Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Bar 101’

The Wedding Booze (or You’re gonna charge me how much?!)

Monday, November 29th, 2010

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By Hunter Stiebel from The Broke Ass Bride

Gentlemen, congratulations on deciding to make the commitment of your life to your one true love! That is some manly s*#t you are pulling off. Since the moment you got down on bended knee, I bet you’ve had a bunch of  Conversations with your girlfriend, ahem pardon me, Fiancée, about the wedding. While your wife may be
transfixed as to how every detail must be perfectly beautiful, your top priority is more likely “How can we make this the funnest damn party I ever did throw?”

If that’s not the case, WAKE UP BROTHA!!! If this is going to be the most cash you’ve ever thrown down on a party, don’t you think it should be the most fun party humanly possible? Right. So, how do you make sure your wedding is a blast? Two simple words my friends: Food and Booze. A well-fed and buzzed wedding guest is an ecstatic, loving guest. As I write this I’m stuffed but sober, so lets focus on booze.

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This groom knows that booze is important even before the wedding – photo Shannon Lee Images

“But Hunter” you say, “I’m trying to have a budget wedding.” Fear not my friend, the wedding that only serves pizza, wine and beer will beat out the tea tolling wedding where diamonds are hung from every corner any day of the week. But As the old saying goes, “Ya want booze? Cash you’re gonna loose.” Hmmm I’m not sure that’s a saying, but the one thing I do know is that when it comes to a wedding, couples are taken off guard by how much the holy spirits of the party end up costing them.  So here are some tips so you don’t get caught in the money pit behind the boozy curtain.

1) Location Location Location. Its sad how many times I’ve heard a couple think they’ve found the perfect location at the perfect price with no knowledge of the numbers they are soon to see. The rental was a steal, they even put down the deposit but then they found out that no outside liquor was allowed and the bar cost up to tens of thousands of dollars.  One of the first questions you want to ask a location is what is your catering/liquor policy. Some are flexible others are not.

2) The best way to pull off a cheap wedding bar will always be to bring in your own booze. Some locations will charge you to do this rather than use their services. Pop out the calculator and see if it’s worth it. Most likely it is. Sometimes it’s an insurance issue. See if your caterer or your planner has insurance that will cover you doing your own bar.

3) If the facility has no lee way on their bar policies, an easy way to save is by closing the bar after cocktail hour and serving only wine and beer with dinner.

signature-whiskey-cocktails4) Another route is to nix the full bar and go with a few signature cocktails plus wine and beer. We did a pear martini and called it… wait for it… “The Perfect Pear”.  Have a cocktail with the taste preferences of the bride and one of the grooms. Folks will love this bit of wedding inspiration and by drink two they’ll be everyone’s favorite.

5) Still trying to save a few more dollars? Doing just wine and beer is just fine and don’t let nobody tell ya different. No matter what your guests are into, they should be cool with one or the other. Consider tapping a keg to keep costs down, and don’t be afraid to cleverly re-label your cheap neighborhood wine and suddenly two buck chuck is a unique wedding vino.

Going one of these routes should make everyone happy. If someone isn’t happy with those choices, then that’s their problem and they were going to find something to complain about no matter what. Why did you invite that person anyway…? Oh right, they’re your third cousin. Yeah, third cousins are the worst… unless they are the person you happen to be marrying. If that’s the case may you live happily ever, and may I be the first to make a toast to your future children with lovely large chins.

Cheers!

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Hunter Stiebel A.K.A The Fresh Hubby is president of Broke-Ass Media and regular contributor and editor of the award winning The Broke-Ass Bride. The Broke-Ass Bride website inspires and empowers readers to make the most of what they have by using creative, outside-the-box ideas rooted in practical advice to have a bad-ass wedding on any budget. Also, The Broke-Ass Bride has non-stop weekly giveaways and deals… it’s kind of nuts.

Wedding Festivities: To Drink or Not to Drink

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Now I like a good party as much as the next guy, actually I enjoy it more than the next guy, but you need to know when to say when and how much you can take.  I have seen countless grooms and guests get right hammered not only at the wedding but at events leading up to the wedding.  Some have been funny, but some were just uncalled for and way over the top.  You need to know when you can hit the bar and when you need to hang back and just maintain the buzz.  From my years of experience of attending and partaking, I humbly offer you the following advice.

Wedding drinking: yay or nay?

Wedding drinking: yay or nay?

The Bachelor Party

Since the beginning of time, the bachelor party has been a rite of passage for the groom and a good old fashioned booze up!  But beware, it’s also the time your friends will try to get you back for all the crap you have piled on them in the years past.  I had a groom head off for a stag only to get waaaay too drunk and his friends thought it would be a good idea to draw all over him, and I do mean ALL over him with permanent sharpie marker.  Funny at the time, not so funny when you wake up and have to go to work on Monday.  Everyone has heard the urban legend of waking up in Mexico or the middle of the Vegas desert, while these stories may not be entirely true, I do caution you, as a groom to watch your intake at your stag.  Make it fun but don’t make an ass of yourself.  For a cautionary Bachelor Party tale go rent “Very Bad Things” on DVD.

The Rehearsal Dinner

This event usually takes place the night before your wedding.  So it should be a no-brainer not to tie one on.  The last thing you want to do is stand across from your bride as you sweat out last night’s tequila.  Or even worse, puke during the ceremony.  It’s one thing to be sitting in a pew all hung over but it’s an entirely different thing to be up in front of all your friends and family swaying back and forth.  This will go for your groomsmen as well.  You and your groomsmen are the hosts, or you should be.  It’s your jobs to make sure everyone gets to know each other at the rehearsal, there will be plenty of time for a drink, feel free to ride the buzz at the dinner, but don’t go overboard.  People will wanting to talk to you and take your picture so you want the conversations to be remembered and the photos to look good, no wonky drunk eyes for you my friend.

The Ceremony

Most officiants I deal with will call off the wedding and refuse to marry you if they smell the sweet, sweet nectar on your breath.  Plus it’s illegal to sign a binding contract if you’re pissed (not sure if this counts in the record industry though) I can’t say it more plainly…don’t get hammered before the ceremony.  On my wedding day we decided it was ok to drink champagne and red bull while we got ready.  When the photographer came in and asked me if I was nervous, I said “No, why?”  Well I was shaking so damn much from that red bull, the stuff tasted great but man it did a number on you.  We stopped and out came the water.  I also had a best man who drank so much before the ceremony I got to see him puke, right before I stuffed him into a walk in freezer for 45 minutes to slow down his blood flow.  He made it through the (thankfully) short ceremony and passed out 10 minutes into the photo session.  I don’t think he’s still friends with the groom.

The Reception

Well, you made it through the day, time to get your drink on right!?!?!?  This is tricky because people will be getting you drinks, shots and all those toasts.  Keep in mind your food intake for the day, you may not have eaten much.  As we all know, this will impact your tolerance.  Drinking in the heat, also does a number on you.  I tell my guys to go easy during the cocktail hour, eat as many hors d’oeuvres as you can and I usually recommend 1 – 2 glasses of champagne (‘cause it’s classy)  Try not to really hit the sauce until after you give your speech.  You may not be as funny as you think after a few drinks so beware, your entire family is listening to you.  Again, this goes for your groomsmen as well.  And on a parting note, booze can ruin a good night in the sack, so keep in mind it’s your WEDDING NIGHT you fool, this is one night you really want to give that Oscar winning performance.

Simon’s Gutsy Groom Advice

So in closing, drink is good, too much drink is bad.  Too much drink and all your boys around can be even worse.  I attended a wedding rehearsal and the groom had a few drinks and horsing around in the parking lot, well he tripped on one of those parking spot markers, the big concrete things and fell face first (from a run) into the parking lot.  He was OK, but he had more makeup on than his bride at the ceremony the next day.

You may be the guests of honor, but it’s also your job to make sure everyone else is having a good time.  You need to be on the ball enough to be able to get up and dance with Grandma, hold a decent conversation with Uncle Charlie and take your new wife to bed at the end of the night, so watch your consumption pal, you’ll be having a great time and it WILL sneak up on you.

One last event I neglected to mention is the brunch the next day.  If you’re having one, all your guests will be there, there will be food and you will have to talk to people.  Getting up in the morning, being nice and being able to eat can be tough if you got rip roaring drunk the night before.  But you have to be “on” ‘cause it’s your event dude.

If you drink a full pint of water for every drink at the reception I find that works pretty well, and of course a few pints of water before you head to bed.  You’ll need the energy!!!

Guys, please don’t drink and drive and don’t let your guests do it either, apart from spilling your drink if you crash it’s a total dumb ass thing to do.

Simon Daykin is an award winning event designer, planner and groom stylist with Fire Fly Occasions. Simon strives to get grooms involved in the wedding planning process and have their opinions heard. He understands that grooms can get left out or pushed out of the planning process so he’s here to help. You can connect with him further on Google+.

A Signature Cocktail You Can Proudly Sign Off On

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
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Spice up the wedding reception with a signature cocktail.

Sure, everyone has champagne at the cocktail hour…BORING!  Add some of your personality by designing your own signature drink for your guests.  This is not a scotch bar, or tequila tasting bar, this is drink that you have created (or borrowed) specifically for your wedding.  Choosing the drink can be just as much fun as drinking it.  If you are a Vodka lover, add some vodka into the mix, maybe you can have the drink match your wedding colors or the theme of the wedding.

Ice, Ice Baby

I like my drinks cold, but I dislike ice in my drink.  Martini’s are cold and they have no ice in them, that’s because they are mixed with the ice, then poured out.  Well that’s pretty standard fare huh.  Let’s take that up a notch.  Gentlemen, I present to you the Ice Luge.  It’s cooler that a plain ice sculpture and booze comes out of it!  Cold booze!  Plus you can really get creative with the design, just remember to run it by your fiancé first…she may not appreciate an ice bust of her and the booze comes out of the nose.  You can work the design of the luge into your theme, we did a wedding where the couple loved to swing dance and music was a big part of the wedding so we had a saxophone ice luge designed for them.

It’s Was a Shot, But Now It’s a Cocktail

This is a trick we used at our wedding, we had a shot that both my wife and I loved.  But it isn’t too classy to be doing shots at the cocktail hour.  So we simply increased the amounts and turned it into a cocktail.  It was Jagermeister, peach schnapps and cranberry juice.  We had it mixed in a martini shaker (so it’s cold without ice) and served either in a martini glass or a rock glass.  It tasted great, was 1 of our signature drinks and we called it the “Groomsman Surprise”.  So if there is a mixed shot you like, grab the ingredients and turn it into cocktail…and no, adding 3 ounces to your 1 ounce shot of tequila and putting it in a bigger glass does not make it a cocktail fellas.

His & Hers & Theirs

Now, there is no rule that says you can only have 1 signature drink.  You can have as many as you like without it getting out of hand.  I would max it out at 4.  This way you can have a drink named for the groom, one for the bride and one for each bridal party.  You could do 3 and have one for the couple and one for each of the bridal parties.  Keep it fun, name them something silly (not vulgar though), maybe have a separate menu printed up to go on the bar stating the name and ingredients of your signature drinks.

Simon’s Gutsy Groom Advice

Signature drinks are great at a cocktail hour, they get people talking, they taste good and they will leave an impression on your guests.  I find a lot of people talking about the signature drink and what the name was and did you have one???  Plus with posting your wedding photos on Facebook now, people can tag the drink if they want.  It really just opens up a lot of possibilities for fun and adding that little bit of unique to your wedding day.

You could also incorporate this into your “man shower”, have your guys bring their favorite drink recipes with them and then mix the drinks, pick a winner or 2 and hand out the prizes.  Just make sure that after you’re done tasting, you have places for the guys to crash, so they don’t drink & drive.

Simon Daykin is an award winning event designer, planner and groom stylist with Fire Fly Occasions. Simon strives to get grooms involved in the wedding planning process and have their opinions heard. He understands that grooms can get left out or pushed out of the planning process so he’s here to help. You can connect with him further on Google+.

Signature Wedding Cocktails

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
Photo by Marco Veringa

Photo by Marco Veringa

In lieu of having an open bar at your wedding you can serve beer, wine and a signature cocktail. Signature cocktails are not only cost effective but they can also help add a more festive mood to your wedding. We found a delicious drink for every season, rename it to fit your wedding theme and you’ll be all set. So if you grooms out there really want to impress your fiancé, run some of these signature cocktails by her. Cheers!

Summer Wedding – Lucky Pears Faux-jito
2 oz. Cabana Cachaça
2 oz. Pineapple juice
Splash of club soda

Directions:
In an ice-filled glass, add equal parts cabana Cachaça and pineapple juice, add a splash of club soda and stir. If desired, add passion fruit puree.

This drink recipe was created and submitted by Cabana Cachaca.

Fall Wedding  – Pumpkin Martini Recipe
If you can, try to track down some pumpkin-infused vodka. If not, try a blend of 2 1/2 ounces cinnamon vodka and 1/2 ounce Bols Pumpkin Smash Liqueur.

3 ounces Infused Spiced Pumpkin Vodka
1 ounce Amaretto
Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

Directions:
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice.
Stir gently and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Recipe created by Felix Albano, The bar at Fifty Seven Fifty Seven, NY

Winter Wedding  -  Winter Wonderland Peppermintini
1 1/2 oz. (3 tbsp.) 80-proof vodka Winter Cocktails: Peppermintin
2 tsp. Coffee-mate Sugar Free French Vanilla powdered creamer
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda)
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
Optional Garnish: 1 small candy cane

Directions:
Place powdered creamer and sweetener in a glass. Add 1/4 cup warm water and stir to dissolve.

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Add creamer mixture, vodka, and peppermint extract. Cover and shake well, until mixture is cold.
Strain into a martini glass. If you like, garnish with a candy cane leaning jauntily on the rim. This one is even low in calories!

Recipe from Hungry-girl.com

Spring Wedding – Lavendar Sapphire Collins
3/4-ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2-ounce lavender syrup
1-1/2 ounce Bombay Sapphire gin
3 ounces club soda

Directions:

Squeeze half a lemon into a Collins glass, add lavender syrup and gin. Stir and fill with ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Recipe from Sheknows.com

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Thanks to Susan from BravoBride.com for this guest post

Also worth checking out – The Man Registry’s Bachelor Party Cocktail Ideas

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