Many couples in the United States decide on changing their last names after marriage. This doesn’t simply apply to women who take their husband’s name anymore: more men are taking their wife’s name, women are hyphenating or mixing names, and same sex couples are choosing shared surnames for their families. (see our guide to this process here).
Most US states will automatically mail you a copy of your marriage certificate after your wedding. This is such an exciting feeling, but it doesn’t mean the process is over. Put that certificate in a frame, have a glass of wine if needed, and follow this step-by-step process for changing your name:
1- Request certified copies of your marriage certificate from the clerk of the county in which you were married. This is something that can be done before your wedding and will make it easier to provide documentation to the respective offices you’ll need to visit.
2- Change your Social Security Number by filling out and submitting this form. It’s best to do this first in case the DMV needs this information to change your name on your driver’s license. The Social Security Administration will report your name change directly to the IRS, so you don’t have to worry about filing any tax forms (woo hoo!).
3- Change your driver’s license at your DMV. Requirements for this vary state to state, so check ahead of time to see what forms you’ll need to fill out. While you’re there, change the name on any vehicle registrations or titles that you have.
4- Change your name on any accounts: insurance (health, property, and life), student loans, property titles, utility bills, gym memberships, credit card accounts and doctors offices. This process can be done over time, but it might be best to knock out all at once. Fortunately, this can mostly be done online these days, so pick a good movie and hop to it!
5- Change the name on your passport. Fill out and submit form DS-5504 to the US State Department.
Name Changing Services
If you have a lot on your plate with work, family, or other post-wedding tasks, it’s easy to find a service to take care of the tedium for you. Here are some of the favorites that we’ve found. For a fee, they will take care of the process for you and guarantee the job gets done.
Are you feeling a little differently about taking your spouse’s name now that you aren’t scribbling it on your eighth grade notebook? You’re not alone. With all the headway modern society has made in marriage equality and feminism, the tradition of a name change after marriage has undergone some necessary updates as well. While many men and women have decided that a name change is perfect for them, there is a full spectrum of modern options to consider that may best suit your unique situation. Here is our modern guide to changing (or not changing) your name after your wedding.
For the majority of modern couples, the idea of taking a spouse’s last name is a romantic tradition that they are happy to take part in. There are in-between options (for same sex couples, as well) including hyphenation á la Beyoncé Knowles-Carter or a second last name like Angelina Jolie Pitt.
The New York Times recently reported that the number of women who keep their maiden name is on the rise and that many women of these women are not changing their names simply for the sake of convenience. They don’t want to go through the legal hassle, they want their careers to stay the same, and they want to make sure people can still find them on social media.
Some women feel, as they did in the 70s, that changing their names presents an issue of equality. Even with hyphenation, women aren’t necessarily comfortable with taking on a man’s identity while he is not taking on hers. Emily LaFave Olson changed back to her maiden name two years after taking her husband’s name at their wedding. As she shared last month in Huffington Post, her modern, happy medium with her husband involved each of them changing their middle names to the other’s last name (he became Rob Olson LaFave and she became Emily LaFave Olson).
Since the Supreme Court’s decision to honor marriage equality in the US has made a whole lot of people really happy, it brings a new question of tradition to light: is name change a thing for same sex couples? As Vogue recently reported, many same sex couples decide not to change their names. If they do decide to do so, it is often for the sake of keeping a united family name between children and parents. Couples often simply choose the last name that they like best between their names. Some choose to duke it out the old fashioned way with a bet or even a soccer game.
If your romance is cross cultural, there may be some more aspects of tradition to consider when considering a name change. For example, if an American woman marries a Korean man, it’s important that she understand what her in laws expect or what traditions prevail in Korea. She might not want a Korean name as a non-Korean, or she may love the idea of taking her husband’s name. Offbeat Bride has more insight for international couples here.
Overall, the biggest question in regard to be mindful of with legal name change seems to be which name should go to your children. Above all, don’t stress. This decision is all about what feels right to you and your partner.
Are you looking for advice about a tricky relationship? Usually we are, too. Here are our favorite sources for tried and true relationship advice, wisdom, and insight. Because the intricacies of human relationships can be all but impossible to tackle sometimes.
A Practical Wedding
You must know by now that we Glo-bies are huge fans of A Practical Wedding. Whether you’re planning your wedding or you’ve been out of the honeymoon stage for a while, APW is going to get you through your relationship roadblocks, your cocktail parties, your budget obstacles, and your wardrobe malfunctions. Truly indispensable tips and advice for couples, friends, relatives and loners alike.
Long before Cheryl Strayed’s runaway bestseller Wildmade it to the big screen, she was working as an anonymous advice columnist for The Rumpus. Her heartfelt column, Dear Sugar, answered letters that explored the depths of people’s weaknesses, heartbreaks, jealousies and despairs (the column stopped in 2012, but we promise the archives are totally worth reading—just make sure you have a tissue handy). Today, you can find Dear Sugar on Boston’s WBUR. Writers Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond offer their wisdom and experiences to all kinds of important questions. This is a must listen–whether or not you’re in the market for relationship advice.
Lena Dunham and Jenni Conner hit a home run with HBO’s Girls. Then, they combined all their trademark candor and applied it to a weekly, long form e-newsletter. This feminist staple boldly faces the modern world and the women who are contributing to it (there’s even a piece about a vajacial). At its core, Lenny is about women and the complexities of their relationships with each other and with themselves delivered weekly to your inbox.
This beautiful blog cultivates wisdom from classic Literature, scientific findings, TED talks, and more. These meditations, musings, and inspirations are as beautifully written as they are deeply insightful. Visit for the relationship tips and stay for the book recommendations.
The workplace is challenging. Just showing up is hard sometimes, besides considering how to get away with athleisurewear as much as humanly possible. Our relationships with our work pose big questions, and ultimately big rewards. So do our friendships, our love lives, and our wardrobes. To navigate this, we turn to Man Repeller, the modern woman’s secret weapon. The Monocycle podcast offers work advice that is sure to get you in the zone. Ask Isaac offers kind and helpful relationship advice. They’ve even got your gym etiquette covered.
Each time you go to a wedding, meet your friend’s parents for the first time, or find yourself in the break room with your work colleagues, you have an opportunity to strike up an enriching conversation with someone new. In these situations, though, it’s scary to think about things getting awkward, uncomfortable, or downright painful. The best way to avoid this? Simply be the change you want to see in our general approach to small talk.
This can be especially difficult if you consider yourself an introvert, but fear not. The simplest measures can help you rock any party (or grocery store line, or break room hangout). For example, if someone says hi, follow up with a smile and ask the funniest thing they saw that day. Did you forget an umbrella? Make a joke about your drenched hair. Simply showing your humanity and friendliness (and sometimes laughing at yourself) will make you super approachable and easy to talk to. Find more tips on body language and other small measures here.
Ask thoughtful questions
Nothing is worse than the “What do you do? Where are you from?” conversation, and lord knows that events with lots of strangers are chock full of them. Intentions might be perfectly admirable, but more than one of these per day can get exhausting. This TED Ideas article suggests that when you’re getting to know someone, ask them specific questions and give thoughtful, even surprising answers. Why not get weird? You might hit it off with someone you never expected.
Focus on others
Did you just find yourself in the bathroom line with the groom’s aunt Rita? Ask about her favorite memory of him, or a time he said something funny as a child. Ask Rita where she’s from, how far she traveled, and what the most surprising part of the trip has been. Putting the attention on others will make them feel comfortable and the conversation more enjoyable. This one works great if you’re trying to score a date with that attractive someone across the room, too!
If you find yourself looking for more party tricks, these blogs contain countless tips for event etiquette (and lots of pretty pictures to enjoy as well!).
Wedding planing is stressful. Wedding planning during the holiday season? Well, let’s just say that it can reach epic crazy levels. With engagement season almost upon us, we thought we’d share some helpful tips on some ways to kick off your wedding planning without rocking the boat with family and friends.
Invite different people to different events with no hurt feelings
These days, the average wedding is three days long with four events, and the reality is that not everyone is invited to all of the events you are organizing. For instance, the rehearsal dinner typically has a smaller guest list than the ceremony and reception. In the UK, it is common for the ceremony and dinner to have a smaller guest list and for a larger guest list to attend a post-dinner celebration party. But inviting guests to different events with style can be tricky. On your Glosite wedding website, all of your guests will view the same website pages, but we give you to the option to specify who is on the guest list for each of your events. When each guest views your Events and RSVPs pages, they will see a customized view with details about only the events they are invited to. This prevents guests from having any you-are-not-invited-to-this-event blues.
Paper vs. Email Wedding Invitations
So you’ve decided that email wedding invitations are the way to go. After all, they are streamlined, cost-effective, eco-friendly and save a ton of time. But, what if Great Aunt Mertle just won’t hear of it. She wants a paper invitation to press between the pages of her scrapbook. Don’t worry – we’ve got your covered. Each of the designs in our wedding invitation and wedding website design boutique has a matching paper design that can be ordered. This way you can send a handful of paper invitations to older relatives or mix and match an email save the date with paper invitations for all of your guests.
Addressing Save the Date and Wedding Invitation Envelopes
Addressing envelopes is tricky business. How an envelope is addressed indicates exactly who you are inviting to the wedding (“The Smith Family” vs. “Mr. John and Ms. Jane Smith”) and also sets the tone for how formal or informal your celebration will be (“Mr. Mark and Mr. Christian Jones-Harper” vs. “Mark and Christian.”) To provide some tips, we’ve written the ultimate guide to addressing wedding invitation envelopes.
Writing the Wedding Invitation
Once you’ve figured out the envelopes, you have to give time and thought to what will actually go on the invitation. We hear from couples that one of the most challenging parts is determining what will go on the invitation “Host” line – this is the part that starts with so-and-so invite you to enjoy the wedding day of… Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for, and thus hosted, the wedding. But what if you are paying for your own wedding? Or there are two brides (or no brides?) Or everyone’s parents are chipping in, along with Great Aunt Mertle (now that she’s receiving her paper invitation.) Messy, right? To help weed through the murkiness, we’ve written a two guides to cover exactly what to say on a wedding invitation and how to nail that wedding invitation host line.
It’s no secret that a marriage is a blending of different families – and with this comes a blending of cultures, personalities, and traditions. By cultures, we are talking about more than nationality, regional, religious, and lifestyle identities to include any different ideas of “the way we do things around here.” You know what we mean.
Blending cultures can be truly amazing and fun, but sometimes it requires a little bit of explanation or background detail so that one person knows where the other person or tradition is coming from. This is perfect content to add to the FAQ or special pages of your wedding website. Use this space to explain what guests might experience at your wedding. It might include foods, outfits, traditions, language, music or anything else that could be unfamiliar to them. Providing some information about who, what, where and why will prevent any guests from feeling out of place and give them something to look forward to experiencing at your celebration.
Allow guests to edit names and emails
One of the most awkward situations is having a guest show up to your wedding and not seeing their name spelled correctly on the seating chart. Or maybe you sent an email update a week before the wedding advising guests about a dress-code change, but someone didn’t receive the email because it went to an inbox that they rarely check. No one likes to feel left out, unloved or awkward. On your Glosite, you can enable a feature that allows your guests to edit names and email addresses for themselves, their household members, and any +1s. Use this feature – you’ll be glad you did!
Do you have other tips to share? Be sure to let us know in the comments. We wish you happy and peaceful planning.
Tis the season of food people! Yes, we’ve got menus on the mind around here. If you’re planning a wedding celebration, a dinner party of any gatherings where people will enjoy some fabulous morsels, then we bet you are thinking about it too. But what about your guests that need to think twice about what’s on the table? It’s a fact of life that some people have restrictions on what they can put in their bodies – sometimes by choice and sometimes because of very serious medical conditions. For this reason, we always recommend including an RSVP question on your wedding website to specifically ask your guests about any dietary restrictions or allergies that you need to be aware of.
For those of us who don’t have food restrictions or preferences, this world can seem daunting. So today, we are going to do our best to cover some of the food considerations you might see come back as a response to the all important “Do you have any dietary restrictions?” RSVP question.
Vegetarian / Vegan
Vegetarian guests do not eat meat or animal flesh. This includes soups that have a meat-based stock. Some guests may refer to themselves as pescatarian, which means they eat fish, but not animal meats or flesh.
Vegans follow a plant-based diet and do not eat animal flesh, and also restrain from eating animal products. This includes eggs, dairy and other animal derived products (for instance, certain types to gelatins.)
Kosher diets follow the rules of Kashrut or Jewish dietary law, which dictates what foods may be eaten and how they should be prepared and consumed. Meat and diary foods may not be stored, cooked or consumed together. There are restrictions on the types of animal meats that can be consumed. Specifically only animals that chew their cud and have cloven hooves are allowed, which prohibits animals like pigs, rabbits. Kosher foods are also slaughtered and prepared in specific ways. Dairy must come from a Kosher animal and be processed in a Kosher facility. Non-meat and diary items are also subject to Kosher law, including wine.
A Halal diet specifies foods that are permissible for Muslims to eat or drink under Islamic Shariʻah (law). It includes both the types of foods that can be eaten, as well as how the foods are prepared and primarily applies to meat and animal tissue. Common restrictions include not consuming pork, blood, animals that are not killed in a Halal way, and alcoholic beverages.
There are numerous types of nut allergies. Two of the most common are peanuts, which are legumes, and tree nuts, which includes almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, filberts/hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, and walnuts.
Like those with peanut alleargies, individuals who are allergic to shellfish can have extreme reactions. This allergy can include shelled marine animals like shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, scallops, and oysters, as well as octopus, squid and squid ink.
Those who follow a gluten-free diet do not eat barley, rye, triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), or wheat. Sone common food that they do not eat (unless they are specifically marked gluten-free) include: bread, cake, beer, cookies, crackers, croutons, french fries, pasta, salad dressing, soy sauce (and other types of sauces), potato chips, some soups/soup bases.
Individuals who are lactose intolerant can not digest lactose, which is the sugar primarily found in milk and dairy products. Common foods that lactose intolerant guests will avoid are cheese, milk and ice cream. Lactose is sometimes found in bread, baked goods, salad dressing, candy, as well as foods that contain whey, curds and dry milk/dry milk solids.
If you are working with a caterer, it is essential for you to keep them updated about anything your guests’ can not eat. They are the experts and they will have many ideas about how to keep your guests both safe and happily fed. If you are planning a DIY potluck, working with a local food truck, or supplying your own food, then searching for alternative or complimentary food items for your restricted guests will certainly bring smiles to their faces. If your celebration includes any buffet tables, and you know you have guests with certain food restrictions, it is helpful to label foods or let them know about ingredients that could be harmful. Some guests with severe allergies may prefer to eat before coming or bring their own meal/snacks.
The important thing to remember is to communicate with guests so that you and others involved in the food preparation are aware of any concerns. Taking the time and thought to ensure that all of your guests are able to enjoy the day will mean the world to them.
We’ve been talking about wedding hacks this month, and one of the best hacks for your wedding planning process is knowing where to look for great wedding advice. The internet is a big place, and the world of wedding blogs can feel like a sea of Things That Will Make You Crazy if you don’t know where to look. Between all of the aspirational photos on the blogs (apparently you have to be a millionaire supermodel to have a nice wedding) and the power of Pinterest, it can be really difficult to find useful wedding advice and inspiration that is actually, well, inspiring. But never fear! Here are some of our absolute favorite places for great wedding advice, visual inspiration that doesn’t look ripped from the pages of Vogue (but is still stylish as hell), and advice on how to create a real wedding budget.
A Practical Wedding: Or APW, is simply one of the best spaces for wedding advice on the internet. From heartfelt pieces on wedding planning, to an excellent advice column on dealing with all sorts of drama, to actually really cool DIY tutorials, APW has all the information you need to plan a wedding that is fun, meaningful, and looks rad. Oh, and they also have stories on marriage. Because, you know, the wedding is just the beginning.
How to plan your wedding details, or decide to pass on them. Photo by Alakija Studios.
Wedding Lovely: Looking for spreadsheets, online tools, budget calculators, and more? Wedding Lovely has all that, plus beautiful real weddings to inspire you, smart advice, and a blog full of interviews with seasoned wedding pros (including Glö founder Taryn!). You can also invite someone to plan with you, and the planning dashboard is cleverly set up to link to articles about each item on your checklist. It’s got all the best features of a planning checklist, but with flexibility for things you decide you just don’t need.
Offbeat Bride: Since 2007, Offbeat Bride has been talking about what it’s like to plan a wedding when you are just a little…different. How can you create a wedding that reflects your style, when your style has nothing to do with white, lace, taffeta, and a monstrous budget? Offbeat is the place for you. This is a great place for real weddings with alternative style, bright hair colors, and great advice on being yourself while planning a wedding.
Budget Savvy Bride: Look, we’re all trying to save a little money on our weddings. But Budget Savvy Bride takes it to the next level, with great tips on how to not just save money, but make the money you do spend count. One of their best features is a series of real weddings, organized by budget, so you can see what is possible within your parameters. It’s all about making your budget work you you, of course, and having realistic expectations about what is possible with whatever resources are available. They’ve also got practical advice on things like buying your own tablecloths, managing rentals, and a series on super cheap DIYs.
Green Wedding Shoes: So, this one falls into the category of a little more traditional as far as wedding blogs go. You’ll most find visual inspiration here, including both real weddings and “inspiration shoots” with models and professionals. But the point of view at Green Wedding Shoes is a little more unusual, and includes modern, rustic, and other creative ideas that will make you go “oooooooh pretty” and also “I can do that.”
Where are some of your favorite places for wedding advice and inspiration? Tell us in the comments, or let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! We’d love to hear from you.
If privacy is a concern for you, here’s are some tips on how to protect yourself from all kinds of mischief-makers and wedding crashers to keep your wedding details and your gust list data nice and private.
1) Choose a Wedding Website service with tight privacy controls
You’ll want to make sure that only the people on your guest list have access to any private information on your wedding website. The most secure sites give the option to have all or some of your pages behind a guest login. This way, only guests who are on the guest list can access your pages. For an added layer of security, you’ll want to password protct your pages. At Glosite, we allow guests to choose their own password – which means they are less likely to forget it and that it is more secure than everyone having the same password to share.
2) Choose a more generic wedding website URL
Stalkers can be clever, so make their life harder by choosing a non-obvious wedding website URL. Choose a more generic website URL rather than one that contains your names, venue name, or specific wedding date. Some great option are a URL that includes a loose description of the location (e.g., “Beach” or “Mountain”), your initials instead of full names, or your theme. For instance “beachlovebirds2015.glosite.com” or “LmarriesM.glosite.com”
3) Keep your website out of online searches
It’s easy to find almost any type of information online these days, let’s not make it easy for those who aren’t on your guest list to see your wedding details. If privacy is key for you, it’s important to choose a wedding website provider that will allow you to prevent your website and all of its content from being searchable by Google, Bing and other online search engines. This will add an extra layer of protection on top of having your content behind a login and password.
4) Ask guests to be careful about social media and photos
Many of your guests will want to share their join and excitement online. If this makes your nervous, then don’t be shy about asking guests not to post information or photos on their various social media accounts. If you are crowdsourcing your photos, use a third party service that has build in password or privacy settings, such as a service that requires viewers/participants to be approved, rather than a hashtag.
5) Ask your photographer to respect your privacy
Your wedding photographer will be a master of their craft and your photos will be beautiful, so it’s only natural that your photographer might want to show them off online. If this is not something you are comfortable with, be specific with your photographer about your wishes. Ask your photographer not to submit your wedding photos to blogs or publications – or to only share photos that do not feature your faces, guests’ faces or any identifying details you wouldn’t want the general public to know about.
Do you have other tips about how to maintain privacy on your wedding day? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
We’re all about wedding hacks this month on Glö, and today we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite ones, from all across the internet and our own experience in wedding land. From food to tech to some really simple ones to keep you comfortable in your own skin (and shoes), we’ve got all the wedding hacks you could ever need for saving time, money, and stress at your wedding.
1. Wedding Cake Hack from A Practical Wedding: This one is pure genius. It’s pretty much common knowledge that you can use sheet cakes in place of a fancy tiered cake to save major money on your cake, but here’s a way to turn even the plainest grocery store cake into something chic, cute, and totally on point using a few flowers and some ribbon.
2.Self-catering, Potluck, and Other Wedding Food Hacks: Speaking of food hacks, Bon Appétit has this handy guide for partially self-catering your cocktail hour by prepping good cheeses, meats, and dips ahead of time. This is a great way to ensure your appetizers are high on quality but not high on cost, which is pretty much the dream, right? A Practical Wedding also has this great guide to having a potluck wedding that is stylish and delicious, and deciding if a potluck is right for you. Genius. And if you are really ready to take the plunge on hacking your wedding food, consider Offbeat Bride’s complete guide to self-catering. Not for the faint of heart.
3. Consider Renting a Dress: Grooms and their posses rent tuxes all the time, so why not rent a couture wedding dress? Rent the Runway has some truly amazing options at a fraction the cost of purchasing a major label wedding gown. There are also companies that offer rental services for bridesmaid dresses, like Union Station. Your ladies will thank you, because trust us, they won’t wear it again no matter what you do.
4. Break In Your Wedding Shoes: This might seem obvious but of course the best way to keep your feet comfortable is to wear shoes you’ve broken in. This goes for heels, of course, but also flats and men’s shoes. Weddings are long. Would you spend eight hours hiking in brand new boots? Exactly. You can also consider scuffing the soles of your shoes with sandpaper or even adding dance soles to prevent slipping. Solemates can prevent heels from sinking into grass, too.
5. DJ with an iPad or iPod: For some reason, rumor has gotten around that this hack will ruin your wedding. Glö staffer Dana did it for her wedding and had a positively raging dance party. It just takes some skill and a little planning (like, um, most things?). Here are her tips:
Assign one person to the playlist, and ask them to act as MC for the reception.
Make sure they are the only one that touches the iDevice, because you do not want anyone taking that over.
Rent amplification, because no one will dance if they can’t hear the music.
Be sure to set the music to crossfade for several seconds so there are no weird gaps or silence.
6. Get Married in Your Own Backyard: Think you have to have a huge estate in the family to pull this wedding hack off? Think again. Houzz recently did a great slideshow (and call for submissions) of backyard weddings from their readers, and the results show that you can have a wedding in any backyard, anywhere. You’ll save so much money on a venue, you can even consider upgrading your yard a little for the wedding, and that’s actually an investment you can enjoy long after the guests have left. Don’t have a yard at all? Consider public parks or generous friends’ spaces.
7. Bring Dryer Sheets: Seriously, these can take care of so many wedding emergencies. They eliminate static, get rid of armpit stains, or even use them as a quick replacement for a lint roller. All You has even more unexpected uses for them, including polishing chrome. Okay, maybe that one’s not for your wedding, but still: who knew?
8. Beautiful, Makeup-Free Skin from A Practical Wedding: Brides, do not let anyone convince you that you must wear makeup at your wedding. And of course you can just do your own! The point is to look like yourself, and if that means a fresh face, than why do anything else? If you want to go makeup free for your wedding, or go the DIY route, consider following these tips from A Practical Wedding to keep you skin as fresh and beautiful as possible.
Try a hip custom stamp to put on All The Wedding Things from Hoot Owl Press on Etsy.
9. Have a Custom Logo Made Into a Stamp: This is another one that Real Glöbies and Glö staff have rocked at their weddings. Have an Etsy vendor design and make one for you, or a local graphic designer can design you a simple wedding “logo” and then have it made into a rubber stamp (this can be done online or at office supply stores for under twenty bucks). Then use that stamp on all your wedding paper goods, including programs, menus, welcome bags, you name it. High impact visual cohesion for almost nothing? Yes please.
10. Our Favorite? Use Glö: Okay, this is maybe a bit of a cheat but seriously, using Glosite.com for your wedding website, invitations, and guest management is the best wedding hack out there. You will save hundreds on paper invitations and postage, plus you can custom design you wedding invitations (or glövites, as we call them). Hosting multiple events but not everyone is invited to every single one? You can invite certain guests to only certain events, and manage all your RSVPs in one place. Want to see exactly how useful that can be? Check out this Real Glöbie destination wedding with events in Nigeria and Maryland, with multiple events and great organization. Plus, with our latest API feature, Glö’s features are available on other websites. So sign up for a free 21-day trial now, and get Glöwing!
Have a favorite wedding hack? Or maybe you tried one of these? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!
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.
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.
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.