Post # 1
To save a little money with our caterer because they will charge "bar prices" for drinks, we decided to provide the non-alcoholic drink (soda and water). There will be approximately 100 guests at our wedding with about a third of them underage. That leaves approx. 66 people of-age, but probably about 20 of them won’t drink alcohol at all.
If I’m figuring that I’m providing all of the drinks for about 50-60 people, what would you get?
Has anyone doen this before?
What types of soda would you get that would reach the most number of tastes?
Since it’s an outdoor, August wedding I’m figuring I’ll need at least 5 cases of water. Do I need more?
Post # 3
I’d go with some lemonade and iced teas. To add a little unique twist you could look up different recipes and try them out to see what you and the FI like. I read where this couple made a "signature drink" and prepared a bunch before the wedding. I think it was a blueberry lemonade, but they froze the blueberries so they could add to the drink with the look of them in it and keeping it cold.
Post # 4
Iced tea is a nice addition. And cheap! If you don’t have time to "make it" you can do suntea so it just makes itself! You can buy a syrup and flavor it mango! Mango iced tea is so delicious. Or you could do an ice tea bar! And just buy a few bottles of flavord syrup, cute swizzle/stir sticks, and let guests make their own mix combos. Everybody loves fun iced tea flavors! They have Monel syrups at World Market for pretty inexpensive and World Market tends to have exotic flavors. I used to wait tables and we offered flavored teas and lemonades. Blackberry and passion fruit were the most popular flavors. Key lime was gross/weird and cherry was kinda eh, too.
You might be ok on water…A case only has like 30 bottles and it depends on what time you offer the water. We’re offering ours for the ceremony but doing little bottles. More expensive, but also more compact. Buy it from Sam’s. Nestle water is $3.76 or something for 30 bottles. You might want an extra case or two on hand for you and your bridesmaids and the guys all day. I got so caught up about the guests I totally forgot about all the people doing the running around! It never hurts to have some extra.
We are offering a plethora of adult beverages and sprite and coke for sodas. Our venue provides ice tea and water. Don’t go crazy, the basics are good
Post # 5
My recommendations are to serve everything from larger, bulk containers. From my own experiences in coporate event planning and from planning my own wedding, items that are packaged individually tend to not be completely consumed before being thrown out. That means you are throwing away a TON of half-drank bottles of water, cans of soda, bottles of tea, etc… It’s a lot more cost effective (plus better for the environment) if you serve drinks from larger bulk containers in reusable (or recyclable) glassware.
Most people can’t tell tap water from bottled water (especially since so much bottled water actually IS tap water) and all those plastic bottles are really bad for the environment. You can fill up pitchers with ice and tap water, and then you’ll have an unlimited supply. Also, if you or any of your family members have large drink dispensers (the nice glass ones look best) make up a bunch of iced tea and lemonade ahead of time and serve that instead of buyi9ng the pre-made stuff.
Soda is really tricky because a lot of people like it (especially kids) but if it’s really hot out they might go for something else. Also, cans are usually a lot easier than 2 liter bottles of soda, even though many people only finish their can halfway before dispensing of it (forgetting it on a table, letting it get too warm, the staff accidently throwing it away, etc…). Personally, I would stay away from soda all together, and provide regular iced tea and lemonade along with a "signature" drink like Miss Orchids suggested.
As far as quantities go, you’ll need to figure that each person will want one drink per every hour of the reception. You’ll also need to take into account, the while that means one drink per hour for every person you don’t think will drink alcohol, you’ll need to accomodate the alcohol drinkers as well (about a drink every 2 hours of the reception). This where using free water and making your own iced tea and lemonade will really save you some money.
Post # 6
I don’t think you will need anymore cases of water–though it depends on what you mean by case.
Here is what you should have as a very basic set up- Seltzer water/club soda, cranberry juice, coke, and diet coke. These are the most commonly used bar mixers, and more importantly, they will be requested by drinkers and non drinkers alike.
After that there are some beverages you will need in a smaller amount– tonic water (if you have gin drinkers at your wedding, you might need more), lemon-lime soda or ginger ale, and maybe some orange juice. Last but not least, you can get some pineapple juice or grapefruit if you wanna get crazy… Honestly they aren’t used as often but are nice to have to make alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails alike.
The last thing I would recommend is lime juice and lemon juice (lime more than lemon, so let’s say 2 bottles of lime to one bottle of lemon). It’s really easy to overlook these two items but they are used to build cocktails, is much tastier than buying a bottle of sour mix which you could do as well. (Though, is this something the bar will have?). Last but not least, iced tea is easy to make in bulk and I’m sure people would love it on a nice hot day.
I hope this helps.
Post # 7
If you can add chunks of frozen fruit to sparkling water, it makes it quite nice. Pineapple, or whole strawberries work nice.
Post # 8
So are you wanting and able to bring in the alcohol for those who are of age and will drink. That is how I understood it.
If not I would do the tea and lemonade since you are outside. I love those on a pretty day outside.
If you are needed suggestions on the liquor needed, that one is a little tougher. My friends can down a case of beer apiece and keep going..but that is what we get for working as bartenders I guess. Anyways, if you are looking to do a mini bar of sorts I would concentrate on the ingrediants for some basic drinks. Like margaritas: you can get the premix for those or just get some tequlia and limejuice. forgo the triple sec, its not a necessity. I strongly reccomend getting a couple different vodkas. One of them should be the "well" like bartons or bellows brand and the other should be "top shelf" such as grey goose or cirac. The well should be used for vodka and redbull, vodka and cranberry, and so forth. The higher end should be used for martinis.
Continuing: besides vodka, you should get whiskey, rum, and possibly gin, dont worry about bourbon(its the same as whiskey in the well brad). Cocconut rum is also good. For mixers you shoud get coke, diet, sprite, redbull(can get pricy), lemonade, sour, grenadide, and lime.
Ok I know that is a lot, but it will get most of the drinks that people drink. If you are not wanting to do a mini bar, and would rather just do a couple drinks, I would do like what was already suggested and try some stuff and get that. If you have a macadoodles or similar store they do taste testing on anything you want.
I hope this helps. If you need any suggestions on anything liquor let me know. Its kind of my specialty since I bartend for a living right now
Post # 9
Thanks I like all of those ideas. I really wanted to do something in containers like Mrs. Cherry Pie and found one on Craig’s List. Instead of the infused vodka like she did, we could do the flavored lemonade or iced tea in that. We’re offering drinks for 5 hours so that’s approximately 275 drinks for all the non-drinkers.
Post # 10
You can try Martinelli’s sparking cider, which is nice and bubbly without the alcohol. Ginger ale is a nice alternative also. Add a sprig of mint on a straw to make it a bit more festive!
Post # 11
virgin mimosas are good too- 7up and orange juice