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Choosing The Drinks For Your Wedding

Choosing The Drinks For Your Wedding

It’s the norm to provide some drinks for your wedding guests and there are lots of great options to choose from.

There are no rules about what you must provide so let’s look at the options to help you make your choices.

You want your guests to stay hydrated and have a good day.   But you probably don’t want things to get too messy too early in the day!

It’s easy for the costs to quickly stack up so be careful if you don’t want to blow your budget.


Welcome Drinks At Your Wedding

Welcome Drinks

After the ceremony it’s nice to welcome your guests with a drink.  Champagne and prosecco are very popular for welcome drinks.   But you could also consider something like Pimms which is always a great choice, especially in summer.

You could offer a few different cocktails if you have a bar service available to you.   I always think it’s nice to have some beers on offer too as an alternative.

It’s usual to allow for 2 or 3 drinks per guest, depending how long your drinks reception is planned for.

Always make sure there’s a non alcoholic option available as well for younger guests and anyone who isn’t drinking alcohol for whatever reason.


Champagne at Drinks Reception

With a Meal

It’s usual to provide wine for guests to enjoy with their meal.  Half a bottle per person is a good guide for this and make sure there’s a choice of red and white.

Many venues offer a drinks package which will include wine for the tables and a glass of fizz for the toasts during the speeches.   Some venues will serve guests as and when they need a drink, whilst others will leave the bottles on the tables for guests to help themselves.

Make sure you’ve agreed with your venue how much you’re happy for your guests to have so you don’t have a higher than expected wine bill after the event!


Choosing Wine for Your Wedding

In The Evening

Are you thinking about providing a free bar?  In most venues you can agree a spend limit for the evening and once that limit is reached, they will start charging guests for drinks.

But you absolutely don’t have to do a free bar.  It’s certainly not the norm in the UK so don’t feel obliged to do this.

If you’re having your wedding at a venue without it’s own bar, you’ll probably want to hire in a bar service company.  This will allow you to choose which drinks you want to be made available to your guests. Most bar companies have a minimum spend so make sure you check with them what this is.

Personally I wouldn’t recommend a completely self service bar for the evening.  It’s difficult to gauge how much of any drink you’ll need to supply and things can get rather messy if guests are just helping themselves. You’ll also need tons of glasses, mixers, ice etc etc.


Cocktails to Serve at Your Wedding


Soft drinks

Always make sure there’s a good supply of soft drinks available throughout the day and evening.

Quite often the choice of soft drinks is a bit limited, typically orange juice and water.  Maybe look at some non alcoholic options for cocktails or wines?

It’s also a good idea to have bottles of water on the tables during the meal.


Tea & Coffee

Some venues will allow you to have a tea and coffee station set up and available to guests all day. Others will serve tea and coffee at specific times for you so talk to your venue about your options.

A hot drink is usually most appreciated after a meal and maybe at the end of the evening as well. But guests who aren’t drinking alcohol will probably appreciate a hot drink at any point of the day.

Serving Tea and Coffee at your wedding


I hope this helps you with some of your choices with the drinks for your wedding.

As ever, if you need help with planning some or all of your wedding, then do get in touch.  I’m always excited to hear your ideas and see how I can help you.


Louise Wearmouth, Founder of Your Fabulous Wedding