Reception drinks

Most venues will offer a drinks package before the meal. It is always a good idea to include a choice and ALWAYS make sure that there are plenty of soft drinks and water available.

There are various points in the day when your guests will need a drink

It is good to encourage guests to pace themselves at this stage and a typical allocation would be one drink per guest per half hour (but bear in mind that the first drink tends to go very quickly and thereafter the rate reduces).

One thing that can cause disappointment for your guests is the dry receiving line. Make sure that the venue understands that you want trays of drinks delivered to any queuing guests and you will avoid this.

During the meal, typically as part of the drinks package offered by your venue or caterer, your guests will be served white and red wine as well as still and sparkling water as they eat. You can decide whether you wish to have glasses topped up or if you prefer guests to serve themselves (with waiters removing empty bottles replacing them with full ones). If you wish your guests to also have access to the bar to widen the choice of meal drinks, make sure that your venue is aware because this will slow service (or clearing at the end of each course) and your timetable will need adjustment. Make sure that you have given the venue instructions on what you want to happen when the drinks allowance is exhausted. Note – a typical meal drinks package will be three glasses of wine (with adequate quantities of water). Similarly a glass of champagne or ‘fizz’ for the speeches is generally included in the drinks package – you will need to specify on your timetable when you want this to be served to your guests. 

Note – a typical meal drinks package will be three glasses of wine (with adequate quantities of water). Similarly a glass of champagne or ‘fizz’ for the speeches is generally included in the drinks package – you will need to specify on your timetable when you want this to be served to your guests. Some venues will suggest that you offer an arrival drink – both for on-site-ceremony guests early in the day and for evening-only guests who will be joining you after the meal and will be grateful for a welcome glass.