Your wedding day is one of the most special occasions in your life. Of all the celebrations you will ever attend, it should be the most memorable. Arguably, it’s the party of a lifetime!
Your wedding reception is one part of your wedding day you have absolute control over. It gives you plenty of scope to exert your imagination and apply some creative flair; from a personalised play-list or specifically selected live entertainment to bespoke or hand-made finishing touches, the extent to which you personalise as many details as possible is what differentiates your wedding and results in it being a truly memorable experience for all your guests. It is also where a significant proportion of your overall budget will be spent. On average, around 40% of a wedding budget is allocated to the venue, food and drink. And whilst you want these elements of your day to be absolutely spot on, there are lots of ways to make your celebration unique and stylish, without breaking the bank.
One important element of a wedding that should never be overlooked is the drinks menu.
Most wedding venues offer drinks packages comprising of a choice of reception drinks, a selection of table wine and bubbles for speeches. However, this does not necessarily prevent you from negotiating a personalised offering for your guests to enjoy.
WHAT TO DRINK AT YOUR WEDDING RECEPTION
- If guests are travelling from far afield and are likely to appreciate some refreshment on arrival, should you consider offering a welcome drink?
- The traditional wedding tipple is of course Champagne. However, there are dozens of alternatives. Is it feasible to enhance the presentation of canapes by pairing drinks with them during the drinks reception?
- What seasonal options are available, e.g. mulled wine or cider or boozy hot-chocolate for a Winter wedding or PIMMS or Mojitos during the height of Summer?
- Will you serve red or white wine with dinner, or both?
- What interesting soft options might be offered to non drinkers?
- Will you design a signature cocktail based on your favourite tipples?
- Are dessert wines, after dinner liquors or espresso martinis on the menu?
I am often asked about the correct quantity of drinks to allow for on a wedding day and as a general rule, I suggest;
Two drinks per person
Soft drinks for 25% of guests
Half a bottle of wine per person
2/3 of a bottle of water per person
One glass of fizz for the toasts
If your budget allows you to offer an account bar, where you pay for all or a proportion of your guests drinks after dinner, study the bar tariff and estimate how much you might spend. At this point, it is also worth asking the venue to share information such as the average amount of money spent at a wedding of a similar size to yours.
As the drinks flow, to prevent the cost from spiraling out of control, consider limiting the ‘free’ drinks available to wine, beer, soft drinks and single measures of spirits. This not only prevents people from getting too carried away amidst the festivities, it also reduces the amount of wastage.
I have the pleasure of working alongside some of the very best hospitality and bar providers in the UK, with whom I’m proud to collaborate at many weddings and private parties. One such super-star is The Yorkshire Bar Tender.
If you would like to treat yourself to a delicious cocktail to sip in the sunshine, The Yorkshire Bartender has kindly supplied this wonderful recipe for you to make at home.
This elegant lady is sweet on the lips and light on the hips! Don’t let her beauty fool you though, she’ll likely leave you with a heavy head in the morning.
This cocktail is my own personal favourite; made with a floral gin, lychee juice, vermouth and lime, finished off with a violet sugar rim and a burning lavender stem. Not only does she look and taste great, she smells insane too!
THE LAVENDER LADY
- 40ml Yorkshire Explorer Midsummer Night’s Gin
- 50ml Lychee Juice
- 10ml Vermouth
- 5ml Lime Juice
Add all of the ingredients into a Boston tin and shake. Prepare a coupe glass by wiping the rim with a lime before dipping it into violet sugar, then fine strain the cocktail into the glass and serve with a burning lavender stem.
I cannot recommend The Yorkshire Bartender team highly enough. With a focus on innovation they are constantly creating new and unique ways to intrigue and excite your wedding guests.