Our Top Tips for Wedding Tipples
Today the sun has been shining and the announcement we have all been waiting for has been made – no more restrictions for weddings! Woohoo! – that really is something to celebrate! So, now more so than ever seems like a great time to talk tipples! We asked our great friend and expert wedding planner Melissa, from Melissa Rose Design for her top tips. Melissa has worked in the wedding industry for almost 20 years years. Previously the owner of a successful catering company she now runs the brilliant Melissa Rose Design offering planning, styling and floristry services for weddings and events.
How do we start planning our wedding drinks?
The first thing to consider is what kind of wedding you are having. When it comes to drinks you need to consider where in your priority list alcohol falls. If you and your guests are ‘enthusiastic’ drinkers and you want to create a party atmosphere, then booze may be quite high on your list and it’s likely that you’ll want to allocate a decent chunk of budget. If other things take priority and your budget is smaller then you’ll need to be a bit more selective on the ‘what and when’ as you plan your drinks.
What should we serve?
The kind of drinks you serve can help to set the tone of the day. For example are you going formal with champagne, or fun with cocktails…? The drinks should also be reflective of your personalities. If you don’t like champagne, then don’t serve it. You could choose to toast with shots instead, or if you always drink gin and tonics with your friends then have a GnT bar.
Your budget will stretch further if you limit your offering. The more options you have, the larger quantities you will need to buy as you won’t necessarily know what will be the most popular. By keeping things simple you’re more likely to get your quantities right. For example, if you are serving champagne as your reception drink, you can then simply add one glass per person to cover your toast as well (typically you’ll get five glasses from a bottle of champers).
How much should we provide?
To answer this, consider your family and friends. You know them better than anyone else so you know what they like to drink and how much they like to drink! Some weddings tend to be big boozy affairs whilst others are a lot quieter and may even be totally dry. Starting with reception drinks straight after your ceremony, I typically see guests having 3-4 drinks over the course of an hour and half. When it comes to wine for the tables, planning for a bottle per person should mean you are easily covered, plus have some spare (you could then move any unused bottles to the evening bar). You’ll then probably want to allocate a drink for toasts too, typically this is a glass of bubbles but it doesn’t have to be.
What about evening drinks?
Again this really depends on your budget. Some couples choose to keep the free drinks flowing whilst lots of others revert to a cash bar. After dinner is a great time to serve a cocktail. Guests may need a little pick-me-up at this point and it helps to fill a natural lull that tends to occur before the party gets started. There is a great company called Paradise Martini that offer cocktails on tap! It means your guests won’t be left queuing for ages waiting for the bar staff to mix, muddle and pour gazillions of cocktails!
What about DIY drinks?
In theory, having a DIY or ‘help yourself’ drinks station is a great idea. In reality, it’s usually a disaster. The problem when no one takes charge is that you end up with loads of wastage as bottles get opened but never finished. You really need someone to service your drinks and when this is allocated to your venue or caterers they will remove unfinished wine from tables to then serve into the evening, ensuring what you have supplied goes further. This is especially true if you plan to serve spirits – the free pouring of gin or rum can get very messy very quickly!
What I would recommend though (if your venue allows) is sourcing and supplying your own drinks for your caterers/waiting staff to then serve. This way you can get exactly what you need and shop around for the best deals. Make sure you check whether your venue charges corkage and account for that in your budget.
What about non-alcoholic drinks
Yes, don’t forget about this! You might like to add a nice mocktail for the non-drinkers or a simple fruit juice or cordial. A steady supply of table water is important too and you may like to serve tea and coffee with dessert, after dinner or with the cake.
Any final top tips?
Think about the chaps at your wedding. Again, every wedding is different but typically they prefer to drink a beer or a GnT over a glass of fizz. You know your guests the best though so if they are all champagne quaffers then bring on the bubbles!
We hope this has given you a helping hand when pondering your drinks options! Don’t forget to ask us about our Bells and Whistles added extras. We can supply you with a variety of bar options such as our rustic pallet wood bar or circular oak bar. The perfect drinks stations whatever you choose to serve!
Coastal Tents team xxxx