Wedding reception open bar

A wedding reception open bar: how does it usually unfold in Italy? what is the order of events? what food and drinks are served? how long does it last? These are the main questions couples planning their destination wedding in Rome usually ask me, because they want to have a traditional Italian wedding reception, possibly in a typical Italian wedding venue.

Here’s the third of a series of blogs on the traditional Italian wedding reception which is made of three different events: the wedding reception cocktail hour, the wedding dinner, the open bar.

Wedding reception open bar: set-up

The wedding reception open bar follows the dinner and is the last part of the event, where guests usually have the more fun, drinking and dancing and going a bit wild!

Ideally, I like planning this moment of the wedding reception partly inside and partly outside. The bar counter and the music could be set inside, also because some reception venues in central Rome are not allowed to play loud music outside, given their proximity to other buildings. The cake and desserts buffet, as well as extra seating for the guests who just want to chat or smoke and relax, could be set outside, instead. As for furniture, you’ll need some cocktail tables and stools, some couches and low tables and of course, a beautiful bar counter.

Small flower arrangements on the small tables and larger arrangements on the buffet tables, as well as lots of candles and tea-lights are absolutely fundamental to create a soft, warm atmosphere for the wedding reception open bar.

Wedding reception open bar: food and drinks

The wedding reception open bar is the time for the wedding cake! You can opt for a typical American-style multi-tier wedding cake with a sugar frosting, or go for the more modern naked cake. If you are thinking of a typical Italian wedding cake instead, the Millefeuille is a must: puff pastry with Chantilly cream and either chocolate drops or wild berries. The wedding cake is usually served right after dinner, to start the open bar.

All sorts of drinks are served at the wedding reception open bar. The wedding couple can decide whether to pay for the whole open bar, or have guests paying for their own drinks, or a combination of both options with only the first hour, for example, paid by the wedding couple.

As for food, the buffet during the wedding reception open bar is usually very rich with all sorts of Italian desserts, such as Tiramisù, Panna Cotta, cannoli, which will be available in mini-portions and bites. It’s also nice to have a station with what we call “confetti”, a totally different meaning from the English confetti! In fact, here “confetti” means sugar-coated almonds and chocolates that come in all different colours and are always a big success at destination weddings.

Wedding reception open bar: music

What would a successful wedding reception open bar be without some good music? The most popular choice is always a DJ who will have you dance until the wee hours. Another option can be the combination of a live band to play during the first two hours (bands do not usually play longer than that) of the wedding reception open bar and then a DJ until the end of the wedding. Whatever your choice, do not forget to pick a song for the first dance, and possibly another two for a dance bride-father and groom-mother. Songs can also be picked for the cutting of the wedding cake and other special moments you might decide to have during the wedding reception open bar, such as the bouquet toss or garter toss.

The wedding reception open bar will end the celebrations, so it must be thoroughly thought out if you want to leave the guests with good memories of the whole wedding day. In this case, a wedding planner such as Dolce Vita Weddings can prove fundamental to find the best musicians and cake designer for your destination wedding in Rome, as well as plan the order of events, suggesting ideas to make the wildest time of the whole wedding reception unforgettable and fun.

Stay tuned for some wedding inspiration, tips and ideas about the typical Italian wedding reception in my next blog!