15 Ways To Raise The Bar At Your Next Event

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How many ways can you raise the Bar at a wedding or special event? We have built a collection of our favourites. From inside the BARN to do it yourself BARgains… we think this is a hoot (pardon the pun).

Activity Bar

1. Cannabis Bar

“I’ll be your Budtender for the evening”.
For couples in a select few states, this year’s wedding decision is not what colors to serve in the candybar but where to put the CanniBar. On the menu? A selection of 10-15 strands of ‘marry-juana, and a very chill time.
Legal? You bet. According to Oregon state law, as long as it is on private property it is legal… but only if there is no alcohol being served. It is definitely going to be a hit in Canada one day soon. What does this mean for wedding planners? Well, other than of course safety and transportation for guests who choose to indulge, it is going to give a whole new meaning to the midnight buffet!!

2. A Breath of Fresh Air-Hooka Bar

Belly up to the bar and order a shot of vanilla, mint, creamsicle or cherry AIR. That’s right; relax in a comfy lounger, slip off those high heels and breath deeply for ten minutes of pure flavored o2.  There are no medical claims made at these relaxation stations but it does provide for a fun and healthy alternative for event entertainment. Your guests will LOVE it!

3. Confetti Bar

Looking for an alternative to traditional rice throwing? How about going in a totally different direction and giving guests a choice? Using small brown paper bags (country wedding) or colored satchels (upscale wedding), fill the bags 3/4 full with flowers, lavender, seeds, colored confetti, colored rice or theme confetti. You can also have glass vases or canisters and fill them with all kinds of colorful solutions.

Beverage Bars

4. Beer Bar

We suggest having your decorator take this one on, unless you are the crafty type and this is a DYI event. A beer bar is a serve yourself station where guests can sample up to 8 or more craft beers, keg style. Normally the keg is hidden behind a wooden facade and the only things exposed are the taps. Creative glasses to match the beers ethnicity and background add to the fun.

5. Make Your Own Milkshake Bar

Treat your grown up guests to a little nostalgia by setting up a Milkshake bar. Ice cream, mixers, fruit, toppings, whip cream, but served up with an adult-friendly kick!

6. Mimosa Bar

Mimosa bars are ideal perfect for brunches and Sunday weddings. Just add champagne and a selection of colorful fresh fruit juices with elegant flutes and it doesn’t get much easier than that!

7. Whiskey & Scotch Bar

Old world charm meets nouveau chic at the scotch and whiskey bar. There are several reputable and creative companies across Canada that specialize in these distinctive tasting stations, and they have the skill and expertise to offer guests more than just a sip. They tell the story of each spirit, they share the rich history of each brand and they can offer a unique and interactive way to entertain guests. We suggest hiring a professional for these bars.

Food Bars

8. Sushi Bar

A long time favorite at any buffet or event where there are active food stations. Why not hire an expert sushi chef to offer guests the full Japanese experience. These chefs can put on quite a show with their artistry and master sushi making skills.

9. Salad Bar

Everyone loves to get fresh. Why not treat your guests to a mini salad bar. Try unique dishes to kick up the scale like Avocado and Quinoa Salad with Blood Oranges and Fennel; Strawberry Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing, Caprese Salad Skewers with Balsamic Glaze and Turmeric Tahini Roasted Cauliflower Salad.

TIP: Using square floral vases creates a unified clean look and with all the colorful options for food, you can even customize it to match your events palette.

10. Bread Bar

A bread bar is a great option for winter weddings and can be paired with a self-serve soup bar. Perfect for creating a welcoming, cozy evening and casual and rustic style events. To take this idea up a notch, high-end events can offer breads from around the world, paired with specialty dips, cheeses and charcuterie.

11. Make your own Taco Bar

It doesn’t have to be Cinco de Mayo to enjoy a great Taco bar. Who doesn’t love all that rich cheesy, creamy and spicy goodness. For budget conscious events of any kind this is a great station to include. A Taco Bar is great for conference lunches, team building lunches and corporate events that have a casual night component. BONUS! These bars can be easily and inexpensively themed.

12. Olive and Charcuterie Bar

A GREAT charcuterie bar is a work of art. From the nuts and dried fruit to gourmet cheese and specialty meats, cheese and charcuterie boards automatically add that gourmet touch to any kind of event from 10 – 1,000 guests.

TIP: Don’t forget to add pops of color to avoid an all-beige palette. Even the slightest sprinkling of bold colors from adding olives or fruit will give it that POP you want”.

Dessert Bars

13. Candy Apple Bar

Depending on the event and the style, these are really more of a take home gift idea than an eat on the spot idea, unless it’s for kids only. There are endless ideas for candy apple bars; caramel, make your own, top your own, dip your own… any color any flavor, ask your catering or local candy shop for ideas and pricing. Even chic, posh events can have a bit of whimsy.

14. Pie Bar

Let them eat pie! Select a range of old fashioned favoirites like apple and cherry, add in some rhubarb and peach and finish off your menu with a few nouveu chic flavours like chocolate rum and captain crunch or oreo meriengue and you have the makings of a world class pie bar.

15. Pop Corn Bar

Popcorn is another one of these down home, comfort foods easily doubling as a unique take home gift. Fill apple barrels with fresh popped corn, offer a dozen or so creative toppings, colorful bags, and let guests do the rest. These are easily DIY or an inexpensive option if you are using a caterer. Try going for uncommon toppings like chocolate and ginger, Italian herb, dried feta and sun dried tomato. Delish!

Article written by Stacy Wyatt