Help me pick the booze for my wedding please?

(35 Posts)
gillyweed Fri 01-Mar-13 19:52:47

We are getting wed late summer and are having a village hall type affair complete with hog roast and 'bring a plate' dessert table (only asking for desserts from family and physically close friends)!

I'm trying to work out how much drink we need; we will have 130 adult guests (30 odd kids), 3pm till midnight, the hall has no licence so we are asking on the invite for everyone to b.a.b.

So.... I reckon you get 5 glasses out of a bottle of wine. We are on a very tight budget, but we think the most important thing for our guests to have a good day, is the food and drink.

Does this sound reasonable:

- 2 glasses of fizz on arrival
- 1 glass of fizz with toast
- 2 glasses of wine or 2 beers
(working on the basis 1/2 will drink white, 1/4 red, 1/4 beer)

Is this too little, too much, we don't want to run dry!?

Any suggestions on how to keep this all cold all day and night would also be appreciated, as would suggestions for v. cheap but decent cava/prossecco! wink

Thanks in advance!!!!

gillyweed Fri 01-Mar-13 22:17:40

anything, anyone?!

Rootvegetables Sat 02-Mar-13 07:46:39

Hi, our wedding sounds quite similar to yours. I've been researching this! Some places do wine on sale or return basis so you can take it back if not used. I think in the summer you will maybe need more beers for after food etc. even in sainsburys you can get a decent bottle of wine for £4 on their 3 for £12 offer and I'm sure they would take it back if you were brave enough to try! We have quite a few children as well so need lots of juices erc and spirits aren't too expensive. I think we are going for pimms on arrival rather than fizz and maybe won't make it up too strongly.

Rootvegetables Sat 02-Mar-13 07:50:39

I think you will need more drink than you've worked out, I don't drink except for big occasions and I think I'd probably have more than that throughout the day at a wedding (maybe I drink too much though!)
As we are providing all the alcohol I was wondering if theirs a way to have some sort of tips/contribution thing at the bar. It's something I'm still thinking about.

upinthehills Sat 02-Mar-13 07:57:01

We did a free bar for our wedding which we bought - cost about £800. We had prosecco after wedding service. One type of red and one white with meal and the caters son and friend ran a bar in the evening. We had the same wine, beers and some spirits, vodka, coke, baileys, port, malt whiskey.

We bought wine from the supermarket and on sale or return from odbinns. We took back a lot and kept a bit too.

We kept it cool in big plastic buckets of ice - though watch you don't chill too much wine at once or you cant return it as the labels will be soaked.

I would estimate 4 glasses from a bottle.

upinthehills Sat 02-Mar-13 08:00:51

I reckon your quanties are fine for the meal, fizz while hanging around and photos being done , 2 glasses wine with dinner- but what about the evening? I would expect most people to have a least 2 or 3 more drinks after the meal in the evening reception.

nilbyname Sat 02-Mar-13 08:03:49

You need more alcohol than that.

I would also consider serving Pimms with ginger ale or elderflower and sparkling water in big jugs with cucumber and mint.

Prosecco for the sparkling, you will get 6 small glasses from one bottle. I would estimate 3 glasses p.person. Include the non drinkers.

Wine- you get 5 glasses from that. Red is usually slightly more popular. I would estimate 4 glasses per person.

Pimms you will get about 30 servings out of a bottle, and I would think that you should estimate 2 glasses per person.

You will have stuff left over. Buy sale or return.

Lidl Prosecco is lovely and £5.99 a bottle.

Tesco often do deals on Prosecco too.

ohforfoxsake Sat 02-Mar-13 08:05:57

Half a bottle of wine with the meal is about right.

Aldi do Cava at £4.25 a bottle and I like it grin

TheBeanAndTheBee Sat 02-Mar-13 08:07:36

If your friends and family are anything like ours I'm afraid it's not enough. We ordered much more than we thought (sale or return) and didn't take a single bottle back!!! They drank us dry! We did a free bar of wine/beer/fizz but had a pay bar for spirits. If you have a majestic near you, you are able to go and try there. We had loads of fun wine tasting grin One thing I would say is if you have hired in staff serving the booze do make a point of asking them to go easy on the refills. Not that I wanted our guests to be standing there with empty glasses for half an hour, but the refills were so constant and large everyone had a constantly full glass (and I mean full to the brim!!!)

ohforfoxsake Sat 02-Mar-13 08:07:38

Waitrose do a nice elderflower and apple cordial (about £1.50 so cheaper than some). Mix with sparkling water, ice and a slice of a granny smith apple. Lush.

upinthehills Sat 02-Mar-13 08:09:56

As far as I am aware you only need licience if you are selling alcohol. If you are providing it it doesn't matter.

I do think a b.y.o.b on a wedding invite is unusual - is there anyway you could cover the cost in other ways - so rather than put it on the invite ask family to buy specific things , uncle Jim can you buy bottle vodka. Or can you do the raffle ticket thing - £1 a ticket,one for beer, 2 for wine.

Though 130 is a lot - we only had 70.

ohforfoxsake Sat 02-Mar-13 08:15:09

Get thee to Aldi - they do their own Pimms too.

Have a look at wine clubs like Naked Wines and laithwaites. You can often get a really decent deal on the first box of 12 bottles if you sign up to their wine club BUT YOU MUST REMEMBER TO CANCEL after the first box.

angelinterceptor Sat 02-Mar-13 08:21:07

I was at a very big posh wedding recently - 300 ish guest - in a big marquee at their house.
Fiz was free in arrival, wine was served with meal - all free.

Beer and spirits were available at the bar and cost £1. Soft drinks were free.
I think this was a good idea as sometimes when it's completely free bar people are careless and greedy and leave half glasses all over the place. Just grabbing a new full glass whenever.

Selks Sat 02-Mar-13 08:22:03

Don't forget the soft drinks, and as its from 3 pm some people might appreciate tea and coffee being available.

Iheartcrunchiebars Sat 02-Mar-13 08:25:22

Everyone at our wedding was sloshed. We did half a bottle of wine per person (a lot of people will just have a glass).
We got most if our wine from waitrose as they do really good deals and were cheaper than anywhere else and our champagne was tescos own brand as it came in the top 10 champagnes and is a lot cheaper. Another option my friend did was to give everyone a glass of champagne and then second and third glasses were cheap fizz. No one had a clue! If you want to make sure people have fun we bought a couple if bottles of tequila which went down very well.

gillyweed Sat 02-Mar-13 09:25:48

Oooo thank you everyone, some great suggestions! Especially getting our staff to be 'aware' of topping people up!

We really are on a super tight budget but have huge families so there are lots of guests.

We can't have money change hands at all for drink as it would breach the halls rules/t&c. Too late to get a licence.

We have decided to ask everyone to bring a bottle - neither of us have ever been to a wedding with a free bar and figured most people will appreciate not having to pay ridiculous hotel prices for a tiny glass of cheap plonk! - It will be expected by most friends and fam who live near the hall as its always the way with parties there! I just have no idea how much people will bring...

I really love fizz so would prefer that to pimms, aldi's so far is winning in price and taste steaks!

Where did people buy their drink from? Just for what I've outlined above I'm guestimating over a grand!!!

Mmmmm big buckets-type things filled with ice and water would be great but not sure they would last all day!

Ahhhh doing it in a hall, really informally, party style is great till you realise all the little things are going to take loads of effort! shock

gillyweed Sat 02-Mar-13 09:28:37

meant to also say we are having tea and (Irish) coffee after the hog roast and whisky flowing all day and night if my fiancee has his way!

nilbyname Sat 02-Mar-13 09:49:40

We had big old tin baths with ice and water in them. Kept things cold all all. Prosecco and White wine had been chilled at home.

Majestic Wines and Aldi.

How about switching to a couple of barrels of cider for the eve, much cheaper and go well with your hog and vibe I think?

ScreamingFoxtrots Sat 02-Mar-13 09:58:31

Can you get round the licence issue by selling tokens that are then exchanged for booze? It's not entirely lawful, but you're not selling alcohol, you're selling tokens.

Majestic is always good for bulk buying and does sale or return (and free glass/cooling bin hire) and we tend to use them for our bashes - nothing ever gets returned though!

If you really can't stretch further on the booze budget, then make sure you have some "different" soft drinks. I would normally drink more than you have said you'll provide but if there's an interlude after the meal with elderflower cordial or similar I'd find it rather nice. I love the idea of getting a few barrels in for the evening mentioned up thread.

Good luck with your wedding!

ASmidgeofMidge Sat 02-Mar-13 10:03:43

This would only work if you know someone who can, but we got our fizz and wine from the supermarket (after researching the good ones) when they were offering a 'buy 6 get 25% off' deal. We then asked a friend who worked there to buy and got her staff discount of 33% on top...

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 02-Mar-13 10:04:42

Second Majestic. Get on their mailing list and wait for a good deal- they often run 20% off "insert type of wine here" and usually give case discount on top, and they deliver, and they do sale and return. I got really decent wine at a massive discount.

Only problem with bring a bottle is what are they going to do with it during the wedding ceremony? Do you really want a lot of people hanging around with bags from the off-license? Are people going to drink what they bring or are you going to collect it in and then serve it. If the former, how are you going to chill the white?

upinthehills Sat 02-Mar-13 10:25:12

I am confused a bit. Are you going to buy the fizz and enough for everyone to have 2 glasses and then use the byob to top it up so there will be enough.

People can be funny and want to drink their own wine so might not want it all collected in.

What about asking for a wine donation in advance of the event, say a place for it to be dropped off a few days before. If most people are local this could work. Could someone store it then you could chill it all and as it is a donation people wouldnt be funny about drinking their own. Obviously this could go pear shaped as you may get v little. Are you sure the raffle ticket thing is a no go - would be simplist option all round. You would have to buy the booze but you would get most of it back.

I think the keg idea is a good one too.

AliBean Sat 02-Mar-13 10:44:15

As a caterer I would recommend the following:

Ask your butcher/hog roast operator if they would keep your white/fizz in their cold room for a couple of days before the wedding, then it will be properly cold before you put it in an ice bath so will stay cold longer. Ask around and borrow cold boxes so you only have a small amount getting wet then you can return any un-used bottles as labels will be unspoilt.

Consider a barrel of real ale and/or proper cider to accompany the hog roast. More economical than wine esp if you use half pint glasses/plastic cups...as guests aren't paying they won't "expect" a pint.

If you are doing "bring a bottle" designate a drop off point at the church (someone with a estate car could be handy!) Designate storage boxes or big laundry bags red/white/other so it's easy to get the whites into chill as soon as it arrives at the hall)

For soft drinks - Lidl does great cloudy apple juice 99p/litre, cloudy lemonade at approx 20p for 2lts, sparkling water is 9p or something silly...have a few bowls with ice, tongs, sliced apple, lemon, orange, lime and some cordials and call it the "mocktail bar" - people will love making up their own drinks...perhaps a cheap pack of cocktail umbrellas or straws (poundshop) would be good here too!

HTH! Have a lovely day!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 02-Mar-13 10:52:58

Actually the water and ice baths do last pretty well- I've used them for parties and it stays cold for 6+ hours. Trick is to get proportions of water and ice right (google) and put the cans/ bottles in already cold.

gillyweed Sat 02-Mar-13 11:24:34

maybe ice buckets would work then, not sure how I would chill it all in advance though!

Yes defo looking at a barrel, something about a hog roast a glass of beer!

I do want to do bring bottle, its that kind of wedding; no cars just taxis to and from venue, getting wed in a old industrial/educational type building, 1 or 2 pics of us and the rest of the day (don't like being centre of attention!) all taken by a mate, not doing proper wedding dress or suit just something we both feel good and comfy in, toys out for the kids, I'm making all the invites and Decs and will have to put up and take down everything at the end of the night, everyone will get involved! We want it to be fun and informal - and I think bab fits in either this, we will just let everyone know when they arrived they can either hand what they've brought over to the bar or stash it for themselves, completely up to them! The hall will be open the night before if anyone really wants to drop stuff off!

So have I still not provided enough if everyone does bring some?!!!

Oooo i know somebody who works in sainsburys... what an excellent idea, thankyou!!!!

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