The most important day of your life deserves the best

If you’re fond of a tipple or two, the chances are your celebration wouldn’t be complete without sparkling reception drinks or favourite cocktails, your wedding breakfast without delicious wines, or your toast without bubbly. This article has been designed to help you choose the drink to serve at your wedding.

Wedding Reception Champagne

Planning your wedding beverages

Planning your wedding drinks, just like your menu, requires a little care. This is the first hospitality your guests will likely receive on your big day and their chance to join in the celebration of your marriage in earnest. As your guests leave the ceremony or arrive at your wedding reception venue, imagine what you want them to receive; that English summer classic the Pimm’s no.1 cup or a glass of bubbles? Champagne steeped in French history or Prosecco for a touch of La Dolce Vita? All of the above or with a dash of fresh white peach in the Prosecco for a bellini?

The choice is yours and yours to savour. To ensure there’s something for everyone, many bride & grooms will offer a few choices and include a mocktail or freshly squeezed juice for the non-drinkers. How many of each you offer is entirely up to you and to be based only upon what you think will be most popular. The experience of most caterers will lead them to guide you towards one drink per person for every 30 – 40 minutes of reception time but only you know your guests so while that’s a good minimum, the party element may require more!

Chose your favourite styles or your favourite flavours but whatever you choose, make sure they are your favourites; your wedding day will see you surrounded by your closest friends and family so if you’re a devoted fan of the gin martini don’t be afraid to offer a few, your guests will immediately appreciate it wouldn’t be your day without them, and wouldn’t expect anything less.

red and white filled wine glasses

Wine for your wedding breakfast

When selecting wines for your wedding breakfast, your venue or caterer will likely have an extensive wine list and like most, you’ll have an idea of what you like and will be able to identify with at least a few, if not more, of the names on the list even if you don’t know the wines well. Talk to your caterer or venue about what’s most popular and see what their sampling policy is.

Some will open a certain amount at your menu tasting, some will allow you to purchase at cost before your day, some will give you samples, and some, a mixture of the above. If, like most, you don’t know exactly what you are after, try sampling a few at home, and if, again like most, you don’t have covers to hide the bottles, get someone else to pour the wines for you so you focus solely on the flavours; that way you ensure the most delicious wines!

You’ll be purchasing more wine than you have ever bought before in one go and it will be a significant cost so don’t be shy about treating yourself. More and more couples indulge (and why not?!) and have something just a little more special for the top table. Don’t think of that as serving anything less to your guests; instead think of it as a little extra thank you to your parents, best man, and maid of honour who has offered such invaluable support to make your day wonderful beyond imagination.

Top tip:

If you plan on buying wine from abroad, check what the corkage costs are with your chosen wedding venue. If you’ve booked a Harper Wedding Venue then corkage charges can be found within your online planner.

Celebrate with a toast

Your toast drink will be the last drink you choose personally for your guests. You’ll already have provided delicious and elegant food and drink all day so the classic finish is another glass of bubbles whether that’s a rich, aged Catalan Cava, a light and mercurial Prosecco or the Grand Dame of bubbles, Champagne. The toast is the moment your guests will cheer you in unison and that is not a memory that will ever fade so make the toast drink another favourite and refresh that so-very-special memory every time you open a bottle for years to come, these are your moments to cherish. Cheers!

Top tip:

If you have booked a Harper Wedding Venue, you’ll be invited to try a selection of 6 popular wedding wines. Speak to our wedding planner about your menu tasting session and the wines you’ll be tasting in order to make your wedding day choice. Further wine and Champagne options are available to view on the Harper Wedding Planner.