Wedding Drinking Dos and Don'ts

Having drinks at a wedding is important. It could be alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. The idea is to ensure you have enough drinks to accompany the delicious food that will be on at the wedding.

Sometimes people indulge in too much drinking to the point they make mistakes when it is supposed to be all fun. So, what are the wedding drinking do's and don'ts? That is what we are going to look at below.


Have a simple wine list

plan wedding drinking list

Planning the wedding needs a lot of wine most of the time. However, sometimes it can get complicated because of the many options available. We recommend that you should keep the wine list simple. The examples will be red, white, and sparkling wine.

The wine list should generally be simple while remaining fun at the same time. So, besides having wine, you can still include fresh fruit juices, liquors, and more. Since you will have many guests, they may also want to try out a few drinks, so make sure there is enough variety to consider.


As much as you might think of making it simple, ensure there is a creative twist. This is where you can add some signature cocktails that you have made yourself to the wedding drinks. Anyone at the wedding drinking would love to try out different things.

If you can make your own wine, make it a reality for the guests. This would show that you can actually craft wine they can enjoy taking specifically at your wedding.

You can still be creative with the name of the cocktails. You can consider options such as Happily Ever After, First Kiss, and other creative expressions.

Getting some nice color combinations is critical in making the drinks stand out. Of course, you could try mixing them before the wedding day to craft something great you would generally like and the guests too.

Non-alcoholic drinks are needed too

People assume that wedding drinking should all be fun and drunk, but that does not always work for all the guests. Some people do not take alcohol; what would be their option?

This is why non-alcoholic drinks are highly recommended too. You can serve water, craft sodas, sparkling ciders, juice, and more. Do not forget that there will also be kids attending; how do you expect them to have alcoholic drinks?

Root beers can also be a good hit among those who do not want strong liquor. At least they would know they were covered.

Use proper glassware

Drinks need the proper glassware, too, for them to be taken correctly. As a result, you should have the right glasses depending on the drink. For example, there are glasses of red wine, white wine, and cocktails. Your guests might expect something classy, so ensure they get it.

If kids are in the same event, you could use plastic cups to avoid breakage. The idea is to ensure everyone is covered.

Encourage the guests to pace themselves

Encourage wedding guests to pace themselves

We all know that having an open bar is fun, but sometimes it can get frustrating when someone cannot pace themselves and ends up being a nuisance. You should not have to handle such people on such a special day. That is why you can always encourage the guests to pace themselves so they can have a good time at the wedding.

Encourage the guests to have maybe a drink per hour. You also serve them with water and small bites to distract them from taking too much alcohol. As you can see, the guests would remain hydrated while at the same time having enough food in their bellies to deal with the incoming alcohol.

Tell the guests about the beverage menu

Most of the people attending the wedding are there for a good time. They might not know if you cannot tell them about the fantastic drinks menu.

When dinner is served, pass along the message that they can choose the drinks from the menu available to have a good time. Handing out the menu would be ideal for making sure that each person decides the drink they like. Having a bit of description of what is in the glasses is a good way of ensuring you have many people picking what they enjoy.

Have a section for photo ops

A wedding is a place to have memories. That is why it makes sense when you have a photo ops section that people can enjoy visiting while tipsy or just because they are happy to take the photos.

Nowadays, people play a game of taking photos with their first drink at a wedding and the last drink at the same wedding. It can be interesting to see how people look in the end after a whole afternoon or night of good times. Even the mother and father of the bride are not spared.

Add live music and entertainment

Add live music and entertainment

Wedding drinking goes well with music and other forms of entertainment. If you have a live band at the wedding, this is the right time to introduce it. When people are drinking, they will be happy to enjoy the wedding band and any other form of entertainment that would have been performed that day.

Pass out drinks to the guests as they arrive

You can consider handing out drinks as soon as the guests arrive at the reception area. It could be the signature cocktails, wine, or beer. When you do not do this, you should expect that there will not be a huge line around the bar area. Of course, no guest would mind having something to drink as they wait for meals or just have a chat with other people at the same wedding.

Get enough support staff

Having enough support staff is key in ensuring wedding drinking goes on smoothly without a hitch. You do not need all your guests to go to the bar to get their drinks. Sometimes all you need is to get them enough support staff to serve them their food and beverages. Guests would feel quite honored when they can easily access the drinks at the wedding.


Do not try to customize

Do not try to customize wedding drinking

You might be looking to make many people happy at a wedding event, but that can be hard sometimes. This is where you sometimes decide to customize the drink preference of each person attending. That would be tough, especially if you have to host over 300 people.

The most practical thing would be to get drinks that can work for the majority. An example is when you have red wine, it is easy to find almost everyone taking it.

Of course, using common drinks also eliminates the hustle of customizing the orders to your guest's requests.

Do not ignore tasting first

Tasting is essential to identify the flavors of the wine and liquor before serving it to your guests. Make an appointment with the stores that offer free wine or liquor tasting. This would essentially help in learning more about the drinks before buying.

You may notice that Chardonnay and Merlot would be a safe choice for many, considering how common they are among many people. White wine would have a more fruity taste, while Sauvignon Blanc is a great crowd pleaser.

Do not forget the standard combinations

People coming to a wedding expect certain standard combinations during the wedding drinking hour. An example is when you pair red wine with beef or lamb, while white wine is paired with poultry or fish. Another standard combo is sushi being served during cocktail hour. This ensures that the guests do not have a hard time enjoying their meal and the drinks.

Do not overlook the current season

Do not overlook the current season when choose wedding drinking

The season can often determine where the event will be held. An example is when you are planning an outdoor wedding, it is advisable to have more white wine. This is because your guests are likely to drink more of it since it is lighter. On the other hand, red wine is more appreciated during winter weddings.

Do not have a time limit on the bar

One thing about limiting people on how much they can drink would not always end well. When the guests hear there is a time limit, you may see long queues around the bar area. That is not what you want. Let the DJ announce that the bar is open for the whole duration of the event. At least now people can have a good time without worrying that the bar will close anytime.


Wedding drinking has always been a thing and will not change anytime soon. Getting the right drinks for yourself and your guests is now best to have a successful day. We recommend that you consider the tips mentioned above, and you should generally have a good outcome on the wedding day. If the guests are happy with the food and drinks, you will enjoy them.

FAQs on Wedding Drinking

What happens if you cannot afford an open bar?

You might be looking to ensure that your guests have a good time at a wedding, but an open bar can be expensive for some people. So, what should you do in such a case?

Given that you are inviting friends and family, it might not seem so good to ask them to pay for their drinks during the whole event. That is why you need to have limited open bars. You can have some specific types of liquor available for the open bar while others someone has to pay for them.

You could also consider having an open bar only when it is cocktail hour. After that, switch to wine and beer, which are relatively cheaper.

Must you serve champagne?

For the longest time, we have known that using champagne seemed like the right way to celebrate a wedding. It is possible to limit many people who are taking the champagne and have others take other drinks. Buying champagne to be taken by all the guests would be too expensive, that is why you can just have enough champagne for the couple and bridal party. That is enough.

You can also consider other sparkling beverages in place of champagne. Such beverages would be a lot cheaper while at the same time giving off the vibe that the users are also popping something.

Do you need a signature drink?

Signature drinks are all great in the sense that you can personalize how people enjoy your wedding drinks. Some even have signature drinks with cute names. It might be something you came up with just for your occasion and still a way of letting the guests know more about your personality.

As much as signature drinks are great, they are not a must. Sometimes people just want their favorite beer or wine and good food. So, if you have to create a signature drink, there is no need to make it in large amounts. Just create enough that a few people can enjoy, and that is it.

How many bartenders are needed?

The number of bartenders you need can vary based on the guests you have invited to the wedding. It can be sad seeing your guests queueing just to get some drinks. You have to invest more to get enough bartenders for the event.

On average, you can have four bartenders for every 100 guests. This makes the service faster, and the drinks can be delivered to you in record time.

In case you have two bars, keep them at separate ends. This makes it easier to keep congestion low.

Should you serve alcohol even if you do not drink?

Not all people drink alcohol, which might apply to you as a couple. However, this time around, you have invited friends and family who might want to drink some. That is why it would not hurt to have alcohol as part of the wedding drinking culture. It can simply be some beer and wine, then expect more people to enjoy the wedding.

Some people might feel too strongly about alcohol. It is okay to skip it but ensure your guests are not thirsty. This means you can talk to the caterer to ensure plenty of other non-alcoholic drinks such as tea, flavored water, juice blend, sodas, and more.

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