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wedding drinks dilemma!

(85 Posts)
Lj8893 Wed 09-Jul-14 17:53:58

Would love some honest opinions or ideas! (please don't be rude!)

we are getting married next year on a smallish budget (5-6k)

we have found a venue which we love, its within our budget and allows us to put our own stamp on the wedding which is important to us.

the only problem with it is doesn't have a bar and doesn't allow alcohol to be sold on site so we cant hire a mobile bar either. It is a no corkage venue though so we can bring as much alcohol on site as we like.

we can afford to provide some alcohol (wine with meal, toast drinks, and a bit more) but cant afford to provide drinks for everyone all day/night. (there's some big drinkers in our families and friends)

would it be unreasonable to explain this on the invites and ask people to bring their own drinks (after all that's cheaper for them than an expensive wedding hotel bar!!)

or has anyone got any other ideas that might work?

weatherall Thu 10-Jul-14 08:32:52

I'd much rather go to a byo reception than an expensive hotel bar where I'd have to sneak in drinks to top up in the toilet blush

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Thu 10-Jul-14 08:35:26

notnowImreading is that you aunty Jo grin

drivenbyyou Thu 10-Jul-14 09:03:08

When my brother and I used to do outside catering, we had this a few times. People were asked to BYOB (don't know about the wording on the invites) but I was drafted in to be the barperson while my bro would serve the food. Everyone brought something, left it on a table and I would serve - just like a pub but with no charge.

We used to advise (if they could afford it) for the hosts to start off with a generic range - beer/lager, red and white wine, vodka, whisky, gin and soft drinks (doesn't have to be a lot of spirits, just enough to start) and crates of ice. If you go to an independent off-licence you can sometimes negotiate your prices and get free glass hire thrown in.

I would be happy to bring my own, and would probably bring an extra one too.

CharmQuark Thu 10-Jul-14 09:10:32

Your wedding sounds lovely.

I would say something like 'please join us for champagne toast, lunch with wine and then stay for our 'bring a bottle' party. (No bar at the venue, but no restrictions on BYO)'.

qwertybirdie Thu 10-Jul-14 09:14:01

Find out if a local pub / mobile bar company will sell you a couple of barrels and lease / loan you equipment to serve it. When you think about the quantity you get, it might work out to be good value. I have worked in pubs that have done this for people to have at a party. Do you know anyone in the trade? That would help, or any small local breweries?

qwertybirdie Thu 10-Jul-14 09:15:20

Forgot to add, our local brewery does mini kegs with 9 pints in, that you don't need any kit to serve from. Anything like that near you?

PaperFlowers Thu 10-Jul-14 09:45:00

OP it sounds like we had the same wedding as you are planning a few weeks ago!

My tips:

Ignore nay-sayers, real life guests will think it's a great idea. As others have suggested, I think it helps to get the general theme right - you probably don't wnt BYO at a very formal do.

We hired all of the glasses from sainsbos which was free and you don't have to buy any booze off them (tip: SIL works there and said not to bother washing them as they do it themselves anyway even if they look clean).

Start buying booze now - just grab it while it's on offer. Run up to xmas will be good and also lager deals now.

We had a DIY bellini bar for welcome drinks which consisted of a load of bottles of prosecco and pouches of fruit puree from amazon, which went down a treat.

We had quite a lot of wine on the tables for lunch and then a bit more for later - wrked out at 0.8 bottle per person and we had quite a bit left over. I reckon 0.5 would have been fine. We had prosecco for the toasts, 1 bottle between 8 which was fine.

We had a beer dinghy! I think there were about 10 bags of sainsbos ice in it at the most, which the best man picked up on the way from the ceremony to the venue and it got everything cold surprisingly quickly and kept everything cold until later inthe evening when no one cared any more. We filled it with a mixture of ale, lager, soft drinks and cider, I think about 100 bottles in all. We just had whatever was on offer in sainsbos. Our usher arranged it beatifully and it looked amazing! Lots of people said they thought we had been very generous with it - I think the mixture of different things made it look a lot more than it was.

We had 10 bottles of coke and lemonade and hardly any of it went. No other mixers due to oversight on my part, but no one seemed to end up without what they wanted.

We didn't worry too much about arrangements for serving up the booze, just provided plenty of glasses and set them out nicely and that worked out fine. Some people but their stuff in the dinghy, some put it at the edge of the village hall, some people found the way to the kitchen and put stuff in the fridge.

We did our own food as well (home-made, farm shop and M&S catering!), so hired a big catering sixe fridge for �80, which was one of the best things we did. So much easier getting wine and prosecco cold without having to arse about with ice buckets. People (pre-briefed wedding party members) grabbed it out of the fridge as and when needed.

All in I think the booze cost us �400 max for 60 guests (only just back off honeymoon so not worked it all out properly yet) and lots of people have said there was tonnes and they didbn't need to bring their own.

Lots of people have said they particularly enjoyed the day because it was so laid back and relaxing. In truth, it took a lot of organisation on my part and my family, BMs and ushers had to do a bit of leg work on the day and I was quite worried about how it all worked out, but I'm still glad we did it.

Lj8893 Thu 10-Jul-14 10:13:54

Love love love the dinghy idea!! Your wedding sounds like it was awesome!

Cockadoodledooo Thu 10-Jul-14 10:14:38

I think byob is fine - we're going to a wedding in the summer where it's bring your own picnic to the reception! I love the couple who are getting wed and know their circumstances, so am more than happy to do that to be part of their celebrations. Know some people would be very huffy and judgy-pants about it though.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Thu 10-Jul-14 10:25:49

I've been to a BYOB wedding. I'm pretty sure that the invites just said bring a bottle on them.

It was great because it was cheap but they had no way of keeping it cold which was a bit rubbish.

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