I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about our bar lately (see here, here and here), but I don’t want anybody to get the wrong impression about our boozy bash. Today, I’m going to flip the script and talk about what we’re not going to drink at our wedding: champagne.
Tag Archives: alcohol
I love a signature drink for an event. Whether the goal is to save on spirits, add a personal touch or just to keep the wedding theme going, I think signature cocktails are a fun experience for guests. I know I’ve tried a few themed drinks at events that were totally different from what I usually sip, and I loved them. Being that our wedding theme has been driven by our location, and the fact that our location is a brewery, we thought it might be apt to suggest a menu of signature cocktails at our bash that were all made with beer. That’s right, signature beer cocktails.
For the uninitiated, beer cocktails are certainly “a thing,” and for the most part they’re incredibly delicious. Across the board, there’s no standard template for beer cocktail recipes. Some combine a beer with a mixer, some mix beer with a liquor, and some just mix beer with other beer. Some popular beer cocktails you may have heard of or tried are the Moscow Mule (ginger beer + vodka), Michelada (beer bloody mary), Shandy (beer + lemonade), Snakebite (beer + cider) and the Black and Tan (Guiness + an ale/lager).
A pic of my usual easy Summer Shandy a few summers ago; just Bud Light and lemonade.
I had no idea making decisions could be so exhausting. Planning a wedding means making lots of little choices, and it really drains your cognitive ability to decide on anything else in everyday life. “What do you want for dinner?” No clue. “Are you coming out this weekend?” Who knows. I can’t even decide what color pens to use some days, and there’s only two choices: blue or black. So when an important wedding decision is more or less made for me? I’m totally on board. And that’s kind of what happened with our wedding favors.
We’re getting married at a local brewery, Monday Night Brewing, a venue that fits us and our city perfectly. With breweries popping up left and right, Atlanta is becoming a huge market for craft beer, and attending a brewery tasting is a suitable way for locals to spend their happy hour or a weekend afternoon. But while Atlanta’s beers and breweries are diverse in style and flavor, they all handle tastings the same way: In Georgia they can’t legally sell any beer, but they can sell you a pint glass and then give you beer tasting tickets on the house. Show up at 5:00 PM with a $10 bill, and you’ll stumble out a few hours later with a six-ticket buzz and a souvenir glass.
Image via Ashlee Culverhouse Photo
You law school grads just winced at that title. But I promise this is a happy post. About booze!
Planning your beverage options for a wedding is never easy. You have to decide what to drink, and more importantly, who’s going to pay (You? Mom and Dad? The guests at a cash bar?). But since Rooster and I are getting married at Monday Night Brewing, our decision making process was a little easier than most.
Open vs. Cash Bar
I love a good glass of sweet, not too dry Riesling. Mr. Farmer loves a full flavored Cabernet. I am a white-wine girl, and Mr. Farmer is a red kind of guy. Opposites attract, anyone!? We happen to love wine. Mr. Farmer is more adventurous in trying different kinds, whereas I am just starting to develop a taste for anything other than Riesling.
Our current “wine bar.” Mr. Farmer and I are members of a wine of the month club. We receive a shipment every other month of 12 bottles of red and white. If you remember, we are currently in the process of building an addition onto our new house so we have nowhere to store our wine until we move into the new place, where we will have a sufficient wine rack and bar.
Currently waiting to be put in their forever home / Photo personal & edited by yours truly
Needless to say, we like our wine, so it was no surprise that when we attended Creating Lasting Memories to sample our food, we would also be sampling some beverages. In the Midwest it’s pretty common to do a partially hosted bar. What does that mean? It means that the bride and groom (or traditionally the groom’s parents) typically cover the beer and soft drinks, while the spirits are paid for by the guests who order them.
Now before you clutch your pearls and give me grief, it’s common in my neck of the woods, and nobody bats an eyelash for having to pay for a spirited drink. It’s expected in my group of family and friends, and every wedding I have ever been to has done it this way. I often find it depends on where you live when it comes to cash versus hosted. It also depends on the budget as well, I suppose, but our budget isn’t huge so a fully hosted bar was out. Since the Barns enjoy wine so much we are also putting that on the hosted menu. So we are doing a hybrid host if you will—beer, wine, and soft drinks.
So let’s get to the good stuff, huh!?
Yours truly at Creating Lasting Memories / Photo personal / Cheers!
First up was the champagne. We aren’t huge champagne drinkers, but we wanted to make sure we had some for the toasts that will be given.
We had a choice of J. Roget, Cooks, Martini, Rossi Asti, or their raspberry champagne punch.
Both of us have no idea if our choices are decent or not, but we know what tasted good. We both liked the J. Roget Spumante and the raspberry champagne punch the best. When we told Collette, the wedding coordinator, our choices she laughed because the punch is made with J. Roget so it’s no wonder we liked it. So that was put on the beverage menu.
We also decided on a Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, Schlink Haus Riesling, Murphy Goode Pinot Noir, and Columbia Crest Merlot. We figured that would be a good sampling of wine and it still has both my favorite, the Riesling, and Mr. Farmer’s pick, the Pinot Noir.
Up next was the beer. I told Mr. Farmer to make his selection as that will be his drink of choice, should he choose to drink at the wedding, and he selected Coors Lite as it’s the beer he drinks most often. Being from Wisconsin I thought it would be sacrilege to not have any Miller Lite, so we are having both. (My family would give me serious side-eye if there wasn’t a Miller product present.) My family will drink the Miller, and his family and friends will drink the Coors. It’s all about compromise, people.
What did you choose to do? Cash? Hosted? Or did you do a hybrid as well?
Author’s note: This post is the height of irony—I spent an hour pricing out liquor, and I don’t drink. I have NO IDEA if I did it right, because I don’t drink any of these things. But I thought someone else might find it helpful—just take it with a grain of salt, since I’m not very familiar with anything I’m pricing.
Our venue allows us to bring in our own alcohol. (Yay! This is supposed to be a huge money saver!) So that’s great, but now we have to figure out the details on our own:
- How much?
- Of what?
- From where?
First off, we will be having an open bar. I know that’s pretty standard, but apparently not to my parents. My father really felt we should do a cash bar (?!?). Or at least limit it to beer and wine. We may end up doing beer and wine and a couple signature drinks, but the whole thing was highly amusing. He was really surprised when I said I didn’t want a cash bar.
The coordinator at our venue, as well as a couple of the caterers, recommended Binny’s—apparently they will drop it off and pick up unused/unopened/unchilled leftovers, and are great with recommendations. Good plan so far, but I’d like to come up with a relatively realistic estimate of what we’ll need for our wedding (for my budget spreadsheet, of course).
Growing up I was never near alcohol. Both my parents never drink, so to me, alcohol was always a bit of a mystery. But the reality is that México is a heavy drinking country and weddings are perfect opportunities to celebrate with some booze. Luckily Mr. Weather is a lot more knowledgeable when it comes to drinks, so when our wedding planning began, he took charge of this important task.
The great thing about Mexican weddings is that the couple gets to bring whatever alcohol they want. For example, we are bringing all our bottles to our caterer on the Wednesday before the big day. After double checking our supplies, the caterer will take charge of the drinks, and once the party is over they will return to us the unopened bottles, if any.
Usually the caterer or venue provides unlimited mixers, which in our case are:
So, last post I chatted to y’all about the food.
The spread we’re putting on gives everyone a chance to eat something we think they’d enjoy, so we’re pretty happy with our choice!
Another thing Mr. Big and I needed to mull over was the beverages, and this task was a lot easier for us than the catering. At Tamburlaine, the packages include wine, sparkling wine, beer, soft drinks, and juice. They probably have water there as well (it’s just not stated on the package). We’ve also requested sparkling grape juice for the pre-teens who want something sparkly to drink during toasts (or just during the party).
The wine to be drunk will be either from the Wine Lovers Range or the Members Reserve from Tamburlaine Wines. The wines are said to be organic, and, therefore, the hangover is meant to be less severe. We’ll be going for the Wine Lovers Range and, over the course of the planning year and a half, have sampled the wines.
Like the food, there were several things we needed to consider for our guests:
Sometimes Sparky surprises me by putting in a lot more thought into something than I have. While “buy wine for the wine box” was on our to-do list, it wasn’t really on my radar. Since Sparky is the wine guy, I assigned him the task of figuring out what bottle we would seal with our love letters during our ceremony. After I gave him that task, it fell off my radar completely.
Until Sparky brought it up, that is.
You see, Sparky had taken the task to heart and had put a lot of thought into figuring out a wine that was meaningful to us and that would still be good in five years. The producers of the wines came as no surprise, but when he said “We need to find 2007 vintages, since that’s the year we got together” I could have melted. The man is pretty amazing, if I do say so myself.
So. What wines are we considering?
First up: DeLille Grand Ciel, 2007
Via DeLille Cellars
It seems like the ring exchange is usually the last part of a ceremony before the presentation of the newlywed couple. We’ve chosen to structure our ceremony a little differently, owing to some of the other rituals we want to include. The first of these is the unity ritual.
Unity candles and sand ceremonies are still probably the two main unity ritual options of today’s wedding ceremonies. But, like a lot of brides, I was looking for something a little different and more appropriate to our theme. I briefly considered a wine box, but that didn’t really suit my idea of the perfect unity ritual. (While some use locks, most of them involve hammering the box closed and that’s just way too jarring for me.)
Then I remembered something I’d read in passing, several years ago, on the Adventures in Vineyard Land blog (now Schram Vineyards). They did a wine-blending ceremony: The Unity Wine Pour. I loved that idea, and decided it would be perfect for our ceremony unity ritual.
Of course, how to do it was the big question.
I mean, the mechanics are simple enough—pour two wines together and each drink from it, right?
But what wines, what do we pour into, who drinks first, do we drink together, etc. etc. etc.?