Wedding Beverages: Alcoholic & Non Alcoholic
Wedding Beverages are so important to the atmosphere and theme of your wedding. There are so many creative ways to make pretty and fun drinks for all of your guests, even if you choose NOT to serve alcohol. Culinary Art Catering has a full menu of delicious and refreshing "Mock-tails" that can be garnished and rimmed with colored sugar to match your wedding colors.
When planning your wedding beverages, it is important to consider your overall budget and the age and style of your guests. Many brides want a full liquor bar however, this incurs much more (sometimes unexpected) expense, not only in liquor product, but also the glassware and mixers and garnishes. Lots of couples offer specialty cocktails that staff can "Butler Pass" during the cocktail hour immediately following the ceremony. Try to minimize your cocktails to 2-3 complex cocktails due to time for the bartender to make. Too many ingredients make for long lines at the bar, unless they are pre mixed.
Most brides offer beer & wine bar only (or with a champagne toast). This keeps your costs minimal, but still offers drinks for your guests. It is highly recommended to offer only two wines (a red and a white), and 2-4 beer varieties, depending on the crowd. Many clients offer fresh brewed or homemade beers form local breweries. Also, do not forget about the glassware for your wine and beer. Keep in mind, many photos will be taken at the reception, so bottles of beer in guests hands does not look so great in the after photos. It is nice to offer a nice stemmed universal water goblet for your beer, or even get some plastic personalized cups, that also make a great memento for your guests.
Champagne or NO Champagne? THAT is the question. This is a very traditional wedding activity that every bride has their own ideas on. Although it is a fun to have your guests making toasts and telling stories, you do not HAVE to serve champagne. These days, you can still do the toasts, but have the guests toast with "drink in hand". It saves a little $ on champagne product and glassware too, and most guests just have a few sips then leave the rest. Or some Bride & Grooms have a "special bottle" of extra nice champagne for the bride and groom ONLY to toast with then have the guests toast with whatever drink they are drinking.
Although the alcohol cost can be a large part of your overall reception budget, it is not accepted etiquette to ask guests purchase their own alcohol (drink tickets, cash bar, etc). So try and choose to either serve alcohol or NOT serve alcohol.
If you are providing your own alcohol, also consider the physical labor of who will be picking up and transporting the alcohol to the venue, that is important to coordinate in advance. That is a lot of heavy lifting and work for the DAY OF your wedding. And don't forget the beverage ice, we usually recommend at least 2 - 3 lbs per person - more if full bar. It is best to outsource that responsibility to a liquor store or vendor that offers a full bar all inclusive package, like Culinary Art Catering.
And do not forget the coffee too, especially for the "mature" guests. Most like coffee with wedding cake after dinner.
Whatever you decide on beverages, try to have a nice variety for all guests to enjoy and have everything you serve reflect your unique style and taste. Have a great wedding - CHEERS!