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When you book a wedding venue, one of the decisions you’ll have to make is what to serve and how you’ll serve the drinks throughout your wedding reception. Source advice from the team at your chosen wedding venue and always ensure that you’ve allocated enough drink for all of your guests, regardless of their age.
It is good to encourage guests to pace themselves during the early stages of your wedding reception and in our view, a typical allocation would be one drink per guest per half hour.
However, bear in mind that the first drink tends to go very quickly and thereafter the rate reduces. Guests may have had a long day already by the time it comes to your celebratory drinks reception, so choosing a time, a place and a great selection of drinks to serve at this point in the day is essential.
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. Perhaps have a member of staff walking up and down the receiving line, topping up drinks where necessary.
During the meal, typically as part of the drinks package offered by your wedding 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.
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.
When planning the drinks at your wedding, think about the different types of wedding guests that you may be inviting. If you think that a lot of the male guests would enjoy a cold beer as opposed to a glass of fizz directly after your wedding ceremony, consider having polypins of beer or a selection of beers at the ready for them to easily pick up. Older guests may enjoy something more traditional, such as a glass of Champagne or Prosecco.
Don’t forget to think about guests who may be pregnant or driving and will therefore require a non-alcoholic drink. And, when it comes to the kids, a choice of soft drinks would be ideal.
Whether you’re planning a summer garden wedding or a cosy winter wedding, you’ll need to think of a variety of different drinks to serve your wedding guests during the different stages of the day. Below, we’ve listed 30 different wedding drink options to help you make the right decisions.
White wine spritza
Gin & tonic
Lemonade / pink lemonade
Mocktails: pinacolada, mojito, punch
Hot apple cider