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Special wedding drinks and cocktails for the "locally conscious"

Local suggestions for the perfect toast

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While champagne is the quintessential choice at weddings for toasts (or taking the edge off a bride’s nerves), modern couples are exploring unique libations to celebrate their union.

Lauren McMillen, owner of Pointbreezeway, an “urban barn,” hosts weddings that are “more low-key celebrations for off-beat brides.” Her typical clientele are “locally conscious” and often bring in booze from Pittsburgh-based breweries and wineries.

“Pointbreezway is a beer-and-wine-only venue but that doesn’t seem to be a problem,” says McMillan. Local craft beer is in vogue for this space, often served out of the bottle or mason jars. For couples who want a modestly priced ceremony, staying away from spirits can cut costs while keeping guests fortified.

For traditional weddings, the Fairmont Pittsburgh offers an extensive bar. Wedding planner Madeline Kelly sees couples refocusing on classic cocktails and locally produced spirits.

“We recently had a couple do an all-local signature-drink station which featured Wigle Whiskey, Maggie’s Farm Rum and Boyd & Blair Vodka. This is a fun way to share a piece of Pittsburgh,” says Kelly.

Non-alcoholic drinks are also making their mark. Sarah Walsh, of Caffe D’Amore Coffee Company, offers espresso-bar catering for 10 to 450 people. Basic services include: espresso, tea and hot chocolate; she uses farm-fresh milk and direct-trade beans. Walsh will also whip up one specialty drink, like a maple latte, to suit the couple’s taste. After all, coffee is an excellent way to kick the party up a notch on the dance floor.


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