I was at a wedding recently where they ran out of booze. But, there were no drunks in sight. What happened? They underestimated the number of drinks each individual would consume. By then, heads were turning and not to assume that all guests are alchies, but it’s considered a faux pas to have too little of a good thing. Just like at a dinner party, you always make sure that there’s enough food and drinks to keep the night rolling. Likewise, to avoid having any disgruntled guests (you know what many Hong Kong guests are like and one that I do not agree with; they want to get their money’s worth if they’ve given a cash gift) on your big day, use this alcohol calculator by Real Simple to estimate the number of bottles to order. Even if it means you’ll be left with extra bottles to carry home, allow extra budget for drinks. Take it out of your flower fund because honestly, guests will remember having a blast not by the amount of peonies you have but by the entertainment on the night.
*N.B. You may think some guests aren’t drinkers, thus underestimating the amount of alcohol to purchase. Remember, there are always dark horses out there.
Photo credits (clockwise from top left): Justin Hackworth Photography, Laura Faherty Photography via Weddingsonline.ie, via Bride and Joy, Weddings in the Philippines, The Ashes Venue, Charleston Hospitality Catering, Laura Murray Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings
Wedding Package Inclusive of Alcohol
Most venues offer an all-inclusive package with free-flow wine and beer for a set number of hours. Whilst this option means you have one less item to think about, it in turn means you have no say in what type of wine will be served to your guests. It’s going to be House Wine.
The staff are also less likely to top-up the glasses as frequently because the less booze they serve, the less money the venue has to spend which means more of your money in their pockets.
If you can, negotiate for this option. Many of the bigger vendors such as hotels will charge a ridiculous amount on corkage so work your magic to get yourselves a good deal. Don’t forget to include spirits in your calculation as well as the usual wine and beer.
One way to save money on drinks is to offer signature cocktails so you have more control over the amount of alcohol to be served. If your beverage package includes non-alcoholic drinks, check to see what juices and soft-drinks the venue provides and create a drinks menu using those ingredients.
Another way to ensure you’re within budget is to serve sparkling wine instead of champagne. Unless you’ve got guests who are bubbly connoisseurs, most guests won’t be able to tell the difference, especially if you’re mixing it into a cocktail.