toss-spectacle.  If you aren’t that sort of person either, here are a few ideas for you.

First, let’s start with Glo’s very own, Taryn.  Miss Taryn, opted for an intimate blue garment.  She has a whimsical personality and to her there was only one perfect blue option, BLUE UNDERPANTS!  Apparently, these bloomers were so blue they actually showed up through her gown!  Ah-Maze-Ing…

If you just couldn’t pull off the blue panties (some of us need shape enhancement via the wonderful Spanx option) maybe you would enjoy some equally charming alternatives that suit your unique personality.  I chose to paint my fingernails and toe nails blue.  Selecting the perfect shade was half the fun.

For weeks I searched high and low for the best shade.  Leading up to the big day I conducted a serious of tests before making the final decision.  Finally, I went with the OPI Russian Navy Matte shade.  It looked so beautiful.

What if panties or nails aren’t the options for you?  Here are a few other ideas to spark your creative thinking:



Hair Pieces

A fabulous clutch

Peacock Feathers integrated into your bouquet

Your Dress

A Sash

Flowers (Hydrangea is a great option)

Everyone knows that turquoise earrings or accessories are always fabulous too.  Some people may feel that blue hair is going to be their signature.

I mean if you use Angelica Huston in The Life Aquatic as your muse it would be hard to think blue hair was anything but luxurious and chic.

Like every part of your wedding, integrating options that best suit you and your partners’ personalities is key.  My dress would have looked silly with a blue sash and something as benign as having blue shoes would not have worked for me.  Once you know what you love, own it.  You can be as traditional or avant-garde as you choose as long as you stay true to what you love!


Guest Post, Twists on Tradition

Register Your Way: A Great Alternative to Traditional Wedding Registries

When it comes to asking for money as a wedding gift, I’m betting even Dear Abby finds herself scratching her head and wondering what the most polite approach is. Of course, it’s something that every couple dreams of asking for; afterall, what could be better than the hassle-free reality that is cold, hard cash? But, why then, do so many newlyweds instead find themselves knee deep in wedding gifts that they’ll spend the first year of their married life returning?

The answer is obvious: asking for anything out-of-the-ordinary (especially money!) is a sensitive thing. When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we really truly didn’t need anything….except help with our home renovation.

We dreamed about creating a registry asking for money to pay for items like, “landscape lights” and “a kitchen sink.” But, we couldn’t figure out how to create that type of a registry in a tactful way and instead ended up registering for a handful of things at the usual places just for the sake of having a registry. And, of course, we were lavished with some really bizarre gifts that are now collecting dust in the “regift” pile in our basement.

Oh, if only we had known about Deposit a Gift. An easy and classy way to ask your friends and family to help you pay for things you really want or need. The approach is to be specific in what you’re going to do with the money people are gifting instead of just asking for it. On the Deposit a Gift website, you’re able to insert customized items – ranging from honeymoon extravagances to charity donations to (would have been helpful in my case) home renovation items. For example:

The gifter feels good about donating to the causes because they know exactly where their money is going, and that it’s what you truly want/need.

Here’s founder Dana Ostomel’s two-cents:

Everyone is asking what you want for your wedding and where you’re registered. If you prefer money towards specific goals and dreams, how do you communicate this in a polite and tactful way? You certainly don’t want to offend your guests, but you also don’t want them wasting their money on gifts you can’t use or will return.

A cash wedding registry is the perfect solution to create a gift list of exactly what you need! It’s attractive to you, but will it be appealing to guests? I say, it’s all in the positioning. As with any gift, givers want to feel good about it and connected to their choice. Here are a few tips for smooth sailing…

How To Create a Cash Wedding Registry Guests Will Love:

Choose a Narrative: This type of registry is an awesome opportunity to share with your guests what is important to you at this time in your life. What’s your story?

  • Got grandiose travel plans? Create a Honeymoon Registry.
  • Is your eye on the prize of home-ownership? A Home Down payment Registry is perfect for you.
  • Want your honeymoon to last a year? Register for a year’s worth of Newlywed Activities.
  • Feeling generous? Donations to your favorite Charities are perfect.

Everyone Likes Options: Admit it. When you give a gift, you want to give something that you like and feel connected to. The same is true for your guests. So create a registry with choices that will appeal to all kinds of people:

  • A range of price points
  • Various gifts from the practical to the whimsical

Gifts That Feel Like Gifts: If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s about the psychology of gift-giving. People want to give you something special that you’ll cherish and always remember them for.

  • Dinner at a swanky restaurant or contributions to your new flat screen TV are swell, paying back your credit card debt or supplementing your electric bill for a year, not so much. Think like a gift-giver!

Be Authentic: Don’t be afraid to really put your personality into it. The more your registry feels like a reflection of you, the more fun it will be for guests and the more likely they are to use this registry. So pop your favorite wine one night, curl up together and have some fun!

  • If you two love ice cream, then create a gift of 7 days worth of ice cream on your honeymoon – a new flavor every day!
  • If your fiancé is a beer fanatic, but you’re clueless, how about a membership to the beer of the month club and home-brewing classes for the two of you?

Be Gracious: Set the stage for your registry with a personal and gracious note at the top (something you can’t do with a department store gift list) to give context to your registry and why it will be so meaningful and memorable to you. Though gifts are not expected, they are common, and it never hurts to show a little advanced appreciation.

Here’s an example of what you could say:

Thank you so much for joining us and being a part of all the joy, love and festivities! Many of you have generously asked if there’s anything we’d like as we brave new worlds, and the truth is, we’ve got most everything we need when it comes to traditional household things. What would be most memorable for us you actually can’t register for at a regular store, so we’ve created this registry that is designed to let others make partial purchases to contribute towards those very adventures we’re embarking on: a honeymoon wine country road trip, some classes to continue learning about our love of wine and food and some weekend getaways to rejuvenate from our crazy work schedules!

If you feel so inclined to help make it happen, we would be most appreciative and look forward to sharing the memories and pictures with you. Of course, the best present is having you along to share our excitement. We can’t wait to celebrate with you and are so grateful to have you in our lives!

Much love, Jennifer and Tom

So there you have it, folks; a tactful way to ask for what you really want. Thanks for sharing, Dana!

I’d love to hear fun things you’ve asked for you in your registry or hope to ask for.

Dana Ostomel is the founder and Chief Gifting Officer of Deposit a Gift, a cash gift registry service. Years before Dana got married, she wondered how anyone could store so many presents – and even if they could, how they had time to unwrap, return (often), track and use them all. Her marketing background led her to believe she could simplify the registry process – and not just for weddings, but for any big gifting event. And so Deposit a Gift, the next generation gift registry, was born. Read more about Dana. Follow Deposit a Gift on Facebook and Twitter.

DIY, Real Glö-bies, Real Glö-Weddings, Twists on Tradition

New Twists on Catering for your Wedding

It goes without saying, food is one of the most memorable parts about any event. So, how can you make your food really stand out without having to focus too much on it ahead of time, AND without breaking the bank? Here are four tips to help you:

1. Go local - it’s all the rage in the food industry right now: giving a nod to your local companies. And what better way to do that than when all of your friends and family are in from out of town? Just because your favorite restaurant around the corner doesn’t have the word “caterer” in it doesn’t mean they don’t do catering. Ask them! You’ll find that a good amount of restaurants are happy to fully cater, or supplement, events as well. Of course, you might lose some of the perks a true catering company can provide: dinnerware, serving spoons and maybe even waitstaff, but it is definitely a fun way to give your guests a true local experience with food that you know is good at a price can stand up to any catering cost.

2. Take a trip to the grocery store - Don’t be afraid to do some of the catering yourself. A quick trip to the grocery store can save you a lot of dough and your sanity. For example, if you have nagging in-laws just dying to help somehow, put them to work slicing cheese and fruit for a platter. I guarantee it won’t taste any different than a cheese platter you’ll get from an expensive caterer. Plus, you can get all the cheeses you like, instead of being at the mercy of whatever platter your caterers recommend.

3. Think outside of the warming dish – Who says catering needs to be traditional?? Street food is creating buzz around the country and is a great way to get unique and memorable with your wedding catering. Hiring a food truck to literally park in front of your venue and serve food out their window would certainly be the highlight of any event. Glöbies Shanelle and Mike were a great example of how much fun you can have with this – they had a street vendor make burgers and fries for everyone. Fun!!

4. Get funky with your desserts – I heard somewhere that 2010 was the year of the cupcake. Heaven knows we all saw cupcakes EVERYWHERE. And that worked great to help people get away from traditional wedding cakes. But, cupcakes are still cakes…get funkier if you want! Everybody loves dessert, so you really can’t go wrong with anything you do. My favorite example of this is done with straight up candy.

Inspiration, Twists on Tradition

A new take on wedding cheese-cake

I’m a big believer in serving your favorite foods at your wedding celebration. Even if this means bucking tradition. One of the best cakes I’ve had at a wedding was actually not a cake at all. My good friend Sonja and her husband Aaron are mega cheese lovers, so when Sonja told me that they had a surprise in store for us in the “cake”-department, I couldn’t wait to see. The result? Delicious. (and at the end of the night, I got to take a good-sized hunk home…and didn’t have to worry about getting frosting all over the taxi-cab.)