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Ice Bars: The Cool New Reception Trend


One of the latest trends to hit the wedding scene is ice bars, a great way to make your wedding fun and very cool. Whereas Miami Beach has an actual ice bar “club,” with ice chairs and ice glasses, you can get the same feel by renting an ice station for pretty much any size or type of wedding. (If you really want to splurge, you can have a “chill room” created especially for your reception.)

Ice bars are “very feasible, no matter what the room is like,” says Craig Goldstein, Executive Producer of E squared concepts in Miami and New York. Goldstein has created chill stations in addition to ice bars for weddings, and says that “it doesn’t create a mess when it’s transferred to your location, even if there’s carpeting. Provided you work with a quality provider, you won’t even have a puddle.”

Goldstein says ice bars can be inside or out, and ordered in a variety of sizes to suit your wedding needs. “If your wedding is outside and there’s wind, it will cut through the ice and you’ll get 3 to 5 hours out of the bar,” Goldstein says. “Inside it will last all day.”

Ice bars get up to about 16 feet long and move down in size. Goldstein recommends small sculptures for cocktail or dessert receptions, and says you generally have the ice company collaborate with your caterer. “The bartenders are going to serve the drinks and make it functional,” he says. “It’s advisable to spend more money for the service and have someone on-site so you don’t have to stress over it during the reception.”

The great thing about ice bars is that they can be shaped into different sculptures, depending on your desire, and used for signature drinks, like very-chilled martinis. Also, you can add a luge-like structure, and have the drink pour down a shoot. “It makes a statement for your wedding, and is great for the after-party, when guests cut loose,” says Goldstein. “People put their glasses underneath, or if things go really crazy they take shots directly from the sculpture.”

Like all wedding amenities, ice bars vary tremendously in price, depending on your needs and the style of your wedding. You can pay anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 for the service, and you’re probably going to have an easier time locating an ice company in a major city. However, says Goldstein, “if you’re resourceful, you’ll be able to find one in smaller areas.”

Goldstein stresses hiring a provider with a good reputation, and re-considering the idea for your outdoor, summer wedding. “If it’s August in the South, you’ll get 40 minutes. It’s always best to do it indoors.”

Read more: 5 Reception Dessert Alternatives, Live Video Feeds for the Ceremony & Reception and Hiring Specialty Reception Vendors