We all know weddings aren’t cheap; and whilst there are many ways you can reduce your outgoings, food and drink tend to be a big spender no matter how hard you try. So… is there really ANY way of providing wedding alcohol on a budget? You want your friends and family to be relaxed and have a great day, but you also need to keep an eye on the costs (I hear ya, I hear ya!!!). Well my friends, it’s DEFINITELY possible to reduce those costs. Here, I have outlined my top ten tips to make that booze budget go further!
1. Alcohol Tokens
Give guests alcohol “tokens” as your wedding favours. This is cute, fun and it means people will be more responsible with their drinking… trying to make those tokens last! And when they’re gone… they’re gone!
2. Streamline your bar choices
Reduce your alcohol offerings. This can be done easily; just speak to your alcohol provider or venue to ensure they only serve those drinks you want. Alternatively, just charge guests for any drinks not on your “pre-approved” list (sorry in advance to Uncle Barry who loves expensive Scotch at everyone else’s wedding!)!
3. Don’t let guests self serve
Something I have been telling my couples for as long as I can remember is, if you want to control your alcohol budget, have the catering staff pour drinks at your dinner (rather than leaving wine/beer on the tables). Guests consume much less when they don’t have the bottle in front of them to keep pouring from!
4. Make the most of “Sale or Return”
Use a company (or venue) which offers “sale or return” e.g. Majestic Wine. This means you can rest assured that you have enough alcohol for your wedding, but you won’t be left with a tonne of extra wine, which you have to pay for, afterwards. This option is great for some peace of mind. Just make sure you brief the bar staff to only open new bottles when needed!
5. Calculate accurately
Do your research with alcohol calculators (I would always recommend using a few and averaging your results). And take the advice of your venue/wedding planner/caterers… these are the people who have seen it all before and know how much you need! Listen to the experts and this will really help you plan correctly.
6. Shift your schedule slightly
With just a few tweaks to your day, you can definitely reduce the likelihood of excess drinking! Go for a week day as people are less likely to get super sloshed (no one wants work on a killer hangover!). Or, just tweak your timings slightly. There are no rules saying that you have to do the day a certain way, get married in the morning and have your main meal as a lunch with an earlier finish.
7. Keep ’em busy
Busy guests means there is less time for them to be knocking back the bevs! Add fun games to your reception like giant jenga, hoopla or tic tac toe OR have your speeches at the reception before dinner.
8. Hakuna Mimosa!
Obviously it’s a no brainer that you can stretch your booze budget by reducing the amount of booze per person… BUT it doesn’t have to feel like your short changing your guests! Have mimosas for your reception drinks or how about wine wine spritzers, sangria…? The list goes on! Make that alcohol go further in a creative way!
9. Pimp up those softies
Place a few cocktail decanters around the reception, filled with some nice flavoured waters and juices. These are so easy to make and you can easily pimp up water/lemonade with mint, lemons, watermelon (the list goes on). With different drink options to try, you may be surprised with the amount of people who fill up on these tasty softies!
Yes, the tip that no one wants to hear… because it is never fun to do, but it really is the easiest place to start (or for the purposes of this post… end). Negotiate with your wedding venue/caterer on the corkage fee (if you are bringing in your own booze) or on the wine they are offering. Just be honest, if their wine list is out of your price range, see if they can help you source something cheaper. Better yet, get your wedding planner to negotiate for you!! 😉
So there you go, it really is possible to do your wedding alcohol on a budget. Or at least ensure the costs do not go through the roof! Want to talk through more ways to reduce wedding costs without compromising your day? Get in touch… I would love to have a chat!
*I’m currently offering a free 1 hour consultation call to all couples until the end of 2020 – tailored to WHATEVER (wedding related!) you want to discuss!!*