Wedding Drinks and Toasts: are a traditional part of the wedding breakfast and in some cultures part of the ceremony itself. So, where do you start? The most obvious person to approach would be a wine connoisseur. Where can you find one? You could try any of the following: in-house experts at local wine stores, the buyer for wines & spirits at various restaurants, a wine tasting club, the “sommelier” at different hotels/clubs.
However, if having caterers their local wine expert/sommelier should be on hand to guide you with a range of wines, in various price categories, to compliment your menu. Your final choice of wines and spirits will be governed by your budget, personal preference, religious beliefs, culture and your knowledge of your guests.
Dependent upon the venue you may have a choice for the caterers to supply the Wedding Drinks such as wine, or to supply your own. The latter will usually incur a corkage charge. Every function center/venue will differ – so check carefully.
If following my DIY theme click on the following link: DIY Wedding Cocktails.
What Wedding Drinks To Serve
Water: choice of mineral, carbonated, with ice, or slice of lemon
Tea: choice e.g. English breakfast, earl grey, decaffeinated
Coffee: choice e.g. filtered, decaffeinated
Fresh orange juice
Juices for children (preferably with no added preservatives, sugar, etc.)
Sodas e.g. Pepsi, diet coke
Wine: red & white to accompany the meal
Champagne/sparkling wine for the toasts
Fortified wines: sherry/port/etc.
Cocktails: Bucks fizz/Pimms/Kir Royale upon arrival at the reception
Beer/larger (including light options)
When To Serve Wedding Drinks
There are no set rules when to serve drinks. Use the following as guidelines and always remember to have a choice of non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic:
– when guests arrive at the reception/wedding breakfast
– when waiting for events to occur e.g. photographs to be taken, being received by the reception bridal party
– whilst hors d’oeuvres are being served, or when seated waiting for the entrees to be served
– during the course of the wedding breakfast where different wines may accompany different dishes
– most importantly a topping up prior to the toasts/speeches
– tea & coffee at the finale of the meal
It is your decision whether to provide all of the drinks, some e.g. when greeting guests and for the toasts, and/or have a cash bar. You may wish to put some money behind the bar for the bridal party and for your guest’s initial drinks.
There may be some instances when it is decided to have an alcohol free wedding. There could be several reasons for this, including: religion, culture, the bride and/or groom being “tea totallers”, or due to a member of the brial party being a recovering alcoholic. No one should feel any pressure to serve alcohol if this is against their principles.