Last week we talked about food, now we discuss drink (another of our favourite things!) Similar to the choice in style of food you serve are the kind of drinks and how you serve them. Are you going down the formal route, or will your wedding be more relaxed?
Thinking about what drinks to serve doesn’t have to be a tricky task; what do you both enjoy drinking? Is there a special drink or cocktail you both love; a certain type of wine or champagne, maybe your favoured tipple is cider, or maybe you won’t be drinking and are voting for a soft option instead. Whatever your preference, cater for both alcohol and non-alcoholic options, but serve what you love and drink a lot of (especially if the venue allows corkage and you have a bit leftover…something to enjoy after the day!)
Some drinks can be served before the ceremony, but often service starts after the ceremony and at the reception. We often advise to serve at least two-three glasses per person, perhaps two alcoholic and one soft. Give your guests choice, especially on a hot day or if your reception is longer than an hour. Alternatively you could open a bar early, or set up a drinks station. Maybe you could have a DIY champagne/Bellini/Prosecco bar filled with lots of fruit and juices where people can create their own concoction. You could have a lemonade stall – always great fun with children and adults alike. If you have a more formal reception, perhaps a champagne tower would go down well and looks fabulous!
Think about how you want the drinks served also. You could opt for a help yourself bar or drinks station as mentioned, this could be manned if you prefer. You may wish to have tray service if you have a more formal theme. Depending on venue chosen, this could also impact upon choice. Most hotels will have a bar and waiters to serve the drinks, catering companies and other venues may also have this too, so it’s always worth checking beforehand and seeing what your venue can do.
The choice of drinks available can be quite vast, but it’s worthwhile thinking about whether you plan on being slightly more traditional or a little different in choice. Champagne or Prosecco (just as good sometimes and cheaper) could be a great reception drink choice and goes fabulously well with canapés. A soft drink option might be Elderflower Fizz. Pimms is always popular in the summer and mulled wine in the winter. Alternatively you could create a signature cocktail – fun and puts your own personal stamp on the proceedings.
Wine is often served throughout the wedding breakfast, but you could offer alternative drinks, such as draft beer or cider. Speeches and toasts call for champagne. You might like to make this special – a rose always looks impressive! However if you don’t like champagne, then think about serving your guests this and you choosing a drink of your choice. We have seen a gin and tonic for the bride before. Whatever makes you happy! Think about how you would like the ‘toast’ drink to be served. When speeches are may determine how drinks are served. They could already be on the table if speeches are before the wedding breakfast or if they are after, tray service may be a better option, where glasses are handed around your guests.
Make sure you have soft drinks available; for those that don’t drink and for children. Also, think about water for the table. A choice of still and sparkling is always good, but if budget doesn’t allow, a good old jug of tap water is fine.
For those of you that love food and are connoisseurs of wine and champagne, you might like to do a wine pairing with your courses. If you really wanted to impress, you might like to see the glassware that the drinks will be served in. If you have the budget to do so and you wanted different glassware, see if this can be hired in and used instead.
For the evening reception, a bar is always a popular option. Whether you choose to have a free bar or limitations on certain drinks, or for guests to pay for themselves, is entirely your choice. But always let the venue or bar know your choice beforehand, so staff are aware what the situation is.
Most venues and hotels will have a bar service available, however not all do and with marquees and other types of venues, you may need to check on and hire in mobile bars, or a bar service, licenses and also corkage. It’s always advisable to check and T&C’s, and this then sorts everything out before hand, so you can enjoy yourselves on the day.
Not exactly alcohol related, but think about serving tea and coffee (maybe hot chocolate too in winter) during the day. Traditionally this is with or after desserts, but it’s always a popular choice and one for you to consider. You may just like to have it available if anyone requests, which, more often than not, they do!
Ultimately choosing your food and drink should be fun. Yes there is a lot to consider, but as long as you and your guests are happy, well fed and watered then you can relax, enjoy yourself and celebrate!
Goose & Berry are a Luxury Boutique Catering, Wedding, Event & Brand Experience Planning & Design company who specialise in Weddings, Social and Corporate Events. We are based in Marlow & London and cover London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and the Home Counties.
Did you know we also Plan and Design Weddings and Events! http://www.gooseandberry.co.uk/event-design-goose-and-berry