Serving Beer and Wine?
There is often a debate about whether to serve beer and wine at your wedding. Some think it isn’t a wedding without serving alcohol of some sort. Some realize the expense and complication of it or are trying to be respectful to a family member or guests. Here are a few things to consider while pondering this choice.
First: It is an added expense but since we do not handle the purchase of the alcohol – it allows you to purchase it where ever you want; maybe a Costco run to be economical; maybe you want a specialty beer or winery samplings; or maybe you order through one of the beverage companies on our vendor suggestion list to drop off a large selection of products. This does allow you to control your budget as well as often your taste buds.
2. Remember – we only allow beer, wine, and champagne – no hard liquors whether in a sangria mix or straight. That said – we do allow sangrias that are mixed with wine and there are many varieties of this. Here is one that I saw recently on a Facebook post from a site called The Slow Roasted Italian. It showed a summer berry sangria mix that was very beautiful to the eye – and I assume to the taste buds.
3. We require that you hire a bartender from one of the two staffing companies on our vendor suggestion page if you are going to have any wine, beer, or champagne at your wedding. We have deemed this policy as necessary for several reasons. (1) The bartender will come with liquor liability insurance to protect you and nowadays, this is just an important safe guard. If any of your guests were to have a car accident with injuries, etc., their insurance company may pursue a lawsuit against you since it was your alcohol at your your event. Best to protect yourself. (2) The bartender will schedule to come one hour prior the bar opening up so that he can pack your bottles properly (there seems to be an art to this) and to have it chilled in time. With a proper supply of ice (we have an ice vendor on our vendor suggestion page) and containers (and we tend to have ample wash tins and such) – they can chill your drinks in one hour. It is a huge help to just delegate this task to professionals and know that it is taken care of. (3) Your bartender will serve your guests and do so responsibly. If a guest is carded – it is by law their responsibility to make sure a guest is old enough to drink. If they need to cut off a guest – it is by law their responsibility to make sure that your guests avoid getting drunk. Each venue, and ours for sure, have a strict policy against over-drinking. You do not want a drunk at your wedding…for one drunk can make a scene that will tarnish your event, often in a vary embarrassing way. (4) There will be a last beer call 45 minutes prior to the bride/groom send-off. Once the bar closes down, the bartender will pack up any remaining beer/wine and load it into the designated vehicle’s trunk (usually the father of the bride). Handled!
4. To control the cost or even to control any “issues” there are other ways to handle the beer/wine issues without avoiding it altogether. You can (1) Serve only non-alcoholic drinks during appetizer hour then open up the bar at dinner time. This not only limits how much you have to purchase but limits the sheer quantity of consumption which often helps to eliminate those other concerns. (2) Offer only Sangria during appetizer hour (along with non-alcoholic drinks) which again would just reduce the overall consumption prior to dinner. (3) Have the bartender pour the beer into cups instead of giving them the whole bottle or can. (4) Offer the beer, wine, or champagne only after dinner during any speeches/toasts. This allows the consumption but limits again any excess and also limits your costs. With a limited supply of beer, wine, or champagne – when the supply runs out, then that is that.
5. If you do decide to have a dry event – these work just fine too. There will be a few who grumble about it but they likely knew your stance on the situation anyway. Sometimes these dry events offset the lack of beer/wine with having some of those “sparkling grape juice products” for their toasting. Sometimes they purchase a lot of those fun varieties of sodas (NuGrape, Rootbeers, etc.) in bottle form as an interesting alternative.
6. If you have lots of drinkers in your guest list – then consider having two bartenders instead of one. In general, one bartender works for a guest count of 75-100. Two bartenders are needed for 150 and up. These numbers assume that 1/3 or more of your guests are not drinkers….so if your guest list include mostly drinkers – out of courtesy, consider having that additional bartender so they can serve your guests quickly…..plus more drinking guests will mean more bottles to pack prior to service.
Be yourself and have this wedding as you like….just make smart plans in the process.