Expert Advice : Wedding Drink Top Tips

Dry Hire Wedding Venue Drinks Guide

As a wedding planner some of my clients have booked a dry hire wedding venue, so they can bring their own drinks during the day. So Im often asked questions about how many bottles do they need, the types of drinks they should buy for example.

Here are my answers to the most common questions my clients ask me:

Should I Have Champagne or Prosecco as Toast Drink?

This is likely to be answered by your budget and the number of guests you have. Prosecco is cheaper than Champagne. Many of my clients opt to have Prosecco as the welcome drink and then have Champagne as Toast Drink during the speeches.

How Many Bottles of Bubbly Do I Need For 100 Guests?

For Champagne and Prosecco, at a push, you can get 10 glasses from 1 bottle.

How Many Drinks Per Person Should I Allow For?

Allow 2 or 3 glasses per head for the welcome drinks, as most people want top ups. (see below more on this)

Usually 1 glass for the toasts (unless you want them to be topped up)

Wedding Breakfast table, rule to thumb is per 10-12 people per table, have 1 bottle of red, 1 white, 1 rose plus jug of water but Ive known tables to drink less and more, so good idea to buy more on a sale and return basis, so at least you will have enough for your guests' needs.

What Glassware Should I Hire for My Wedding?

Keep it simple! You will need:

Welcome drinks - either flute or high-ball glasses (depending on what you are serving - see below)

Breakfast Table - high-ball glasses for water plus large and medium sized wine glasses

For the speeches - flute glasses

Shots - if you are having something different ie tequila shots, then dont forget the shot glasses! Some clients like to have a signature cocktail made, so you'll need those glasses too.

Having the right glassware on your wedding table ensures it looks elegant and timelessly classical

Can I Use the Same Glasses for Welcome Drinks and for the Toasts?

Yes but you will need to arrange with the caterers, bar or wedding planning team as they will need to wash them up (and have facilities to do this, and time to do it). My advice is to order additional quantity for welcome drinks and for the toasts (ie 2 sets as hiring glassware is fairly cheap and will save the hassle.

Should I Hire Extra Glasses?

Yes, there will bound to be breakages. Dont forget to check what the agreement is on cost on breakages.

What is corkage?

This is a per-bottle fee that some wedding venues charge if you bring in your own drinks, rather than buying it through them. Check to see what is the most value for money ie paying the corkage and buying your own -v- buying it from the venue.

Hire a Refrigeration Unit

Dont forget you will want your wine (white and rose) and your fizz to be chilled. Many marquee companies can supply these to hire, or ask your caterer if you can put your drinks in their fridge.

How Can I Keep the Champagne Fizzy?

Usually the caterer or bar will take care of this. If not, or you would rather have a drinks station where your guests can help themselves, then I recommend you have some champagne stoppers, and dont open all the bubbles at once!

Amanda-Louise Knight Wedding Planner ensuring guests drinks are topped up

How Long Should You Allow For Your Wedding Reception?

Hope this information has been useful. One last tip......the above estimate of how many welcome drinks (this relates to all drinks consumed before your wedding breakfast) will depend on how long your reception is.

Remember to allow sufficient time on your wedding time plan during this period, as gives everyone that chance to chat. Often during this time that the photographer will want to get their photos snapped; so you will need to allow between 1-2 hours, so allow for additional drinks but these do not have to alcoholic. Why not consider having a water station with iced fruit water that your guests can help themselves to, or glasses of sparkling elderflower has become very popular for my 2023 weddings.

Its natural to want everything to fall into place, so if you want some professional wedding planning support, contact me, and lets make it happen!

Written by
Amanda-Louise Knight

Amanda-Louise is the creative director of her UK award winning business, Amanda-Louise Knight Weddings Proposals & Events. She provides advice to modern couples who want unforgettable weddings that set the tone about their celebrations and love.

Amanda-Louise is a current celebrant, and has been involved in the events industry for over 30 years. Her love for logistics, she is wedding and marriage proposal planner in the South West of England. A dog lover herself, she is owner of Somerset Wedding Day Dog Chaperone Service ensuring furry babies are included or cared for by her team.

She is mentor to other celebrants and venue consultant to her corporate business clients dedicating her time to helping them grow their own businesses.

And it all starts with making a date with Amanda-Louise!

‍Blog Disclaimer - the article is opinion based by the author only, the content is for information purposes only, and as such is not guaranteed. Whilst its intended to be accurate there may be some unintentional errors, mistakes or omissions and therefore may be subject of updating. In accordance with any advice articles should the reader wish to rely on this information, they do so at their own risk. Any prices quoted are accurate at time of writing content.

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