when foodies get married: the beverages

let’s get to some of the really important things.  like what’s on the bar.  or more importantly, how we managed to serve 175 guests from our catholic families, half irish, without draining the parents’ retirement funds, or serving two buck chuck & natty light.

now i realize i probably just offended some of you by saying that we refused to serve two buck chuck, but i’m sorry.  no i’m not. tom has been working in the wine industry far too long for us not to abuse benefit from his discounts & serve something a little offbeat.

here’s how we did it:

1.  we found a venue that allowed us to hire our own caterer.

2.  said caterer (we LOVED them & we’ll get to them very shortly.  promise.) allowed us to bring our own alcohol & didn’t charge a corkage fee because they think that they’re a ripoff.  (did i mention that we loved them?)

3.  we got a basic idea of what we’d like to serve.  no liquor (my parents’ marriage was almost annulled over the over consumption of liquor.  ask them.  it’s a good story, but only because they are still married.)  for wine, just a white & a red.  no need to over complicate things.  & nothing too expensive.  & an assortment of beer.

4.  champagne toast?  i LOVE some bubbly, but according to our caterer, a good majority of champagne toasts go to waste.  waste champagne?  i would CRY.  & no one wants to see the bride cry over unused champagne, or try to drink it all herself, for that matter.

5.  we picked some inexpensive whites & reds and put them through vigorous blind taste tests. it was more fun that way. there were some good contenders, but no clear winners yet.

6.  the beer was a bit easier. while it would have been awesome to serve some funky microbrews & local stuff, we easily could have gone broke doing it.  & while we may enjoy it, the beer drinkers in our family don’t really like to complicate things.  so, miller lite & yuengling it was. bottles.

7.  we did throw in some cottonwood pumpkin for fun.  it’s local, it’s unique, it’s seasonal & it’s delicious. 8. after a few more rounds of taste testing, to make sure we were doing the right thing, we found our winners. not chardonnay & merlot.  that’s too predictable.  we landed on a chilean white, mendoza station torrontes to be exact (a steal at $5.99 a bottle) & an italian red, s andrea rosso ($8.99 a bottle).

9.  in our final meeting with the caterer, we asked for his input on the quantity of these beverages to purchase.  we took that number & multiplied it by 2.  he clearly didn’t know our family & friends.

10.  we had a last minute trip to the wine store to pick up some bubbly for “halftime” between our ceremony & reception, to keep the wedding party good & socially lubricated for the long haul. kruse extra dry $6.99 a bottle.

11.  we couldn’t forget pick out some bubbly for ourselves, too.

just kidding.  that’s more like it.  de margerie reserve, $45.00. we’ll save the really good stuff for when we’ll have the time to taste it.

12.  all in all, we thought our choices were great.  we didn’t spend a small fortune & our guests really liked what was on the bar.  & definitely a good call on doubling the caterer’s quantities, we had very little left over!

**all photos, except the cottonwood bottle, were taken by our lovely & very talented photographer nancy ray.**
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