Warming Winter Wedding Cocktails

The Recipe Book

At this time of year, whether you’re at a wedding or just having a cosy night in, there’s nothing better than a warm, wintery cocktail. Here are some of my favourite recipes, that are easy enough for a drinks reception, or to make at home:

Winter wedding drinks station, with mulled wine, mince pies, candles, and a gingerbread wreath

Photo Credit: Department of the Interior

Pimm’s Winter Cup

I’m not a great lover of a regular Pimm’s, but when the nights draw in, I can’t get enough of this warm version. Here is what you need:

Ingredients

Per Person

  • 50ml Pimm’s Winter
  • 150ml clear apple juice
  • Apple and orange slices to garnish
Method

Warm the apple juice in a pan, then add the rest of the ingredients, including the Pimm’s and serve in a lovely mug, it really is that simple!

Blue cups of Winter Pimm's with cut out star shapes as lids. Surrounded by frosted pinecones

Photo Credit: The Pioneer Woman

Spicy Cider

This is a recipe borrowed from Mrs. Lawson, and you can’t really go wrong with Nigella can you?  A lovely alternative to Mulled Wine (although I am partial to a glass or two of that as well – see below!), and bonus points, it doesn’t give you red wine lips!

Ingredients

Makes 6 servings 

  • 1 litre dry cider
  • 60 ml dark rum
  • 250 ml apple and ginger tea (made from a herbal teabag)
  • 40 grams soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 clementines (or satsumas)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 cardamom pods (bruised)
Method
  1. Pour the cider, rum, and tea into a saucepan, add the sugar, and warm over a low heat
  2. Halve the clementines, pop a clove into each half, and add them to the pan
  3. Break the cinnamon sticks and add to the pan along with the bay leaves and cardamom pods, allow everything to come (almost) to the boil
  4. At this point, turn down the heat, and serve into heatproof glasses

Glasses of mulled cider with a vanilla pod and a stick of cinnamon

Photo Credit: Jamie Oliver

Mulled Wine

This has to be my favourite winter warmer. Every sip makes me think of afternoons on the ski slopes, our annual Christmas Eve party, and generally having a jolly good time with my nearest and dearest. Here is a lovely recipe from Jamie Oliver.

Ingredients

Serves 10

  • 2 clementines
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 1 vanilla pod , halved lengthways
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 bottles of red wine
Method
  1. Peel some pieces from the clementines, lemon, and lime
  2. Add the sugar to a pan, along with the peel, and the juice from the clementines
  3. Throw in the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, and a few gratings of nutmeg
  4. Add enough red wine to just cover the sugar, and add the halved vanilla pod. Let this simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved and then bring to the boil until you have a thick syrup
  5. Turn the heat down to low, add the star anise, and then the rest of the wine, and warm it gently, mixing it with the syrup, and then serve

Pan of mulled wine, surrounded by mugs of mulled wine, dried oranges, star anise, cinnamon sticks and star shaped cookies

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

All of these recipes can be served non-alcoholic, by just removing the alcoholic element, and adding more fruit juices of your choice.

So…that has definitely made me thirsty, tempted to go and whip up a few of these now, Which one do you fancy?

A xx

Follow

Book Review: Girls in White Dresses – Jennifer Close

Book Review, 'Girls in White Dresses' by Jennifer Close, by Alexandria Events, book surrounded by a cup of tea and pink and yellow candy

I haven’t written a book review blog post yet, but it has been a while since I have read a good girly novel, so after my husband bought me this one for my birthday earlier this summer, I had to write a post about  Girls in White Dresses – by Jennifer Close

​I think he must have seen the front cover and thought it was ‘wedding-related’ so it was something that I would like! I don’t really get much time to read for fun these days, actually, not quite true..I don’t make time to read for fun these days, I always feel guilty when I sit down and read for a couple of hours as I usually have a ‘To Do’ list as long as my arm, waiting for me to return, but this one was such an easy read, I sped through it in no time, plus was I was helped by a few train journeys without any mobile signal!

​In some ways, the title, and the front cover, are a little deceptive, the book isn’t all about weddings. The majority of the story is about young, single women, from the point where they graduate from university, to jobs, boyfriends, weddings, and babies. It jumps from character to character in each chapter, so there isn’t a protagonist, which I liked, and you got to know all of the characters quite well, and they kept crossing paths in a clever way.

​Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a particularly ‘intellectual’ read, nor are you going to have your mind blown, or have any life-changing epiphanies upon completion,  but there is something about the way that it is written that I found captivating.

As I said, I mostly read it on the train to and from London, and definitely got some funny looks at the ‘laugh out loud’ moments. some parts are really touching as well, and there are some parts that my former ‘single girl’ mind, definitely relates to. The characters are likeable, and infuriating at the same time, sometimes you want to hug them, other times you want to scream at them and tell them to stop being a complete idiot. Overall, it is a witty, fun, read, it would be perfect if you are looking for an easy read for your holidays, or daily commute.

I’d definitely recommend this one, let me know if you’ve read it yourself, or if this post encourages you to give it a go, let me know what you think!

Book Review, 'Girls in White Dresses' by Jennifer Close, by Alexandria Events, book open at the beginning of a chapter and surrounded by a cup of tea and pink and yellow candy

Follow

Kids At Weddings

One of the big questions that couples face when planning their wedding is whether or not to invite children. It is a really personal decision, and a number of factors can come into play, such as the type of venue, guest numbers, and of course, budget. However, if you do decide to include little ones on your big day, here are a few ways to entertain them:

Pink and Yellow Candy Floss on wooden sticks, placed in clear glasses on a white tray, on a pink table. Ideal for children at a wedding. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Weddingful

Give them a job

The most obvious was to get kids involved in your wedding day is to give them a role. The traditional choice, is to ask them to be Flower Girls or Page Boys, but even if this isn’t your cup of tea – it can be as simple as helping to give out Orders of Service or bags of confetti at the church, or even doing a reading if they are old and confident enough. Later on in the day, they can even be given ‘made up jobs’ like ‘being the best dancer’ or ‘making sure that they have the biggest smile on the photos’. 

Two Flowergirls and one Page Boy dressed in Little Bevan outfits. The girls are wearing traditional ivory dresses, one with a pink sash and the other with pale green. The little boy is wearing traditional clothing, including a pair of green sailor shorts, an ivory Mandarin shirt, and a pair of patent black buckle shoes. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Little Bevan

Cameras and a ‘shots list’

A great idea, is to put a disposable camera on each of the children’s place settings along with a list of images you want them to capture, like ‘people kissing’ or ‘someone laughing’. Not only will it keep them busy, it will also provide you with a host of wedding images from a ‘kids eye view’.

Little boy wearing a casual linen waistcoat and trousers, with a polaroid camera at a weddiing. Wearing a sign around his neck saying 'Mini Official Photographer'  Image found on Rock My Wedding Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Rock My Wedding

Child friendly food

The main time when the parents really appreciate a bit of peace and quiet at a wedding, is while they sit down to eat. Therefore, it is important to put some thought into what you feed the little ones, just as you have for your grown up guests. Kids definitely eat with their eyes, so ask your caterers to make a fun menu for them that is visually appealing. Lots of little bites and treats may be a better option than a full meal, and hopefully the variety will mean that even the pickiest of eaters will find something they like.

Lots of child-friendly wedding food, including fries and tomato ketchup in shot glasses, milk and cookies,  mini hot dogs with ketchup and mustard, , chocolate milkshakes with stripy straws, sliders, mini burgers, pancake stacks with blueberries,  and tomato soup and grilled cheese Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Indulgy

Decorate their table

I always think it is nicer to give children their own table, rather than seat them with their parents. Everyone wins – mums and dads get to enjoy ‘grown up time’, and kids get to have fun and feel rather grown up. Obviously there might be some children who are too young for this, but you can always ask their parents what they think. This also gives you the opportunity to get creative with the kids table. There are lots of ways to make it look special without foregoing your overall colour scheme. Bubblegum Balloons are beautiful and fun at the same time, – and don’t have to be confined to the kid’s area! You can scatter the table with sequins and glitter, leave little present parcels on each seat with crayons, sweeties, and activity books (there are even some available free of charge online these days).

Children's activity books and crayons in multicolours for weddings. Little boxes with pencils, sweets and toys. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Ruffled Blog

Toys and Games

Kids like fun, and fun means toys. If you’re holding part of your reception outside, you can hire giant garden games like Connect Four and Ring Toss that will be appealing to both children and adults alike. For later on in the day, you can buy little ‘party bag’ toys and games to put on the kids table (as mentioned above), they don’t have to be expensive and can best be found in 99p shops or similar.

Rustic Pink Ring Toss in a whitewashed crate for fun and games at a wedding. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Huffington Post

Children’s Entertainers

There are lots of people that you can call upon to come and entertain the kids, from magicians, to caricaturists, to people dressed up as their favourite Disney characters. While this might be pricier than a packet of crayons and some colouring in books, if you have a large number of children attending, it might be worth it.

Multicoloured stripy Hula Hoops laid on grass. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Style Me Pretty

A chill out area just for kids

Lets face it – weddings can be tiring for adults, never mind children! We’ve all got to the end of a fantastic day, kicked our shoes off, and sunk into bed. Little ones can feel the urge to curl up and snooze far earlier in the evening, so if you can, create a ‘chill out zone’ for them to cuddle up and calm down. This is sometimes easier when you have a marquee wedding at home, as you can dedicate a lounge inside the house, as a ‘kids area’ where you can stick on a DVD, or even put up a little tipi or tent in the garden. This can be trickier when you have hired out a venue but there may be ways that you can work around this so it is worthwhile chatting to your venue co-ordinator to see what they can accommodate.

Mini Rustic Tipi for children at a wedding with lots of cushions and  boxes of cosy blankets, and bunting. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Mokkasin

For more ‘Kids at Weddings’ inspiration – head to our Pinterest board Kids At Weddings.

Thanks for reading, hope this has given you some child-friendly wedding inspiration! Would love to hear what you think in the comments section below 🙂 

A x

Follow