Q. How can I choose the right wine and champagne for the toast?A.
You should either serve champagne or a signature drink for the first toast. It’s what’s expected and appreciated. Then, opt for wines that your guests will recognize, like light chardonnays and medium -- bodied merlots. Try for low alcohol -- content drinks (not dry wines or champagnes)—something you can toast with over and over again. A great toasting drink is light and easily sipped. Finally, stay within your price range. If you want to splurge on good champagne (with a steep price tag) for the first toasts, choose a sparkling white wine with all the bubbles and half the cost for refills.
Q. We have some guests coming who don't drink. What do we do? A.
Start by checking with your bartender and finding out if he can make a nonalcoholic version of your signature cocktail using sparkling water. Next, if you plan on having a champagne toast, you might offer nonalcoholic sparkling cider to these guests. There are also a number of nonalcoholic beers on the market, and you may want to consider having some of these in addition to your bar selections. Whatever you choose, make sure to have plenty of juices, flavored tea, coffee and, of course, water readily available.
Q. If we have a signature cocktail, do we still need to offer a full bar?A.
No, say the cocktail pros. It is never bad form to forego a full bar, even if you are having an evening dinner rehearsal. What kind of and how much alcohol -- if any -- you serve at your wedding events is completely up to you. So offering only your signature cocktail is perfectly acceptable (and can cut down on considerably on bar costs). We do caution against cash bars: Your guests are your guests, and they should not have to pay for anything at your celebration.
Q. Must toasts always be done with champagne, or do we have other options?A.
Though tradition for the champagne toast naturally dictates champagne, there's really no reason that it must fill the glasses you and your guests lift to celebrate your union. Many people like the cachet that champagne adds to the moment, but the couples who choose not to serve alcohol at their receptions routinely opt for nonalcoholic sparkling cider or even a fine sparkling water. But if you don't like champagne, pick whatever beverage you prefer. There's no wrong glass to raise.
Rehearsals + Brunches