The One with All the Booze

Our friends drink. A lot. Not like an obscene amount, but sometimes like they’re still in college. As a result, the weddings typically get pretty rowdy.


Yes. She’s wearing a chair cover. I chose this photo so she can remain anonymous. / Personal photo

”¦which makes me even more excited for my wedding.

Don’t get me wrong—we’re not crazy, belligerent, cause-a-scene drinkers, but everyone always has a great time and tends to drink their fair share. It’s just what ends up happening.

When it came time to plan our bar, we had to think long and hard about the alcohol we would be serving. Just kidding! It was an immediate decision to have an open bar.

Sure, it costs more than just having beer and wine, and we even had the option through our caterer/bar to provide all the alcohol and they could provide the mixers and garnishes, but we knew our crowd, and have no regrets. It’s a non-cuttable expense.


Cam looks absolutely insane in this picture. / Personal photo

After we settled on having an open bar, we needed to choose our spirits. The initial “house” package consisted of Budweiser, Bud Light, house red and white wines, Smirnoff vodka, Seagram’s gin, Bacardi rum, Seagram’s 7, Dewar’s scotch, and Jim Beam bourbon.

My first thought was—do we know anyone who drinks Budweiser? And Lauren, our go-to catering expert, said, “Everyone says that. We can substitute those for other beers.” Cam of course jumped at the chance to have his beer expertise on display and proudly announced, just as loudly as these capital letters would suggest, “MILLER LITE AND YUENGLING.” Done.

Then we had to choose our wines. Again, Cam to the rescue. “PINOT GRIGIO AND PINOT NOIR.” All right, sold.

Finally, we looked at our liquor list. I mentioned to Lauren the possibility of substituting one of our liquors with Firefly vodka, and she jumped at the chance.

Firefly sweet tea vodka is delicious. Oh, are you not familiar?


Image via Firefly

I’m not even a fan of sweet tea, and I love this. It’s a sweet tea flavored vodka that comes in several varieties including raspberry, mint leave, and several others. Traditionally people mix it with water. Best part? It’s made just outside Charleston, South Carolina on Wadamalaw Island! So it’s a “local” treat for the out-of-towners AND it’s tasty. We’re even considering doing a signature cocktail with this, but we haven’t settled on that yet.

As if that wasn’t enough, we also have the option to bring in additional selections of our own—at no cost! This is wonderful news for Cam because he has a small obsession with a beer from his home state of Michigan—Bell’s Oberon. Every May, he buys a six pack of this and officially announces the start of summer with his first sip. It’s very dramatic.


Image via Bells Beer

So he’ll be bringing in a few 24 packs of this as well.

I think it’s safe to say we’ll be well stocked on the bar front.

Are you doing an open bar? A signature cocktail? Bringing in any special drinks that have meaning to you?


Mrs. Camera

Charlotte, NC/Charleston, SC
Wedding Date:
September 2013
Classifieds: July 16, 2013
Introducing the Farm Generation!

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  1. Member
    waitingbee57 1568 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:04 pm

    We are doing a partial self serve partial bartender…

    Self Serve beer, soda, and water in galvanized wash basins.

    Bar tender will take care of the vodka, Rum, Tequilla, and signiture drink, as well as the wine (red, white, and moscato)

    Our signiture drink is a twist on an old classic. I came up with it in my bartending days and deemed it “Love at first sip” we are renaiming it “Love at first sight” for our wedding. It is a Malibu coconut, Pineapple Juice, Splase of Cherry Grenadine, and to garnish we are going to rub the rim with pineapple juice and then coconut shavings. Doesnt really match our autumn theme but hey its good and it matches our color scheme.

    Our family and friends are made up mainly of Mexican, German, Irish, and Polish people so we are all big drinkers. Me and FI will be remaining somewhat sober for our wedding though.

  2. Member
    kit_kath 1327 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:07 pm

    We had to do an open bar for the same reasons. My mother made a commet how it was too bad we have to pay per person for the bar, since some people won’t be drinking. I had to assure her that our friends would make sure we got our money’s worth.

    Our caterer has a basic package that includes a signature drink, but the cocktails that we love aren’t really big crowd pleasers. Our caterer very helpful told us that often the signture drink gets passed over by the guests if it is too uncommon, and many people choose to add a different beer instead. As craft beer lovers that was the perfect option for us.

  3. Member
    mrs_pudding_pop 2571 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:18 pm

    YES! Oberon… good choice Mr Cam. (MI native here as well!)

  4. camel Member
    camel 703 posts, Busy bee @ 2:27 pm

    We served beer, wine, and picked rum and vodka as our liquors of choice, as most people can make tasty mixed drinks from that selection. Our signature drink was also available, made with rum. It’s funny you mention Oberon, as Mr. C is also from Michigan and he also loves Bell’s Oberon!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    BM Y, Guest @ 2:32 pm

    Girl, next time you are in Pittsburgh, you need to come hang out with us! Mrs. Palm Tree and I love sweet tea vodka. It’s also delicious mixed with lemonade (which I’m sure you already know)! And shoutout to Cam – my fiance loves Bell’s Two-Hearted!

  6. mscamera Member
    mscamera 300 posts, Helper bee @ 2:34 pm

    @BM Y: YES. and YES! I think Mrs. PT and I are kindred spirits anyway, so we definitely need to make that happen. Also, what I failed to mention because it’s still up in the air is that Cam is going to bring Bell’s Smitten Ale too.. just because it’s called Smitten. ha.

  7. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 2:48 pm

    I really want to try some sweet tea vodka now…it sounds perfect on this hot (hot, hot) day :)

  8. mscamera Member
    mscamera 300 posts, Helper bee @ 2:50 pm

    @Mrs. Pony: please PLEASE tell me you’re referring to App State. Because that is how I heard “hot (hot,hot)” and I seriously LOLd.

  9. Member
    Merelymere 476 posts, Helper bee @ 3:22 pm

    Sweet tea vodka + Simply Lemonade over ice. Trust me.

  10. bluewhale Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 3:56 pm

    Yummmm. Love bell’s beer!

  11. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:36 pm

    I like you guys, you sound like my kind of people :) our open bar was FULLY TAPPED at the end of the night. Plan accordingly!!

  12. Member
    fionak 155 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:05 pm

    Your friends sound like my friends! Now to try and track down sweet tea vodka…

  13. jetsetter Member
    jetsetter 535 posts, Busy bee @ 5:46 pm

    Firefly is awesome, I like it with lemonade!!! YUM!

    We’re offering wine on every table and a cash bar!

  14. Member
    jessc4343 219 posts, Helper bee @ 6:13 pm

    @Merelymere: +1 on this.

    Another great sweet tea vodka brand is Jeremiah Weed.

    We’re going with beer and wine only. We initially considered an open bar but FI has fancy taste that we can’t afford to get everyone drunk on. I’ve rationalized our B&W only decision based on the distance of our venue from the closest hotel and not wanting our liquored up guests being so far from their hotel. OR having to pay exorbitant cab fares. Four hours of libations won’t do anyone any favors but liquor is quicker, afterall…

    Since we’re not offering liquor we’re going to provide decent beer on tap from a local brewery (and a case of Natty Light for his always classy little bro) and our favorite wine, Rex Goliath. FI will have his Glenlivet scotch stashed somewhere for himself and his noblemen but otherwise, it’s craft beer and wine for the masses!

  15. Member
    misssemi 136 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:36 pm

    Yay Yuengling! I’m so glad I can find Yuengling everywhere in Charlotte, this PA girl has been missing it the past 4 years in Texas.

    As for our bar, we did something similar at our wedding, a red and white wine, two beers, and some basic liquors.

  16. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:47 pm

    We knew we needed an open bar too 😉 I’ve never heard of Firefly! Now I wanna try it!

  17. Member
    spotted_giraffe 312 posts, Helper bee @ 8:42 pm

    Firefly is awesome! I love mixing it with lemonade.
    The start of some great nights and not so great decisions being made..

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Mrs. B, Guest @ 4:47 am

    Love firefly sweet tea vodka!! It has been widely available in New York state for a few years now. We mix it with lemonade too. One of the bars down in Charleston mixes it with cranberry juice and it is amazing that way as well. We went with an open bar for a few hours and then switched to just beer and wine. We felt like it kept people from getting TOO drunk and sloppy. It worked out well. One suggestion I have is to bring a few additional bottles of wine if they allow you to. We also were limited to house wines at my wedding, and they tended to be a little on the dry side (which my husband and I prefer), but we had one guest who preferred sweet wine and she was buying her own bottles of wine the night of our wedding. We didn’t find out until after and I felt bad that she had to pay money. So maybe just bring four or five bottles of the opposite of whatever their house wines tend to be (dry or sweet) and that way your guests will have the option if they are big wine drinkers, but don’t necessarily like the house selection.

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    Katie D, Guest @ 6:54 am

    Firefly and lemonade is my jam! Funny story about Firefly & my wedding…
    I really wanted to have kir royales (champagne + creme de cassis) for my signature drink, so I asked the venue really nicely by saying it was my absolute _favorite_ drink, and they were happy to throw in a few bottles of creme de cassis at no (additional) charge (we already had the champagne). But, a few weeks before the wedding, I realized I realllly wanted to have Firefly and lemonade. So I asked again by saying that it was DH’s favorite drink (when it’s totally not) and they also provided a few bottles at no additional charge. However, I forgot to tell him, so when the coordinator mentioned it at the rehearsal, “DH, I’m glad you will be able to have your favorite drink at the wedding, Firefly and lemonade!” he was all, “Umm… I guess?” Oops :)

    In my defense, his favorite drinks are all classics (G&T, beer, whiskey) so it’s not like I was depriving him :)

  20. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:40 am

    Doing an open bar was an easy decision. Can’t wait to see everyone let loose!

  21. roadtrip Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 11:59 am

    I guess chair covers are the new dancing with a lampshade on your head!

  22. mspalmtree Member
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:42 am

    I have so many things to say!
    1. Our friends (including Mr. PT and I) drink a lot, too. :)
    2. As BM Y said, I LOVE SWEET TEA VODKA!
    2a. We have to talk about you not liking sweet tea! 😉
    4. Our open bar was a no-brainer as well. 😉

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