Published on November 4, 2019

We understand the allure of a restaurant with a bring-your-own-booze policy, but a BYOB wedding? That’s not the kind of plus-one we usually have in mind. However, this self-serve situation could be the new norm, according to a recent study—but only if you live in Washington, D.C. 

A survey released by BlackTux asked 1,200 married couples in the U.S. about the type of bar they offered on their big day. In most major metropolitan areas, couples abided by the age-old open-bar system. Then there were the outliers: 17.1 percent of respondents from the capital city defined their setup as BYOB. This shocking revelation begs the question: Would you ever ask your guests to bring their own alcohol? The answer isn’t so black and white. If you’re making the request for the sake of keeping costs down, we get it. But know that’s not your only option. Here are three lighter beverage ideas that would be right at home at a wedding:

The Summer-Forever Punch

For Domino‘s first-ever wedding issue, Camille Becerra showed us her vibrant rendition of Italian soda, which basically comes down to a bunch of melon slices and a splash of bubbly—or tea if you’d rather omit booze altogether. The chef took her frozen fresh fruit puree one step further by filling round ice molds with the mixture. 

Anything With Extravagant Ice Cubes 

If you’re really keen on guests providing the alcohol, the least you can do is make the cocktail-shaking process easier. Set up a craft station with a bunch of different accoutrements (think: lemons, limes, reusable straws, shakers). You can even add Leslie Kirchhoff’s disco-inspired ice cubes to the mix. This way, it’s a joint effort. 

The Cool-Weather Cure

Go big batch and you won’t need to hire a bartender. A winter wedding calls for mulled wine; if everyone is snacking on light bites such as charcuterie and savory hors d’oeuvres, Victoria James, wine director at Cote in New York City, recommends an herby mixture. All you’ll need is a bottle of Grenache, rosemary, bay leaves, lemon peel, and savory amaro. Strain after 15 minutes and you’re good to go. Cheers! 

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