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Setting Up a Cigar Bar at Your Wedding

Holt's Staff Cigar's picture

Holt's Staff

After you’ve spoken your vows to the love of your life, it’s time to say “I do” to the other love of your life – cigars. And what a better way than to bring your two true loves together than with a cigar bar for your wedding?

We’re going to add to the traditional open bar motif of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and help you blow your guests away with a cigar bar wedding that’s not only perfect for a pre-ceremony smoke for the groomsmen, but for all your guests during the reception.

Figure Out How Many Cigars You’ll Need

Before you go out and get your groomsmen fitted for smoking jackets, figure out how many cigars you’ll need. Tally up the number of guests you’re inviting and try to come up with a solid estimate for the folks who you know would surely enjoy a cigar. You’ll want to pick up a few extras, too. There are always a handful of guests who decide to fire up once they see everybody else is doing it. Most cigars are boxed in quantities of 20 or 25, but you don’t have to buy a full box. However, don’t be afraid to, because cigars will stay fresh indefinitely as long as they’re humidified. If you have a few extras, you can take them on your honeymoon or save them for the golf course.

How Much Will This Cost?

Premium handmade cigars cost any from $2-3 apiece to $20-30, or more, per cigar. The classic Ashton brand, for example, is a phenomenal, mild, and ultra-popular brand for weddings. Most 25-count boxes of Ashton range from $200-270. There are tons of affordable, high-quality boxes from La Aroma de Cuba, Arturo Fuente, San Cristobal, and more. You can always mix up some top-shelf boxes with inexpensive bundles from brands like Argyle and Rocky Patel. Adding a 20-count bundle to the menu for $40-60 never hurts. It’s insurance that you’ll have more than enough cigars and guests often like some variety.

Location, Location, Location

You may be a cigar connoisseur, your friends may be cigar connoisseurs – heck, even your grandma may love to light up a Montecristo from time to time – but that doesn’t mean all your guests will appreciate a cloud of smoke next to the buffet. Be mindful of your guests and consider placing your cigar bar in somewhat of a secluded area marked with appropriate cigar bar signs.

IMPORTANT: If you’re all-in on having a cigar bar at your wedding, do yourself a favor and make sure your venue will allow for one. The last thing you want to do is plan for a cigar bar only to find out that it’s all up in smoke.

Stock Your Cigar Bar with Options

Just like drinks, not all cigars are the same. As you’d have a variety of spirits on tap for your guests – beer, wine, and liquor – get a variety of cigars. Try having at least 2-3 different blends (mild, medium, and robust) as well as different sized stogies at the cigar station for your wedding reception.

Size Matters

Mini Cigarillos or Petite Coronas are great for folks who want to fire up for a quick 10 to 20-minute smoke, while traditional shapes like a Robusto are ideal for any aficionados looking for a cigar that lasts a bit longer. When it comes to cigar sizes, or shapes, you may want to choose lengths around the 5 to 6-inch threshold with a ring gauge in the 44-52 range. Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 52), and Corona (5.5 x 44) sizes are all great options that can last anywhere from 30 to 55 minutes, generally speaking. Fatter ring gauges (54 and up) and longer dimensions like a 7-inch Churchill will certainly burn longer, but your cigar-smoking guests may also be preoccupied with their cigars for extended time. The last thing you want is to have a group of your guests tucked away smoking cigars ALL night.

Romance Your Guests with a Great Brand

Definitely make sure that you’ve got at a premium option or two for those die-hard cigar fans – like yourself. After all, it is a time to celebrate. There are hundreds to choose from including Ashton, Arturo Fuente, My Father, and Padron. All are top-shelf brands available in a large range of sizes and price points that are guaranteed to please. Iconic Cuban-legacy labels like Montecristo, Cohiba, and Romeo y Julieta carry a lot of brand recognition as well. You can even pick up a handful of cost-effective bundles from big name brands like Rocky Patel and Oliva, when you want to make sure you’re prepared to accommodate everyone who decides to light up.

Keep Your Cigars Fresh (Humidified)

Soon-to-be newlyweds reach out to us on a regular basis asking for cigar recommendations, in addition to all kinds of general guidance for hosting a cigar lovers’ corner on their big day. One major detail to keep in mind is that cigars need to be humidified. Therefore if your wedding is a year, or even several months off, it’s best to postpone your cigar purchase until it gets closer to the date – unless, you have a reliable humidor with enough space to store the number of cigars you plan to pick up. And, no, you cannot store them in the refrigerator.

Of course, with the countless number of details that go into planning a wedding, doing anything at the last-minute – like buying cigars – is not ideal. However, getting them around a few weeks or month ahead of time amounts to less concern over keeping them fresh until you’re ready to crack the boxes open. There are also a number of temporary and inexpensive humidification alternatives you can consider that will insure the cigars you purchase will taste amazing and burn perfectly the second you hand them out.

Get Everything You Need to Light Up

When planning your DIY cigar bar for your wedding reception, there are a handful of critical accoutrements you’ll need to facilitate the smoking of a cigar. That includes ashtrays (something nice that matches your wedding décor), cigar cutters, and lighters. It’s often ideal to pick up a dozen or so inexpensive cutters and wooden matches that you can pass out to guests, so everyone can easily fire up at the same time.

Craft a Signature Cigar Cocktail

What good is a cigar without a delicious beverage to enjoy it with? Cigars compliment a tremendous number of spirits, including vintage whiskeys and traditional cocktails. Consider crafting a signature cocktail to pair with the cigars on your special day. If you’re not sure what kind of cocktail to select, bourbon, scotch, cognac, and rum are all great starting points.

Cigar-Friendly Forms of Leisure

Okay, so maybe you can’t fit a driving range in the reception hall, but cigars are a relaxing addition to a number of past times. Consider booking a venue with a billiards table or two, if that’s an option. Some couples will even incorporate a game of shuffleboard or a bocce ball court near their cigar bar.

Educate Your Guests

Consider hiring a tobacconist (or a cigar-friendly bartender) to guide your guests through their smoking and drinking experience. There are a lot folks who may be timid around cigars initially, but would actually really like try one, especially in the company of others during the fun and excitement of a wedding reception. Having someone on hand to offer your guests a bit of wisdom and encouragement regarding cigars always gets a thumbs-up from your pals at Holt’s!

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