The guests at any wedding will be expecting refreshments but their tastes and needs will vary. The drinks you provide are going to account for a significant portion of your budget. Some careful thought and planning is required in order to get the best value for money and to please all of the guests. Your choices will depend on what sort of venue you are using but there are always options and you should explore them with care.
Your spend on drinks should be proportionate to your overall budget for the wedding. There is no point arranging a bargain wedding only to splash out huge amounts of cash on providing drinks for others. You will need to lay on something for guests to enjoy between the service and the meal and some wine with the food should be included but you don’t need to fund any drinks after that. Your guests can purchase their own drinks from the bar in the evening. If your budget is tight avoid Champagne for the reception drinks and offer cheaper sparkling wine or a different drink entirely like Pimms and don’t choose the most expensive wines for the meal. For big savings find a venue which allows you to provide your own drinks and buy your own from a cash and carry or take a booze cruise to France. You can set up your own bar in a hall or barn and charge for the evening drinks if money is tight. Choose a venue that does not charge corkage for your drinks either, as this can cost a fortune and is an unjustifiable expense.
If you do set up your bar you can use a spare table and make it look attractive by adding a few decorations and then displaying the bottles on Malibu added. I didn’t bother with Champagne and all of my reception drinks cost a total of £35. If you have to buy your drinks via the venue discuss the possibilities with them and be very clear about what you expect on the day.
If you are in any doubt about what drinks to provide or how much you need then speak to your guests in advance to find out what they are likely to want. This will save you from buying too much or from including choices which nobody takes up. If you plan well there should be little wastage and you won’t have broken the bank
Article by Sally Stacey