My AleHorn Wedding: Sam and Michael Trathen

Hi, I'm Sam and I'm AleHorn's marketing and communications manager. You've probably read one of my blog posts before. Or you've seen me on a Facebook Live video. Or you've met me in the AleHorn Army.

Last October, I got married to the bushy-bearded barbarian love of my life, and I was lucky enough to have AleHorn be a big part of my day. You see, I've worked for AleHorn for quite a while now. But when it came to requesting horns for my bridal party, I felt a little bit nervous. Why?

alehorn wedding

Because there were TWENTY people in my bridal party.

That's right-- my husband-to-be could not simply pick a handful of his friends to stand by his side. He had to pick all of them-- or nine, to be exact. And since we both like things to be even, I had to pick nine as well. Add our officiant and our usher and that's too many people.

(Side note: our rehearsal dinner venue informed us they once had a wedding with TWENTY-TWO PEOPLE on either side, not counting the bride and groom. What!)

About two weeks before my nuptials, I got a ping from my coworker, Jessica, our wonderful business manager who asked me why I hadn't asked for wedding horns.

"Twenty is too many," I told her. "But thanks. I don't want to rob the business blind." (Also, it was right before the holiday season, which is always a big rush for product.)

"I don't know," said Jessica. "I think twenty horns sounds pretty awesome."

A few days later, while I was leaving on an errand, a man in a truck stopped me in the parking lot outside my apartment. "Hey, are you Sam Uliano? Someone left this massive box on my front doorstep."

Lo and behold! The horns had arrived. And thanks to the UPS man, I might have never known. Shout out to you, kind neighbor. I wish I'd gotten your name so I could send you one.



The night before our wedding, at the rehearsal dinner, I opened the box and began handing out horns to the wedding party. It was madness. Utter mayhem. They completely stole the show. Those who didn't get one wanted one (and DEMANDED to know where we'd gotten them from). And those who did get one beelined to the bar to fill them up as soon as possible. 

alehorn wedding

These were our Large Polished Viking Horn with Stand. So while they are beautiful and while they came with a functional stand, no one ever wanted to put them down. At the hotel that we shared with our friends and family, it became a common sight to see folks just standing, drinking whatever they could get their hands on from their horn.

I told my wedding party to make sure they brought them tomorrow. "It's for my job," I said, "I need lots of pictures. They sent me SO MANY for you dweebs!"

Nearly everyone remembered (ALEX).

Surprise Engravings

I'd made sure to tell Jessica that I didn't want anything engraved because I didn't want to take time away from our very busy engravers, Lance and Jenn. Unfortunately, when people tell them not to do really cool stuff, they don't listen.

alehorn wedding 


When we got to the bottom of the box, we were shocked to find two tankards, pictured above. I had no idea this was coming. The surprise moved me to tears and I still get weepy about it today because I am a big baby. A few months later, I got to thank Jenn in person when we met at our offsite. But let's get back to the wedding.

alehorn wedding

(Left to right: Jenn, Sam, and Jessica)

The Big Day

I'm a big believer that drinking horns belong at all weddings, no matter what the theme. For instance, our theme was a Midsummer Night's Dream because I am a big nerd who loves Shakespeare. Did gruff, manly drinking horns match our faerie-world setting?

Of course they did.

alehorn wedding

(We used the Five Horn Holder, along with our own homebrewed mead for a mead ceremony)

It's hard to say that I was upstaged at my wedding. It's even more difficult to admit that I was upstaged by dining wear. Cups. But I was.

Everyone wanted to get their pictures taken with the horns. Some even demanded first dibs on a horn for my next wedding (haha, GRANDPA).

At some point, while I was getting schwasted at the sweetheart table, the DJ came up to me. "You know," he said, "we've been having a lot of weddings with those horns. Where did you get them?"

Weddings are very strange. I've lived all over the United States and it's very strange to have people from all these different lives of mine coming together and bonding over mugs made from ethically-sourced animal products. It gave the wedding a very special something. I've visited with several wedding party friends since my wedding, and every time I see a horn sitting on the home bar, bookshelf, or in a cupboard, I get a warm tingly of love.

alehorn wedding

Side note: my now-husband is a wedding officiate. We've been in many wedding parties. There's a lot of wedding party gifts that come around again and again: flasks, jewelry, knives, bottles of alcohol, etc. And we love them all, don't get us wrong. But these drinking horns are the only ones people talk about for months after the wedding.


There are a few companies out there that make drinking horns. There are fewer that engrave, and even fewer that engrave well. In my humble opinion, AleHorn is the leader in the last of these categories. I'm not saying that because I work there.

AleHorn, but especially the folks who work there (like Jessica, Jenn, and Lance) work their butts off to make every wedding special. 

 alehorn wedding

I know, because I've worked here for a long time, that the special je ne sais quoi that came in that box that day was not just for me. It comes in every single box that leaves our Tempe, AZ warehouse, and has since AleHorn first opened.

So, how can we make your wedding special?

Need the perfect wedding party gift? Click here and let us help you design your very own engraved drinking horn or tankard.

1 comment

  • Erik Andersen

    This is awesome! Glad it worked out so well, love these products. :)

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