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November 2018 Newsletter
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Beer, Wine, and all Things Drinks!

Grant & Deb Photography via Inspired Events by Kelly

For many couples, choosing the alcohol to be served at your wedding is an easy decision- especially if there's a specific spirit you enjoy the most. But for others, the list of options is a little confusing. Typically couples start the service of alcohol at the cocktail hour, though some weddings are starting to serve drinks before the ceremony for those who get there a little early. This is definitely a generous move, but not one that is necessary if you're looking for ways to cut down on costs. 

Whatever you decide (and we have a few ideas below), don't forget to serve a variety of non-alcoholic drinks. Water is great, but a spring time lemonade, iced tea, soda, and/or a warm apple cider are fun alternatives not only for non-drinking guests, but also for a break in between alcoholic drinks. While you want your guests to have fun, maybe not TOO much fun! 

Here are some great tips for serving alcohol at your wedding:
  • Have 2 or more bars open: Long lines can not only clog your reception space, but also leave guests waiting for a long time. Having two or more bars open can help with this, though it will require more bartenders.
  • Offer Uber or taxi numbers, or a bus transporting back to hotel: Safety first! Leave numbers with your wedding coordinator to pass out or set up some type of transportation ahead of time to keep your guests from driving intoxicated. Also, check with your venue to make sure they are ok with your guests leaving their cars on the property overnight.
  • Offer custom coozies: This is a fun, and typically inexpensive way to incorporate your theme and give your guests something to use long after the night of your wedding.
  • Alcohol licensing: If your venue doesn't offer alcohol, you may have to look into obtaining a license to serve alcohol temporarily. This is relatively inexpensive, however it is something you must do ahead of time.
  • Caterers: Some caterers offer drink packages! Check with your caterer before booking another service.

Creating a Signature Cocktail
Johnny Miller Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings

Signature cocktails are such a fun way to show off your taste and your style at your wedding. The first question is, when should you serve it? You have a couple of fun options. First, serve up your signature cocktail at the cocktail hour between the ceremony and the reception. This is a fun way of getting your guests excited for the reception and what's to come, while also limiting the amount of liquor your guests are consuming if that is a concern to you. Another option is during the reception. You could have one bar set up specifically for this drink!

But how do you choose a signature cocktail? First, think about the flavors you like and the season. A mulled wine or hot toddy is a fun cocktail for a fall or winter wedding, while a spritzer or fruity drink would be fun for the spring and summer months. Then think about your wedding colors. Your colors are a great and usually easy way to create a signature cocktail. We love these delicious ideas from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Picking Up the Tab

Will Hawkins Photography

Let's face it, alcohol is expensive! It's often one of those costs you don't think about until it comes up. But just how much do you have to serve at your wedding? The answer is none! You don't HAVE to serve alcohol at your wedding. In fact, it's a great way of cutting costs. Many couples even opt for a dry wedding for religious or cultural reasons. But if you do want to include alcohol, consider these options:

  • A venue that includes alcohol service: A winery is a great place to host a wedding and they typically have wine included in their packages. Some venues offer bartender and drink services for an extra charge that would be considerably less than if you were to hire them on your own. Ask your venue what they offer!
  • Beer and wine only: Not only does excluding liquor from your menu mean that your guests may not get quite as rowdy, but it's also much less expensive to only serve beer and wine. 
  • Champagne toast: To cut costs even more, you can choose to only do champagne for the bride and groom and have the guests toast with their drinks.
  • Open Bar: An open bar is generous, but not necessary for your wedding day. It is a great way to make sure your guests get the drinks they prefer, but it can get very expensive.
Whatever you decide, it is considered ill form to have your guests pay for their own drinks at the wedding. So if you can't afford alcohol of any kind at the wedding, it's best to leave it out completely.

Featured Vendor
East Beach Catering

East Beach Catering

Did you know that some caterers offer drink packages? That means they'll not only set you up with all the details you need for your bar: signs, glasses, serving needs, etc. but they'll also make sure you have enough bartenders on hand. East Beach Catering has a full ABC license! They will make sure you have everything you need for whatever type of wedding alcohol you want to serve. 

On top of that, they have an incredibly delicious catering menu!
Real Weddings

Brooke and Alex had a gorgeous wedding at Back Bay Farms and our friends at Baxter's Creative Events helped coordinate the whole thing- which had a lot of beautiful details and moving parts! Brooke and Alex had an open bar that was stunningly decorated and full of fun drink options for just about anyone.

Ross Costanza Photography

Ross Costanza Photography

Ross Costanza Photography

We love how they incorporated the color purple into their drinks with fun straws and napkins.

Ross Costanza Photography

Brooke also set up a gorgeous mimosa bar for her bridesmaids to enjoy throughout the day while they were getting ready. Mini bottles of champagne were there for each friend, as well as delicious juices and berries. We love this idea of incorporating a custom drink but on a limited scale.

Ross Costanza Photography

Venue: Back Bay Farms
Photography: Ross Costanza Photography
Catering: Chef by Design
Lighting: Stage Right Lighting
Flowers: Palette of Petals
Photobooth: Snapqube
Officiant: Ken Lane
Planner: Baxter's Creative Events
Cake: Incredible Edibles Bakery
Makeup: Sarah Rillon
Transportation: Express Valet VA
Dress: JLM Couture
Rentals: Distinctive Event Rentals
DJ: Bobby B Entertainment
Hair: Darling & Dapper Studio

Eleise Theuer Photography
Check Out Our Latest Issue!

The latest issue of Hampton Roads Wedding Guide is available in  over 50 locations throughout  Hampton Roads as well as digitally on our website. For a complete list of where you can find a copy check out our website! 

In our latest issue you can learn more about all of the incredible vendors we have featured, from venues to photographers to delicious catering options. Plus, you can learn some great tips for your big day!

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