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Hot Cocoa Bar for Winter Weddings

If you are looking for a unique idea for a winter wedding reception, then you might want to consider setting up a hot chocolate or hot cocoa bar for your wedding guests.

A hot chocolate bar would complement a dessert themed wedding reception, or it could also be an alternative for the punch that is usually served at wedding receptions. Most people would agree, hot chocolate is loved by adults and children alike.

To set up a hot chocolate bar you will need a large hot water dispenser, similar to the large coffee dispensers you find at many large get togethers. You can purchase one for about $100, or you may be able to rent one from an equipment rental store.

Next you will need the hot chocolate. Warehouse stores sell large boxes of individual packets of hot chocolate very inexpensively. Set out a pretty bowl with the hot chocolate packets in it so guests can help themselves.

To serve the hot chocolate, you will need cups. For the cups you can use styrofoam coffee cups, or you can use coffee cups with lids like you would get at a coffee stand. You can also find these very inexpensively at warehouse stores and the lids will help reduce the risk of spills. If you are having a small wedding, then you might consider buying personalized mugs for your guests to take home as wedding favors.

Now for the toppings. This is the fun part. What would be great in hot cocoa? How about marshmallows, crushed candy canes, toffee pieces, mini chocolate chips, crushed mint Oreos, wafer sticks, crushed Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, white chocolate chips, Red Hots, caramels, whipped cream, and cinnamon? A variety of liquers can even be added for adult guests. I am sure you can think of more, just sit down and make a list.

Set out dishes or bowls with each of the toppings and let your guests help themselves. Any type of dish will do, you can use any kind of container for the toppings. Small, wide vases will work, or even little tin pails. Choose containers that match your wedding decor. Label the containers so that people know what is in each one, and make sure to include a spoon in each one.

A fun addition to a hot chocolate buffet is to serve dipped marshmallows. These marshmallows can be made a day or two in advance and covered with plastic wrap until the big day.

To make dipped marsmallows, you will need large marshmallows, lollipop sticks, vanilla bark or chocolate candy coating, and a variety of nuts and sprinkles. Melt the vanilla bark in the microwave according to the directions on the package. Place a marshmallow on a lollipop stick and quickly roll the marshmallow in crushed candy canes, sprinkles, or nuts. Set on waxed paper to dry. These are great for dipping in hot chocolate.

In addition to dipped marshmallows, you can also prepare dipped stirring spoons. Melt vanilla bark or chocolate in the microwave and then coat the end of a plastic spoon in the melted chocolate. You can then dip the spoon with the chocolate on it in crushed candy canes or sprinkles, if desired. Tie a piece of cellophane around the end of the spoon with a pretty piece of ribbon. These spoons can be prepared several weeks in advance. Candy canes can also be used as stirring sticks.

When preparing a hot chocolate bar for a winter wedding reception, you are only limited by your imagination. Hot chocolate paired with a variety of candies, sprinkles, and whipped cream will not only warm the hearts of all your wedding guests, it will be a pretty addition to your wedding dessert table.

Jenny Houston is a professional blogger that writes for, a leading designer of wedding and bridal dresses.

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Rachel Paxton
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