10 Mar · HaFl · No Comments

BYOB: Alcohol and Wedding Venues

Planning a wedding reception is a matter of mental gymnastics, politics, and intense mathematics. Checking dietary requirements. Deciding on a seating plan. Censoring speeches. It can feel as if there’s no end to the challenges of planning a meal that lasts just a few short hours. Then there’s the question of alcohol.

Some wedding venues have strict rules regarding booze. You may constricted to the on-site bar and catering facilities. Some wedding venues offer a limited list of pre-approved suppliers. These constraints usually come down to licensing issues; it’s not a method of squeezing extra money out of you. Yet it can still be a hurdle that you’ll have to clear sooner rather than later.

At Hall Farm, we’re pretty relaxed about bringing your own booze for your wedding breakfast and reception – but we appreciate that not all wedding venues share our mindset. In this blog post, we’ll outline some of our general rules and ideas for handling the question of alcohol for your wedding.

Communicate with your Wedding Venue

We cannot stress this rule enough. If you can communicate what you want from your special day with the managing staff at your wedding venue, everything will run much smoother. Generally, the staff at your wedding venue will ask what your plans are regarding drinks for the wedding breakfast and reception. If bringing your own booze is against house rules, they’ll likely underline that with you from the start. Even if they say you can’t provide drinks for the reception, it’s worth asking the question if you can bring some of your own for the speeches. Champagne doesn’t run cheap, and a lot of wedding venues will allow you to bring some of your own beers or champagne for welcoming your guests or for during the toasts. You might find they’ll allow this – often with a small corkage charge.

Run the Numbers

If you find a wedding venue that is happy for you to supply your own drinks for the reception, you’ll have to do the maths. How much will everyone drink? This is likely a question you’ve asked, or been asked, before – albeit never on this scale. Traditionally, half a bottle of wine per person is considered a good starting point. Simply divide your guest list by two, and there you have the total number of bottles to provide during the meals. Guests usually only need one glass of fizz for the toasts, with bottles usually providing around six servings.

This is a good rule to abide by that works for weddings of all scales, yet it doesn’t account for taste. Some people drink more than others, and it’s up to you to decide if you want to cater to that or not. You’re the one who has to pay for it, after all.

A good tip is to check what time the bar at your wedding venue opens, and see if they offer earlier openings at a reasonable surcharge. That way, any guests that want to drink more can pay their own way.

Hall Farm Wedding Venues

As we mentioned earlier, at Hall Farm, we’re relaxed about bringing your own alcohol. We don’t charge a corkage fee, we only ask that you clear away any empty bottles at the end of your four day hire period. If you have any more questions about our wedding venue, please contact a member of the team.

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Hannah Flohr Hall Farm Cottages