How NOT to save money at your wedding reception

How to save money on alcohol, at your wedding!

Let’s start with the what NOT to save money on – if you NEED an alcohol license, get one. That isn’t a place to cut corners. It is only a couple of hundred dollars, but it could quickly spoil your day, if you aren’t licensed.

Apply for Wedding Alcohol License (Banquet License)

If you are planning your special day anywhere other than your home or an establishment with a liquor license and wish to serve alcohol you may need to apply for (and obtain, in time!) a one-day alcohol license — otherwise known as Banquet License (apply here).

Here is a handy infographic for checking to see WHO is responsible for the license. Because you might NOT be responsible, but you need to know, now, in the planning stages. The venue or the caterer is probably responsible – and there are also a few situations that allow you to serve, without a permit! But, if you need a license, apply here.

While we are talking about serving alcohol, if you are hiring servers and bartenders, you’ll want to make sure that they are legal and compliant and they know how to make sure no one drives away intoxicated, at the end of the wedding. They’ll need server training to be compliant with Virginia serving laws. TOAST Academy training is online and only costs $29.95. Our alcohol seller/service training and certification insures responsible and legal pouring, at your wedding reception. Take training here.

After you have obtained your license, figure out your budget for alcohol and what you’d like to drink.

1) the least expensive way to go is a single-pour champagne toast

2) another low-cost solution is to serve only beer and wine

3) the next step up is to serve a Signature Cocktail (all the rage, right now)

Saving money on alcohol shouldn’t be a cash bar – when you invite people to your wedding, you need to offer food and drinks. But you can be trendy AND save money with the very trendy Signature Drink (and only one drink offered – along with water/soda – can save a lot of money). The Signature Drink can be a memory, a location, a view, or something to do with the season that you get married. This special drink means something to the season, to you as a couple, to your family or to the state that you are getting married in. Here are some ideas:

  • Champagne Punch
  • Fruity Cocktails over crushed ice 
  • Hot Cider
  • Jello Shots 
  • Margaritas
  • Mojitos
  • Mulled Wine
  • Rum Punch
  • Whiskey Lemonade

Your wedding should contain the happiest memories of your life – and it shouldn’t bring years of debt with it.  Make sure your day is not only magical, but safe and legal, too. 

*Disclaimer: This article and its contents represent the opinions of the author only and is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. ABC Consulting is a private consulting firm, in way do we represent the VA ABC Authority. You should not act upon any such information without seeking qualified professional advice based upon your situation.

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