Buying the bubbly
Here are some basic beverage issues to consider:
- How many food occasions will you have i.e. bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, reception, etc?
- How many guests will be attending?
- What is your food and beverage budget?
- How long will your reception be?
- What kind of food will be served?
- Will children attend?
- Can unused beverages be returned for a refund?
Deciding how much to purchase
One of the most common questions, and worries, when planning the big event is deciding how much sparkling wine you should purchase. Too little and the party might be a little dry. Too much and you've got a lot of extra wine left over.
If possible, consult your caterer for suggestions. Or use the following guide:
- One 750ml bottle of Freixenet sparkling wine = 5 or 6 partially filled glasses.
- One 750ml bottle of liquor = 22 to 25 cocktails
- One 750ml bottle of mix or soft drink = 4 to 5 servings.
Visit our Party Planner to help calculate how many bottles to purchase.
On average, allow two drinks per person during the first hour of the reception, and one per hour thereafter. Also consider the time of year (guests drink more in warmer weather), what time of day (people drink more in the evening), and the ages of your guests (people in their 20s and over 50 tend to drink more).
Remember, your wedding and reception will leave an impression that will be remembered by friends and relatives for years to come. Stay within your budget but don't make the mistake of going obviously "cheap". And whatever you can or cannot provide, avoid a cash bar. Wedding consultants agree it is better to serve what you can afford than to ask your guests to pay.
Wedding hosts should buy what they normally would for their own parties at home. The main thing is, know your crowd. Always make sure that there are nonalcoholic options for younger guests and designated drivers.
Many caterers allow you to buy your own beverages or they will purchase it for you and include the costs in the final bill, often including a small percentage charge for labor. If you purchase it yourself, remember that it is often time consumer and hard heavy work to pick up and deliver the cases.
Some major hotels will allow you to serve your own wine, for per-bottle "corkage" fee, meant to help them make up for their loss in drink revenue. Check with your hotel for clarification and costs. Before you agree to pay the corkage fee be sure to calculate whether or not it is a good deal. For example, they may charge you $25 for a bottle of low-quality sparkling wine but charge you a $5 per bottle corkage fee to serve any kind you bring. In this case, you may actually save money by bringing your own better wine!