Wedding Roundup: All Things Food & Drink!

Plates & glasses ready to be filled! Photo from The Wedding Lens!

A lot of wedding planning stress stems from finding the “right” foods and drinks — among everything else. All of it relates to budgeting, passions, and tastebuds. In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought this would be a great time to roundup all the posts we’ve done on food!

Wedding Question: What Food and Drinks Should We Spend the Most Money On?

Picking Wedding Reception Food!

To Buffet or Not To Buffet: Food at the Wedding Reception

What To Do About Menu Cards

Choosing the Drinks!

How to Have a Dry Wedding

Do you have wedding food or drink questions? Email me! natasha@theweddinglens.com!

Til then, happy eating & drinking!

~ Natasha

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Wedding Question: Champagne or Sparkling Wine?

A lovely "champagne" toast! Photo from The Wedding Lens!

As always, we love getting questions from readers. Here’s the latest reader question:

My fiance and I are trying to buy champagne for our wedding toast. Most of them are so expensive, though. Is it too cheap of us to get sparkling wine instead? Or do other people do this too?

Good question! I think this comes up a lot. You should know that “champagne” is sparkling wine that comes from Champagne, France. So anything that’s not from Champagne, France can’t be called champagne — but they can be just as tasty! California and Italy have delicious sparkling wines that are perfect for the “champagne” toast. Most people will not know the difference, you’ll save a few bucks, and everyone gets to toast you & your signifiance other!

Good luck! And congratulations! And don’t forget to share photos of your toast!

~ Natasha

Got wedding questions? Ask me! Email natasha@theweddinglens.com.

What Foods and Drinks Should You Spend or Save On?

I just answered a reader’s question about whether she should spend more on the food or drinks at her wedding. I gave a bunch of suggestions — but I’m curious whether you agree with my advice! If you want to remember what I said…. here is my thoughts on where you can save money on your foods & drinks. Remember to look at our cheap wedding tips if you’re looking to save money in ALL areas of your wedding!

Happy eating & drinking!

~ Natasha

Wedding Question: What Food & Drinks Should I Spend the Most Money On?

Photo from The Wedding Lens

We just received this question from a reader: I am in the process of figuring out the food and drinks for my wedding. I’m not (yet) over budget, but I’m having a hard time figuring out where I should bother to put in the extra money and where it will make no difference! What is it that people notice the most and what won’t they care about?

Great question! It’s always hard to know where the extra money on food and drinks will make the difference. Here’s my advice:

First, spend a little more on great appetizers & h’oeuvres. People remember the first bits of food they eat — because it’s usually right after the ceremony and before the alcohol kicks in!

Second, spend a little less on the main courses. You can do this by having a buffet or by selecting less expensive options with your caterer (or at the restaurant — depending on the venue). Most of the time people dont expect fabulous main courses. And by then, they’re chatting and drinking and ready to dance! Usually chicken and fish dishes are less expensive than steak, but that’s not always the case. And, of course, be sure it’s something you don’t mind eating!

Third, save some money on drinks and alcohol by sticking with beer and wine (or just wine!). Once you start getting into purchasing hard alcohol and mixers, things go downhill for the wallet. If you do decide to purchase hard alcohol, try to make purchases that mix well with the non-alcoholic beverages you’re already going to have. For example, if you’re already going to have cola, go for a rum to mix with that cola! You get the idea.

Hope that helps! Good luck!

~ Natasha

Choosing the drinks!

Most people know that there’s a whole process for figuring out the food and catering at the wedding – mostly taste tests. One of the food-related areas that does NOT require taste testing (unless you’d like?) is selecting the alcohol for the wedding.

photo from The Wedding Lens

photo from The Wedding Lens

There are a few ways that the couple can go: wine, wine & beer, hard alcohol, or no alcohol. And any combination thereabouts. Oh! And the champagne!

If your venue provides options, then you can weigh the taste + cost value yourself. Obviously you have to work within your budget — and it is unlikely that a venue that already provides wines will have bad ones available as options.  If the venue does not provide the alcohol, and you have a favorite wine, beer or hard alcohol that you want to have (and it’s within your budget) – go for it!

If you are at a loss about where to start, I have a few suggestions:

Selecing the wine & champagne: Go to a wine shop in your area. Many times the people who work there are very knowledgeable and can give you tips on what you might want, given what you are having as food and what your budget is. And sometimes you can get a discount that way!

Note on champagne: “Champagne” is only from France, and therefore expensive. There are sparkling wines from California that are equivalent to champagne — but from California, instead of France. Those are a bit cheaper since they’re not imported.

Selecting the beer: Local wine shops may also sell beer, but they might not be able to help you with what works best. Since people don’t think about paring beer with food, you should go with what you like and what you can afford. If you don’t know anything about beer, you should ask your friends and family members who might be more knowledgeable.

Selecting the hard alcohol: Usually people have preferences about what kinds of hard alcohol they like — rum, vodka, tequila, scotch. Perhaps start with a list of the ones you prefer and the brands you prefer and then cut from the list until it is within your price range. (Incidentally, one blog says that selecing the booze is a great way to get the groom involved in the planning because he’s naturally going to have preferences!

How much to buy?? If you’re looking for a guide for how much to buy (and you’re getting all of the above), check on this site. Another site says that the general rule of thumb is one drink per person per hour. This includes everyone — since some people won’t drink at all and some people will have more than one an hour.

One other note: make sure that the venue has a liquor license!

Happy drinking!

~ Natasha