Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Saving Money on Alcohol


One of the ways we cut back on the alcohol costs for our wedding was to forgo an open bar. As much as I like to give people options, it just wasn't financially feasible.

Instead, we decided to serve two beer options, two wine options, and a "signature drink." Since we served Mexican food at our reception, our drink of choice was frozen margaritas.

I'm planning something similar for my birthday party. The party starts at my house with cocktails and photographs. In an effort to save money, I'd like to serve a signature drink rather than a bunch of different types of alcohol. However, it's difficult to attempt to pick one thing that will appeal to different people.

One of my friends suggested frozen pomegranate margaritas or apple martinis.

Another friend suggested offering vodka with three different juice options: cranberry, orange, and grapefruit. That way, we'd get three different drink options for the price of one.

I was thinking sangria.

Any other ideas?


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20 comments:

Shelley said...

Sangria all the way. It's cheap. Easy to make, cute to garnish and gets people tipsy. You can't go wrong. Seek me for a recipe, birthday girl.

Hannah Noel said...

I don't actually know what Sangria is. I guess I'm still too inexperienced of a drinker. I'm barely 21!

I tasted an appletini once and liked it!

Rachel said...

For my most recent birthday party we did "desserts and drinks". Besides offering several dessert and cheese options, we set up 5 stations - each had a drink recipe (in a frame) and the needed ingredients. We came up with recipes based on what alcohol we already had on hand...and created funky names for each drink - Obamskies (black russians), McCainskies (white russians)...can you tell it was election season? Rachel-tinis (cosmos with malibu rum), Its just another Tequila Sunrise (teq sunrises), and 2 Tickets to Paradise (tropical rum drink). It all went over very well - everyone wanted to try one each!

Sage said...

Since you're doing a retro prom theme, I think you should serve some kind of retro old-timey drink...like gimlets!

Sara said...

Sangria is my favorite planet! If you wanted to offer a couple of options you could even do a white sangria and a red sangria.

I also like the vodka/juice idea. You could set up a tray of citrus garnishes, too, which would be inexpensive but would fill out the bar and add to the options. If you wanted to go a step further you could add a bottle of rum (or coconut rum) and some pineapple juice to the mix, which would extend the options even more.

Good luck and happy planning!

Meg said...

I'm all for pleasing the crowd, but you seem intent on downplaying the fact that this is YOUR BIRTHDAY! Doesn't that mean you get to serve your favorite drink?!

I'm with you on sangria all the way, birthday or no. Since it's a retro prom theme party, you could serve the Sangria as "punch" in a big punch bowl with a ladle. Very prom appropriate. You might even get a couple of people to man the punch bowl, like in the old days!

Have a great time! Sounds like an awesome party!

AmyJean said...

I love the signature drink idea... what about naming them "something borrowed" "something blue" etc... or some cute names, and you can easily just change it by only using a few different alcohols :)

I love vodka, and sangria and margaritas... i'd be happy with anything provided though lol :)

RelentlessBride

Diana said...

ooh my vote is for Sangria!

on a totally unrelated note I am extremely inspired by your wedding and the creative ways you worked things to stick to your budget, but still incorporate yourselves into the wedding. Especially the invitations you made. I've been toying with the idea of just getting a kit and running them through the printer but it feels cheap and impersonal to me. So I am going to enlist my artistic sister in helping me make a few samples of watercolor invitations.

Thank you so much for blogging about your wedding and putting it all up there to inspire others.

Steph B said...

Shelly & others,
I'd love to hear good sangria recipes. Thanks!

Steph B said...

Oops.. Shelley & others.
Sorry!

professional daydreamer said...

I'd love to see Shelley's recipe, too. Sangrias are probably going to be the only alcohol at my wedding. I've never made it by following recipe before and my results are always varied, and I'd like this particular batch to definitely be good....

Ten Thousand Only said...

sangria sounds mahhhhhhvelous.

"cocktails and photographs" = best party ever no matter what.

PLANNING ON PENNIES said...

rum would work quite the same way vodka would... but people could have the option of rum & sodas as well as fruit juices.

future Mrs. Jones said...

I vote for Sangria, keep the latin theme going.

Julia said...

the only problem I forsee with Sangria is all of the fruit to garnsh might end up being quite expensive.

I love the idea of doing a "spiked" punch - great for the prom theme.

Elle Dubs said...

My cousin gave everyone 3 drink tickets at their table, on top of the bottle of red and white wine for dinner. What was so smart about this was that many people would not need that many drinks, and the tickets would get naturally distributed to some of the younger guests who would want to party a little more. But by having a drink ticket system, there is also much less waste; people aren't cavalier about leaving half-finished scotches around. And one could make the tickets look all retro and pretty if so inclined...

megan said...

i think rum, vodka, and some juices are all you need to make it appealing to everyone. just stay away from red bull and things will stay budget-friendly. (oh, and Specs takes 10% off if you pay in cash!)

as far as weddings go: my fiance and i aren't on a $2,000 budget because his parents have been kind enough to offer a decent amount of money. they just married off his brother, and i saw the stress new his wife brought to my future in-laws. i don't want to be that girl, so i'm going the DIY route for a lot of the stuff. (Plus, we're contributing what we can, and especially for anything extra we want) Our venue also allows us to bring in our own alcohol, so that will save us about 75% on that.

Anonymous said...

Go to www.buyape.net They have a activated carbon that you can use to filter cheap liquor. When your done you'll have something that taste like you paid three times as much for. It works!

daniella said...

Could you do the same thing with a Brita filter?

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