Hitched Wedding & Events Affair arrives in Courtenay at the Florence Filberg Centre (Photo by Kieran O’Connor/Black Press Media)

TODAY: Hitched Wedding & Events Affair arrives at Florence Filberg Centre

Campbell River business one of many vendors at Hitched wedding event

Hitched Wedding & Events Affair arrives today in Courtenay at the Florence Filberg Centre for their second event of 2019.

Stop by to experience a one stop shop to plan all your wedding needs.

Hand-crafting specialty cocktails using only freshly squeezed citrus fruits and homemade ingredients, Wild Coast Cocktails is a unique bar service available for Vancouver Island weddings and events.

Owned and operated by Campbell River couple Aaron Mercer and Caitlynn Zandvliet, Wild Coast Cocktails came into being last year after the pair’s at-home cocktail nights became increasingly popular.

“We do a big cocktail thing for fun and it just grew over the years, just got bigger,” Zandvliet said. “We realized doing this for fun… we could be doing this for people’s backyard parties and be paid to do it at people’s weddings.”

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Zandvliet said the business is a step up from the usual bar service in that they can accommodate almost any function, big or small.

“We’re not just beer, wine and highballs; we go above and beyond. All hand-crafted everything. Fresh-pressed ingredients always. We don’t use lemonade in place of real fresh lemons,” Zandvliet said. “We use glassware as much as possible. It’s just an extra-quality feature. It adds value.”

A portable bar is available.

“We find that people really enjoy having it at the venue,” Zandvliet said. “When people come up to grab a drink, they can watch what you’re doing: cutting the ice, squeezing the juices and putting all the stuff in there.”

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Mercer, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the restaurant industry, said they make all their cordials, syrups and ice from scratch. A mocktail service is also available during any event.

“We are a very unique service,” he said. “We like raising the standard so it’s really as much about the show as it is about the cocktails.”

Last year, Mercer and Zandvliet focused on building their business slowly, collecting glassware and working to improve. This year, the pair anticipate a busy season of weddings and events. They already have two weddings booked for May and July and a handful of smaller events in the coming months.

The couple also offers lessons on how to craft homemade cocktails.

“If people want to have a cocktail night with their friends and they don’t want to go out somewhere, we can offer appetizers and how to craft your cocktails,” Zandvliet said.

Although the service is based in Campbell River, they can travel all over the Island.

Wild Coast Cocktails will be a vendor at this year’s Hitched Wedding and Events fair in Comox on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Florence Filberg Centre, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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