Coffee Bar Ideas for the Wedding Reception

Updated January 28, 2019
Vintage coffee bar

Many couples, when considering different options to personalize their wedding reception, investigate wedding coffee bar ideas as either a less expensive yet gourmet simple reception or a unique addition to a morning or late evening event. Fortunately, there are many tasty ways to make a delicious coffee bar part of your special day.

Set Up and Decorate Your Coffee Bar

Coffee can be a unique treat at your reception, whether you go all out decorating it or you choose a classic set up. Make sure you have a steady table selected and place it in an even, flat area. If your table is larger than the display you planned, add your favors to the table and it can serve double duty. Signage, flowers, and accessories like pearls or coffee beans, help round out the set up. Set up a discreet wastebin below or near the table for used stirrers and condiment packets.

Vintage Coffee Bar

A vintage coffee bar may feature retro or even Victorian touches. Start by selecting an old wooden table or dresser for your set up. Place a lace doily over the top if you are concerned about damage. Set up your coffee mugs and add an old-fashioned silver coffee pot. Clear crystal jars house the sugar and creamer, while pastel flowers behind the mugs and in a drawer in front make this worthy of any gorgeous wedding.

Classic Coffe Station

Couples who want a modern, simple feel to their wedding will want to skip the overly fussy decorations. Instead, utilize a large chalkboard sign to point out the area where guests can fill up their cups. Crisp white linens and classic refillable pots are the perfect selections. A small wooden box houses individual sugar packets, while a tall centerpiece is set behind the coffee station. This is a good option for a black and white wedding, too.

classic coffee bar with sign

Country Coffee and Donut Station

A coffee bar can take on an outdoor country theme when you utilize large pieces of plywood to back the "bar" signage. Wooden slats create the tabletop and a large chalkboard wedding sign behind the donut and coffee station draws guests' eyes. The vertical sign is helpful for blocking out background and creating a perimeter to your event. Cover the bar sign letters with newspaper to continue the subtly rustic theme.

Outdoor coffee bar via Jen Campbell at
Rustic outdoor coffee bar

Personalized Wedding Coffee Bar Ideas

From the cups the coffee is served in to the flavors of the coffee itself or the different add-ins that enrich it, there are many ways to be creative with your wedding coffee bar. Some couples may offer a simple coffee bar for guests to create their own personalized beverages, while couples with a more generous wedding budget may opt to hire a barista or rent specialized equipment to make fancier types of coffee.

wedding barista behind coffee bar

Coffee Types and Flavors

The easiest way to personalize your wedding coffee bar is by choosing unique types of coffee or flavors that coordinate with your wedding theme. Options include:

  • Hot coffees such as lattes, espressos, or cappuccinos for cool evenings or winter weddings
  • Cool iced coffees for summer events
  • Around the world flavors to represent your heritage or to symbolize your honeymoon travels
  • Seasonal flavors, such as peppermint for a winter wedding or pumpkin spice for fall weddings
  • Flavors that coordinate with your wedding cake, such as a mocha raspberry coffee for a summer wedding cake that includes raspberry cream filling
  • Choosing several of your favorite flavors for guests to try, or using one plain coffee that guests can add their own flavor shots to for a personalized taste

In addition to different types or flavors of coffee, thoughtful couples will also include other beverages as part of their coffee bar, since not all guests will enjoy coffee. Hot tea, hot cider, and cocoa are the most popular choices.

Cups and Pots

While simple Styrofoam cups may be the easiest and most economical option, many couples choose different types of cups or holders as part of their wedding coffee bar. Popular options include:

  • Personalized ceramic mugs that can double as wedding favors
  • Tall to-go cups with personalized insulated holders
  • Disposable cups with foldout heart-shaped handles
  • Elegant glass mugs with short pedestal stems
    mugs and treats on coffee bar

Condiments for a Coffe Bar

Gourmet coffee isn't complete without appropriate toppings and mix-ins. In addition to the typical cream and sugar, delicious options for a wedding coffee bar include:

  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkles or chocolate shavings
  • Crushed peppermints
  • Grated cinnamon or sticks
  • Assorted flavor shots such as caramel, hazelnut, amaretto, butter pecan, coconut, or vanilla

Additional Treats

Wedding coffee bar ideas extend beyond just the drinks you plan to serve at your wedding. To add even more personalized to your coffee bar, consider coffee dessert bar items, such as:

  • Chocolate-dipped spoons or flavored coffee stirrers
  • Biscotti, mini donuts, or mini muffins as coffee-related treats
  • Jordan almonds or candy coated chocolates
  • Assorted cupcakes in chocolate and/or coffee-inspired flavors
  • Coffee cake or tiramisu for more gourmet desserts, or even a coffee-flavored wedding cake

When to Use a Coffee Bar

With different types of hot and cold coffees as well as dozens of possible flavors and combinations, coffee isn't just for the morning anymore. Wedding coffee bar ideas are suitable for a range of different uses for your celebration, including:

  • An end-of-evening pick up for a reception that runs late into the night
  • A central feature of a breakfast or brunch reception
  • A token of thanks for bridal party members, family members, and friends who help decorate the reception location the morning of the wedding
  • A non-alcoholic alternative to an open bar or cocktail hour between the wedding ceremony and the reception
  • Part of a wedding dessert bar or used as a coffee-and-cake reception

Caffeine for Couples and Guests

There are many unique and delicious coffee bar ideas couples can consider if they want to add a bit of caffeine to their wedding reception. From a simple bar to a coordinated wedding theme, a coffee bar can ensure your wedding is good to the last drop.

Coffee Bar Ideas for the Wedding Reception