The Ambitious Alcohol Order

One of  my biggest cost savings wins for my wedding was when I discovered that I had chosen a venue that allowed me to BYO. At first I thought this was an inconvenience as I assumed it was far easier to outsource, but I quickly realised that doing a BYO order had some great advantages!  It meant that I could choose my own alcohol, select brands that were within my budget, organise a 10% discount for buying in bulk, and if we didn’t drink it all, I could bring the left overs back to the bottle shop to get a full refund (providing it was in good condition to resell).

So I got started with my order, then it hit me – what do people like to drink, and how much would they tend to drink in a five hour period?  It took a fair bit of time & I finally got there, but to help you all out I thought it was far easier to call in a professional for their thoughts. Introducing the amazing Dani from Boutique Event Co.  Dani deals with these questions all the time as she runs a pop up bar business for weddings, where couples hire their mobile caravan, silver bullet, or pop up bar (including staff and glassware), then BYO their own alcohol.  Not only do her bars add a special wow factor for weddings, it’s a great cost effective option for couples attempting to DIY their own space! Love it.

If I was inviting 100 guests, what would be your recommendation for qualities of alcohol?

This is always a tricky question, as there are a few factors to take in to consideration.  What will the weather be like?  Are your guests big drinkers, or have you invited an older crowd? Typically speaking, a 5 hour drink service would need around 15 slabs of beer and 105 bottles of wine/champagne.  Plus you need to factor in plenty of water and soft drink.

Here is a good solid foundation order that will help get you started:

  • 15 slabs of beer (consider mixing up the brands if you like, and also consider whether you want to serve bottles, cans, or poured in to a glass).
  •  105 bottles of wine/champagne – 50 bottles of champagne or prosecco, 30 bottles of Pinot Grigio (white), and 25 bottles of Pinot Noir (red)
  •  105 bottles of water
  •  15 bottles of Dry Ginger
  •  20 bottles of Sparking Water
  •  10 bottles of Lemon Mineral Water
  •  20 limes
  •  Tea & Coffee

Are there any cost saving tips you can share?

We most certainly can!  People always have this perception that cocktails are super expensive and are only served at ‘fancy weddings’, but they can actually be an amazing cost saving hack mixed with a fun wow factor.  You can add frozen berries to a spirit and a mixer to achieve simple cocktails that look beautiful, and we control the mixing so there isn’t that temptation for a ‘long pour’.  Your local supermarket also has loads of options now – imagine an ‘Elderflower Collins’ – Elderflower cordial, soda water, vodka & lemon juice – topped with a twist of lemon…so delicious and easy to achieve.

The other option is to mix up a large punch – the initial punch has roughly a bottle of champagne and half a bottle of Vodka, but add in loads of mixer and you can achieve a huge amount of servings. Considering a bottle of champagne has roughly 4-5 glasses, and often guests like a pretty alternative to wine and champagne, this can be a great cost savings alternative.

Any crowd favourites or cost effective recommendations when it comes to selecting beer and wine?

We find that beer generally doesn’t fluctuate a lot in price, and most people like particular beers, so it’s not usually about the cost here.  Tell your fiance to choose what he loves to drink – the boys will be drinking this all day, so you want to make sure it’s something they can enjoy.  Generally we find they tend to go for a pale ale, or even mid strength beers so they can steadily drink all day.

Wine on the other hand is a different story! Our advice is don’t go the cheapest, but you don’t need the most expensive either. For Prosecco, our greatest find has been the YellowGlen Sparkling Pinot Noir Prosecco – $7.99 a bottle at Aldi! It is sooooo good, no one will know it’s less than $10.  For Pinot Noir, Sticks Pinot Nior is always a crowd favourite at $16; and for Pinot Grigio, Brown Brothers is beautiful at $16 a bottle. Always remember, if you buy in bulk, you can often get a further discount.

What could we serve to those guests who want a non-alcoholic option?

Most cocktails can be served as a mocktail version! We love the simple blueberry mojito mocktail with muddled frozen blueberries, lime, mint topped with either soda water or lemonade does the trick. It looks amazing, and helps the pregnant women feel like they’re not missing out!  Always offer dry ginger or soda and lime, as that’s often a go to. Serve these in a tall glass, saves the pregnant women making multiple trips to the bar!

Is there anything else couples need to remember?

Keeping everything cool is key – it’s the one thing that people will complain about on your wedding day. If your uncle gets a warm beer, his night is cactus! Also, it’s the little things that count like having water available for people to help themselves, and tea & coffee is also something that is a massive hit with the older crowd.  Who doesn’t love a cuppa with wedding cake!?