Essential Wedding Checklist Item: Drinks!
At Twist, we love weddings and understand the overwhelming nature of the wedding checklist. Let us help you cross one thing off that list: the drinks!
1. Figure out your alcohol budget. A clear budget will help you feel confident as you meet with caterers and will give the caterers a clear guide to help you decide what delicious cocktails (and food!) you will serve.
2. Think about the day overall. What will be the general age group of your guests? (An older crowd might not drink much and stick to wine, for example.) What might the weather be like? (A hot summer day might require keeping it light and simple!) Do you really need a full bar to accommodate your guests, or should you simplify and offer a limited selection of beverages (see ideas for signature cocktails below!)? Let the day, and our staff, be your guide.
3. Your wedding is supposed to represent YOU as a couple. Consider “branding” your wedding and providing a signature cocktail to highlight your “brand.” This all boils down to details: the overall look and mood you’re going for, the colors, textures and patterns, logos or motifs, and all the other little details that tie the day together. The signature cocktail can add to the venue, your colors, and the overall feel of your wedding day. Our staff can help you decide on the perfect signature cocktail.
4. More on the signature cocktail – choose wisely. While a signature cocktail is a great idea, be mindful to choose one that will move guests through the line at the bar. If bar tenders are muddling limes for a line of mojito drinkers, things could take a while…keep it simple! Going for cocktails that can be pre-mixed is a great idea.
5. Ensure that your guests have non-alcoholic beverages and plenty of water as options! Keeping everyone hydrated (including the happy couple!) is important to maintain a good time for all! Twist will provide all of your beverage needs.
6. Tight budget? Consider a no-host bar. The bar will be fully stocked and guests can purchase whatever they’d like! Or, if you’d like to provide a little something for your guests, a partially-hosted bar is also a nice option. For example, you might buy each guest their first drink of the night. Finally, you might consider the length of time you’ll have the bar open. Four hours of bar time is usually just as much fun as eight hours – and lighter on the pocketbook as well.
7. “Raise your glass” vs. “passed” toast:
“Raise your glass” toast – in this scenario, guests will hold up whatever they are drinking and toast to the newlyweds. This is an easy and fun way to get everyone involved in a toast, and can be a cost-saver to you.
“Passed” toast – for a passed toast, the couple chooses a single beverage to be passed around to everyone before a formal toast is made. The beverage of choice is traditionally champagne or a light sparkling wine, and is served in a champagne flute. While this type of toast looks beautiful for photos, the downside is that it can cause a lot of waste. Not everyone likes champagne, and we’ve seen countless full glasses dumped after the toast. Additionally, there is an extra cost for the stemware. If having a passed toast is important to you and adds something meaningful to the day, then be sure to budget in a little extra. Twist staff will happily serve up the bubbly!
8. Glassware vs. plastic ware: there are pros and cons to each. Many couples feel that glassware is a “greener” option than plastic. However, used glassware must be triple-washed in order to be consider safe for re-use, using hundreds of gallons of water in the process. Not a very green option either, especially considering the drought our state has been facing. Glassware is also more expensive and while you would hope that guests keep track of their glasses all night, they don’t. Breakage is also an issue here. Glassware, however, does look nice and might be an important element when “branding” the day.
Plastic, of course, is cheaper and doesn’t have to include the big red keg cup. There are some pretty nice looking options available. Breakage and other waste isn’t as much of an issue, but plastic does end up in the landfill. Again, not a “green” option. Our suggestion for a greener wedding is to have guests bring their own drinking receptacle, and you can read more about that brilliant idea in an upcoming post!
9. Kegs vs. bottled beer – the great debate. When it comes to deciding how much beer is enough beer, numbers are key. You will get about 150 drinks out of one keg of beer, so if you have 100 guests or more, a keg makes sense.
However, if you have 100 guests or fewer, we recommend bottled beer. Most clients who opt for keg beer for a smaller wedding have LOTS of left over beer, despite feeling absolutely positive that their crew will blow right through a keg or two. And unfortunately for all of us, keg beer just doesn’t last. Bottled beer does, however! So, consider your numbers and how many of those guests will actually drink beer over wine or cocktails.
A final note on keg beer! There is ALWAYS the potential for something to go wrong with the keg and/or keg equipment, and it’s pretty tough, if not impossible, to fix that situation at the last minute. Bottled beer doesn’t present these issues. So, if your venue is out in the sticks, bottled beer might be the safer choice.
10. The “cut-off.” Yes, it does happen at weddings. Sometimes, clients have questions about when and how our staff will cut guests off from having another drink. Twist staff are concerned first and foremost with guest safety. When guests drink excessively, accidents have been known to happen, and not just behind the wheel of a car. For everyone’s safety, we monitor guests drinking and help to ensure that they are in a state where they are able to make good decisions for themselves and those around them.
The OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission) provides all certified bar tenders with a strict list of guidelines to which they must adhere. If a bar tender over-serves, and an accident happens or the OLCC is informed of over-service, that bar tender could lose their job and any future opportunities to work in the service industry. Our staff love to have fun, but we also love our jobs and want to keep providing a great time for our clients!
11. Keep it simple. Like Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “simplify, simplify, simplify.” We couldn’t agree more. Don’t over think all of these decisions. Rely on your service professionals to help guide you – we’ve done a few of these things after all. At the end of the day, all that matters is the “I do” – the rest will fall into place.
Thinking of providing your own booze and just need some bar tending help? Then you need our sister company, Olive!
When buying all the alcohol for your event, stay mindful of guest numbers and alcohol quantities. Here’s a quick list if you’re considering a more DIY approach to the bar:
– Most guests drink 3 -4.5 drinks on average (trust us!)
– There are 130-150 drinks per keg of beer
– There are 4 glasses of wine per bottle
– There are 12 drinks per case of beer
– There are about 10-12 drinks per 750 ml bottle of liquor (depending on the drink)
– Please note that the 750 ml is quick and classy. If purchasing your own liquor, consider the decrease in speed and efficiency of the 750 ml bottle over a larger ‘jug’ of booze. 750 ml allow bar tenders to pour more quickly and accurately, and look nicer at special events like weddings.