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Liquor at Lunch?

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akw94

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
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1,937
Hi everyone,

Btw, I just love PS! You guys are so helpful!!

So here''s my newest issue:
Is liquor necessary at a lunch time reception? I know there''s a huge debate on cash bar vs. open bar. I''m not even thinking of that. My thought is to have some wine, possibly the champagne toast and then regular non-alcoholic beverages. Of course, I''m not sure that is an option but just wondering how people felt about that.

Neither my FI nor I are big drinkers so I know that contributes to our thinking that an open bar just isn''t necessary, especially when cutting costs.

Thanks!
 

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ky6

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
451
I wouldn't think you'd need anything more than a nice red and nice white for a lunchtime reception. Liquor seems a bit harsh at lunchtime (IMHO). But I could definitely see a few people wanting a glass of wine.
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
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3,136
We''re having a luncheon reception and serving wine, champagne, and the scotch made by my FI''s clan. We do have some drinkers coming, but most of them will just drink champagne if given the choice between that and anything else plus I really don''t think hard liquor is necessary or expected at that time of day. Our crowd is verrrry champagne-happy though -- my dad is actually making some of his own, and asked them just before Christmas if they could give him any extra bottles they had so that he could use it to bottle his, and had already been given two cases worth by about three days after Christmas. If your guests aren''t like this (and I''m guessing they''re not) I don''t think that champagne beyond that for possibly a toast is necessary.

I hope my babbling helps.
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
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11,016
I would stick to white wine, champagne, and red wine...appropriate for day time...
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
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3,867
I went to a lunchtime wedding a couple of years ago and they served wine only, which was more than adequate. It didn''t "feel" like lunchtime, but I don''t think I would have pounded the drinks if they''d been offered. I did, however, get more than a little tipsy on the wine!
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
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17,193
I thought that liquor wouldn''t be much in demand, but I obviously don''t know my friends that well. They drank more spirits than wine or beer. Part of it was we had our reception at a restaurant (normally closed during the day) so they had full, full bar. Lots of people were ordering fun blended drinks. I saw a few really yummy looking concoctions going by!

I think wine and beer is fine at a lunchtime reception, but I am very glad we had a full bar.
 

onedrop

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
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2,216
I was just at an early afternoon wedding this past Saturday, and the couple had an open bar with wine, spirits, and frozen daquiris and pine coladas. I was surprised that so many people took full advantage considering the wedding began at 1:30. The reception and ceremony were in the same location. But I do agree with you, wine and beer and champagne for the toast might be just fine for a luncheon reception.
 

larussel03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
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1,747
I think that wine, champagne and maybe a few kegs of decent beer is more than adequate. I know lots of people who would be perfectly happy with just wine and champagne as well, but I know alot of the guys don''t drink that stuff as much. Offering any choice in alcoholic beverage at all, (be it b/w wine and champagne, or wine, champ and a 3rd) for a lunchtime wedding, is fine.
 

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
1,937
Thanks for the responses. I feel a lot better about not having an open bar of sorts. I''m hoping that some places will reduce the price to take out the open bar or just serve wine and champagne.. or something like that. It would be even better if I could just bring my own wine but I''m assuming a corking charge would end up being just as expensive.
Did anyone bring their own?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
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40,198
Depends on the corkage charge honestly. When we priced it out... with some places it was totally worth it to bring our own... especially with the champage if not the wine. If the corkage fee is under 20 bucks... it was worth it for us. A seven dollar bottle of wine was marked up to 32 bucks at the venue. If I bought it in cases I got a 10-15% discount... add in the corkage fee and I was still saving money. And with champagne... 30 dollar bottle of champagne. Marked up to 70-80 at the venue. Again, case discount plus corkage was worth it. If the difference was 2 bucks it wasn''t worth it for us as we only have 65 guest... but if I had more guest even at 2 bucks a bottle it was worth it to me.
 

ky6

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
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451
We provided our own wine, beer, and soda for our reception. Our caterer did not charge us a corking fee. We did a circulating reception (no sit down), with some passed hors d''ouevres and some stationary. We had a bar set up with the bartender provided by the caterer and then the waiters passed wine on trays at the beginning. It saved us a lot to provide our own alcohol. I cannot remember exactly by how much, but I do remember that when we spoke with caterers who did charge the corking fee, we calculated that it would still save us.

We also bought the wine by the case- most liquor stores will give you a discount for purchasing large quantities and ordering by the case. Also, you can return any unopened bottles/cases as long as the alcohol has not been chilled.
 

flopkins

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
2,025
I think wine and champagne is plenty for a lunch reception. a red and white at each table, plus a glass for toasting... it''s a great way to save too, you can buy at BevMo or Costco and get a nice price on wines there!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
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9,613
I will be having an Italian Prosecco instead of Champagne and a still white and red wine.

Before my sister''s wedding in 2000, I went round 11 vineyards in N.Italy with an ex-bf and sampled all their wines. I settled on Conte Collalto, which I kind of knew was likely to be first choice before we started.

They do exceptional prosecco. I''d rather have that than a so-so budget Champagne. I got a great deal and we ended up paying about €2.50 a bottle. I ordered 300 bottles for c.140 guests and had it delivered to a carpark in N.France.

It was quite amusing trying to coordinate that day - my parents took the ferry over with their car, so I had their mobile phone no, the mobile no of the Italian van driver and me in Italy trying to link them up. What a nightmare - they all got lost, the van driver delivered the wine to the supermarket who owned the carpark and my parents had to go and reclaim it from the supermarket (who were very confused!).

Anyway, collecting from France meant we didn''t have to pay the huge import duties the UK puts on commercial goods and my dad did all the alcohol for about £600. Bargain and we had about 80 bottles left over.

A French friend of my father''s was at the wedding, and was very complimentary about the wine and wanted all the details to order some himself. Not sure my dad trusted my selection up until that moment! It was also nice to serve something sparkly for the whole evening and not just the toast.

I will definitely go back there for my own wedding. I may well try to convince FI to do a long weekend holiday and drive out and pick it up ourselves. The vineyard and castle are gorgeous and have a great restaurant too!

I don''t see any reason to serve hard liquor at a wedding - unless it''s something special like a family brand etc.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
I think beer, wine and champagne are great, but I would definitely add beer in as an option for those who don''t drink wine (my hubby is one of those people). We brought in our own chamagne and paid the corkage fee (which was high) for the toast but used their beverages otherwise.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
17,744
I definitely don''t think you have to provide a total open bar for a luncheon-type wedding reception. Beer, wine, champagne for a toast is plenty IMO. If you have guests who just didn''t get enough to drink during a 3-4 hr. reception, well, there''s plenty of time later on for them to go out and drink somewhere else, lol! Also, have you thought at all about offering one "specialty" or "signature" cocktail? I''ve never been to a wedding where this was offered, but have read or heard about them...I''m thinking of receptions I''ve read about offering a sort of signature martini, or other cocktail, and then beer and wine and maybe champagne for a toasting drink. I think it''s a fun idea, anyway.

I come from a "dry" family, my DH does not. When we got married (a Sunday afternoon event), DH insisted we have open bar, all out top shelf, for the entirety of the event. My father pretty much refused to pay for all of that, especially when there are really NO drinkers in my side of the family. So my DH picked up the tab for all that of his own accord, since his family and friends are all drinkers. It worked out just fine. (Although I heard through the grapevine later that my grandmother was asking "who paid for all that booze?!"
)
 
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