The short of it: GUESTS LOVE TO DRINK AT WEDDINGS.
While some people may not care about the type of alcohol that is at your wedding, others will, and it’s important to include a variety of options, INCLUDING premium liquor. Guests appreciate when their brand of choice is available. Outside of weddings, when people go to a bar, they often ask for a specific brand of liquor whether as part of their mixed cocktail or on the rocks. Things don’t change when they go to a wedding. They’ll walk up to the bartender and ask for Titos, Hendricks, Patron, Jack Daniels, or Balvenie (just to name a few). Imagine their excitement when it’s available and their disappointment when it’s not!
Of course, know your guests. So, the way you stock your bar should definitely keep your guest preferences in mind. Are you inviting people, like my older sister, who loves a cocktail made of Rum or Vodka but couldn’t tell you the name of a Scotch or Whisky? Then leave out the last two. If however you know you’re inviting guests who offer you Balvenie neat when you visit their house on a Wednesday evening (yes, you, my dearest friend), you better have that available at the bar!
At the end of the day, it’s best to have a great mix of liquor available. One of the things you’ll encounter when trying to decide on your liquor choices are the shelf height (not literally) but rather should you go bottom shelf (i.e rail), mid-shelf (i.e call) or top shelf (i.e premium). If you’re wondering how to divide up type of liquor for your wedding - consider this:
Vodka and Rum
These are the most commonly used liquors in mixed drinks and will likely go fast. Consider getting rail versions (but not the ones that burn when they go down!)
There are always people who like a good margarita or other cocktails like a tequila sunrise. Budget Tequila makes everyone feel so disrespected the next day (worst.hangovers.ever) so use a mid-shelf type of Tequila.
**Wondering what mixers to get? Consider orange juice, sweet-and-sour mix, cola, grenadine, margarita mix, daiquiri mix, tonic water, seltzer, and other sodas. **
Scotch and Whisky
Definitely splurge here. Guests who love their Scotch or Whisky will appreciate it. Trust me.
Now let's talk about beer and wine briefly. You’ll come across suggestions of only serving beer and wine at weddings as a way to cut costs, but in reality, you end up wasting money! Why? Because guests don’t drink as much beer as you may think and you will be stuck with cases of untouched beer that you probably won’t be able to return unless you bought it from a place like Ace Beverage.
My suggestion: Wine - yes. Beer - in moderation. Beer and Wine only - no.
Keep all your guests (and yourself!) satisfied by having a range of liquor options that will keep the party going all night long!
What are your thoughts on liquor options at weddings? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.