The story is that the French monk, Dom Perignon was the inventor of Champagne. A monk found a bottle that had been through a second fermentation, popped the top and declared “I am tasting the stars!”. Or so the story goes.
Sterling Silver Wedding - If you have a certain amount of money in mind, with clever planning you can still have wonderful wines.
Start by asking your venue for their list of wines and their prices. If they don’t appeal to you then don’t be scared to ask if they offer other wines. Most venues will not let you supply the wines yourself so, it’s a good idea to visit a liquor retailer and look at all the different sparkling wines they have. Purchase a few for tasting and then see if your venue will order your favourite in for you, or could they suggest a similar wine that they could supply?
This is especially important for Champagne as only sparkling wine from the Champagne region can be called Champagne, and of course it comes with a premium price. However, literally across the road from the border of the Champagne region are some amazing French sparkling wines. An example is the Cremant De Bougogne, which you can pick up for under $18 in any 6. French bubbles needn’t be expensive.
If you are happy to consider bubbles from other countries – perhaps as a nod to your heritage, don’t forget Prosecco (Italian), Cava (Spanish) and even England has sparkling. There are many good Australian bubbles too, but try and steer clear of the standard Yellowglen and look around at other options which start at the $7 to $9 mark.
TIP: Have the toast straight after the wedding ceremony when everyone mingles. This is where you drink the best wine you have, as it is the first wine of the night. It’s also a great way to get people together for a group photo. You could even give a 200ml piccolo sized bottle to everyone as they walk out of the ceremony.
Credit: Perrier Jouet
14 Karat Gold Wedding – I would avoid the usual Champagnes, such as Moet, Veuve and Mumm and consider lesser-known brands, unless you really want to show them off. True Champagne starts at about $30 a bottle but there is a great Australian sparkling option called Arras Premium which comes in at $20.90 when it’s on special.
Platinum Wedding – Firstly - don’t forget my invite! Secondly, decide if you want the best wines you can afford or are you looking to make a statement about how much you spent on your wedding? It’s okay - we’ve all done it. Well-known brands are easy but small producers often make amazing wines that will get people talking. Brands to look out for are Lanson, Charles Orban Blanc De Blancs, Perrier Jouet, Pommery and an Aussie sparkling, Arras vintage.
TIP: Ask the venue if you can have ice buckets on the tables with the champagne in them so your friends can see what they are drinking. I love big format bottles, and nothing says “party” like a Magnum. Another option is a champagne bar which allows your guests to select what they would like. I know this could be dangerous!
Other Things to Consider
It is tradition in some cultures to have a bottle of spirits on each of the tables for people to drink and this is to show they are generous hosts. Russians like vodka, Italians like grappa, some like Johnny Walker black etc. When it comes to alcohol intake, I suggest you think very carefully how you want your guests to be at the end of the event. Having an amazing event does not include picking someone up from the floor or breaking up a fight.
Credit: Food & Desire
The tab can sky rocket depending on what people are drinking, so our tip is to specify that only certain drinks are available under the tab and the remainder are removed. Get an itemised bill and consider serving low alcohol wines for people who don’t drink often.
If you have a venue with an outdoor area, for a point of difference and glamour think about having a cigar and/or cognac bar. The allure of a cigar after a few drinks will be a welcome break away and great conversation space for your guests.
The Golden Rule: It is ultimately your day; you want to remember it and be standing till the end. Weddings are a time to share with your friends the statement that you are together forever. This means good conversation, good food, wine, friends, family and most of all special memories.
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