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‘Spirited’ Wedding Festivities

Wines are a fixture at nearly all weddings. They are used to toast the marriage of the new husband and wife and add a festive air to the celebration.

Some caterers or reception halls let you bring your own wines that will be served at your wedding, while others serve a house wine or provide the wine as part of your beverage package. If you do have the option, your wine selection should depend on various factors, such as the number of guests and their ages, the menu and service style (sit-down, buffet, etc.), the time and length of the reception, and your budget.

Don’t feel like you have to get fancy with your wine. For whites, Chardonnay is a drinkable wine that agrees with most palettes. For reds, a basic Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon will fit the bill.



Don’t worry that you have to spend an arm and a leg on wine. That $15 bottle of wine is likely just as good as the $100 bottle. Even more so, guests likely won’t care what wine they are drinking at your wedding. The purpose of the event is to celebrate your marriage. And guests should and will be happy to toast with any wine, regardless of its cost.

When deciding how much wine to purchase, remember that it’s better to have too much than not enough. The average wine bottle fills four to six glasses. To avoid wasting wine, ask waiters to refill glasses only if guests request more.




If you do have full bottles after the party is over, find out if your liquor merchant will let you return them. Give them as party favors to special people at your function, like your wedding party or parents. Add them to your home’s wine rack. Even better, savor the taste of your wedding by drinking the bottles on future anniversaries.n

Reception Liquor Lingo:

Your reception hall may offer different beverage packages to accommodate your cocktail hour and meal service. Here is some terminology you should familiarize yourself with as you discuss options with your event coordinator.

Open bar: Guests can order whatever they want and drink as much as they want (as long as they don’t go overboard). You pay a flat rate per person for a certain period of time.

Consumption bar: Bartenders keep a running tab during the party and add it up at the end. This option works well if you have many guests who are nondrinkers. It isn’t a good idea if you expect your guests to have a few glasses each.

Limited bar: You offer a selection of drinks, like beer, wine or mixed vodka drinks. These drinks are served at a set time, such as the cocktail hour.

Wine and champagne bar: Guest can drink a range of reds, whites and champagnes. Sparkling water and juices are available as nonalcoholic offerings.

Cash bar: Guests pay for what they drink. Try to avoid this style at all costs.

Dry: You don’t serve any alcohol at all. The bar can serve sparkling water, soda and nonalcoholic mixed drinks.


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