Weddings have become so personal over the last few years, and wedding drinks are now so often about more than the traditional champagne on arrival and wine with the meal. Couples may have favourite tipples, drinks associated with particular memories or perhaps they just want to go seasonal. Whatever the inspiration, there is a lot you can do with your wedding drinks to make your offering stand out. Read on for some wedding drinks inspiration and ideas on what alternatives you could serve.
This isn’t done at every wedding, but you may want to consider offering drinks on arrival to keep your guests hydrated whilst they wait for the ceremony to start. Whilst alcohol is usually prohibited within the ceremony room, this is an excellent time to offer your guests a non-alcoholic beverage. In the winter, this may be teas and coffees to keep your guests warm, whilst in the summer you may want to considering fresh lemonade or another refreshing drink. Think about how you might like these served… ‘Help Yourself’ style is great at this point, as your venue staff may be fairly busy with preparations for later. Perhaps the lemonade could be served in individual glass bottles, lined up ready for your guests arrival, or soft drinks could be ready and waiting in drinks dispensers.
The traditional option here is some form of fizz, although Pimm’s has become a very popular summer alternative. But don’t let yourself be restricted if you have other thoughts. Perhaps you are having a winter wedding and want to consider mulled wine or mulled cider, served in a handled glass, which is both seasonal and will keep your guests warm. A great summer options is to offer Sangria to get everyone in the party spirit.
With the Meal
Wine is obviously a good starting point here and is by far the most popular of drinks to serve with a meal. But consider whose in your party! If you know your group are more partial to beer or cider then you may want to consider serving those. There may even be certain meals that go better with a particular drink… Cider is a great accompaniment with pork for example, whereas many prefer to have red wine with beef.
For the Toast
Fizz is once again a popular favourite at this point, whether it’s champagne, Prosecco, Asti or a local sparkling wine. If bubbles are your drink of choice for the toast then why not consider adding a splash of colour – Perhaps a raspberry or a shot of a fruity liqueur.
Alternatively, many couples are now opting to serve their guests with a shot of something stronger at this point… Shots of Rum or Whisky and individual bottles of homemade Sloe Gin or Limoncello are all making appearances on wedding tables.
Trying to decide on a favour to gift your guests that won’t go to waste? Why not consider incorporating one of your chosen drinks? If your tempted to provide a homemade liqueur for the toast then perhaps these could be laid out on the tables at each guests place. Or perhaps there is a special way of serving your chosen wedding breakfast drinks. This wedding served French ‘cidre’ at their wedding, so provided all guests with a traditional French Cider cup which they were welcome to take home afterwards… Just don’t forget to mention it on a label if it isn’t obvious that your guests can keep something. In this instance a note was made on the front of the place cards supplied by The Wedding Print Shop.
After the Meal
Traditionally tea and coffee is served after the meal, before the evening receptions starts. You will probably be guided by your caterer at this point about their preferred way to do this. Some like to serve hot drinks to the table, whilst guests remain seated, other prefer to move the party to another room and serve from a coffee station, perhaps whilst the receptions room is being turned around to make way for dancing.
Consider any alternatives that you might like to provide at this point… Hot chocolate stations have become incredibly popular, particularly the DIY styled, where guests can choose their own toppings (and perhaps add a shot of their favourite tipple!)
The Bar! A very important part of any wedding, whether your venue provides a cash bar for your guests to buy their own drinks, or you have decided to treat your nearest and dearest to an open bar for the evening.
Again, you will probably be guided by your venue, or bar supplier at this point with regards to what they are able to offer… But many are happy to put on at least a couple of pre selected cocktails. So if you and your new spouse have a favourite cocktail then consider asking if this is an option. Perhaps you have a ‘go-to’ drink on a night out, or maybe there is a cocktail that reminds you of a special holiday.
Don’t forget the non-alcoholic!
This is a big one, and should never be an afterthought, as you may well have a lot of guests that aren’t drinking… Along with children and young teens, you may have friends that don’t drink, friends that are driving, or pregnant friends! Either way, you want them to feel as special and as thought of as the rest of your guests. So rather than just providing one non-alcoholic option throughout the day, consider tailoring the non-alcoholic offering to each part of the day as well. Perhaps it’s a case of offering mulled apple juice when you serve mulled cider, sparkling elderflower for the toast or some non-alcoholic cocktails in the evening… Whatever you go for, your guests will appreciate being served more than just water throughout the day.
There are so many options for wedding drinks, and we have covered just a few ideas, but hopefully this has given you some inspiration for your big day. For ideas on how to serve your drinks, and to see the range of glassware we have on offer, take a look at our products available for hire. Or for more assistance contact our team to talk through your ideas.