Equally as important as the food at a wedding reception are the drinks. People love to be invited to weddings because usually a large amount of alcohol is consumed and offered for free. This is great for the guests but not so great for the bride and groom. To cut back on the tremendous costs of alcohol serve a signature drink, beer, wine, and champagne. Hosting your wedding earlier in the day rather than at night is another way to cut the costs of the drinks because people tend to drink less during the day. Buy the wine by the case wholesale (instead of through the caterer) as most merchants provide discounts that may increase if you purchase multiple cases. Wine purchased through the caterer can cost twice as much and although he will charge you a corkage fee to pour in the long run you will be able to spend more money on other areas of the wedding (like the invitations!). Instead of buying regular sized bottles of wine get magnums (bottles double the size of a regular 350 ml bottle) as it costs less per ounce and you'll cut the cost of corkage in half. Don't offer champagne all night long but splurge on an extravagant bottle and make sure each guest gets a glass during a special toast to the happy newlyweds. To see the signature cocktails I've mixed up for Julie and Scott's wedding and the wine pairings to go with the menu please,

Offer one bottle of red and one bottle of white wine for guests to choose from. People always expect the traditional Merlot and Chardonnay so steer clear of these boring old wines and choose an unexpected red and white. A Zinfandel is a wonderful pairing with the steak with shallots and Lyonnaise potatoes. I recommend a medium bodied smooth wine like Joel Gott's 2005 Zinfandel. Serve a luscious, fresh, crisp Sauvignon Blanc like Sula's 2003 vintage. For the champagne you can't go wrong with a bottle of Dom Perignon.

The colors of Julie and Scott's wedding are white, black, and blue so I came up with a white cocktail option, I'm calling What The Doctor Ordered because they both will be doctor's by the date of the wedding and a vibrant blue concoction called a JS Fizz (for Julie and Scott of course!).

What The Doctor Ordered
From Martha Stewart

1 Cup white-cranberry juice
4 Ounces vodka
2 Ounces Cointreau

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add cranberry juice, vodka, and Cointreau.
  3. Shake to combine well. Strain into two large martini glasses.
  4. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.

JS Fizz
From Drinks Mixer

1 dash Blue Curacao liqueur
1 dash amaretto almond liqueur
1 dash lemon juice

  1. Pour blue curacao, amaretto and lemon juice into a champagne flute.
  2. Fill with champagne.
  3. Stir, add a squirt of lemon, and serve.

What did you pour at your wedding? At mine I want a champagne fountain! Share your thoughts and ideas below...