Are You Being Served?

At risk of sounding like a pair of alcoholics, Paul and I like a drink.  We don’t tend to drink during the week, but we do associate alcohol with having a good time, and some of my favourite ‘us’ moments are when we’ve had a drink in hand: a bath-time proposal whilst supping champagne, watching comets shoot across the sky whilst enjoying a late night beer on holiday in France, drinking with friends round a camp fire, saying ‘I love you’ to each other for the first time in the corner of a pub… (and again the following morning when sober, thankfully).

As such the drinks are an important aspect of our wedding.  With no licence to sell alcohol at our barn venue, we will be providing all the booze, and I’m particularly looking forward to taking a couple of trips across the water to Calais to stock up.

So today I thought I’d share some images and ideas of what we plan to serve and how we plan to serve it.  Well, it is Friday after all.

The Post-Ceremony Drinks

Tradition says champagne, I say Cava or Prosecco (both of which I prefer and are cheaper) served with a dash of my Mum’s home-made damson gin. This I will leave for the catering staff to pour and serve, but there will also be a self-service Corona and soft drink station for those who prefer their drinks a little more hoppy or… soft.  I’ve seen some pretty awesome drinks vessels from around the wedding world so far…

Beer in a boat, anyone?
(Image via Oh Lovely Day)

Or how about that rusty old bath tub you’ve got lying around out back?
(Image via Oh Lovely Day)

… but by far my favourite is the humble wheel barrow. Rustic, portable, suitable for a Kentish orchard…and a bit easier to get hold of than a bath. Or a boat.

To accompany dinner…

With food we will of course serve wine, as standard. Wine is my tipple of choice, and although I can drink it by the gallon, I’m not exactly what you’d call a connoisseur.   I was planning on sourcing, taste-testing (any excuse) and serving a nice Sauvignon Blanc for the white wine drinkers, and a hearty Rioja for the red, but then my Mum went on holiday to the south of France and came back with 35 bottles of a white wine I’ve never heard of but tastes really rather good.  Unfortunately it is unlikely that we’ll find this particular wine again in Calais, but it will be wonderful with dinner.

*On a side note, I’ve heard that you should serve your best and fullest-flavoured wines with food.  They are sipped rather than guzzled then, and your supplies will go further!*

Party time!

Of course, it is after dinner that people will really start to let their hair down, and our evening guests will arrive looking for a pardy and a well-stocked bar.

In terms of what we serve we will be keeping it simple: a choice of red or white wine, a lager and a Kentish ale, and soft drinks for those being boring sensible.  Spirits are too fiddly and too expensive but I’m toying with the idea of having a pre-mixed signature cocktail for those who don’t like wine or beer.  I know that Paul and I will have a lot of fun choosing a suitably naughty name…

I’m putting P in charge of stocking the bar and making sure we have enough.  I have a history of under-estimating how much we need when it comes to buying food or drink for parties, and this is one party where we cannot run dry.  But when it comes to making the bar look pretty… this, of course, will be my domain.

Like chair covers, I have a hatred for drinks bars which are essentially a tablecloth-covered trestle table.  They do, of course, serve their purpose and they’re cheap, but they are also boring, unimaginative and completely devoid of personality or style.

No, I like my bars high and made of wood.  And decorated with funky menus and neon signs and quirky bits and pieces.

Like this bar, first spotted on Green Wedding Shoes and immediately drooled over and pinned…

Or this bar in all it’s rustic, wooden glory…

These guys have got their funky signage and signature cocktails down to a tee…

…Whilst this giant bar sign makes my heart a flutter (and ensures that no-one gets lost).

But it is this handsome bar that wins today’s prize, made especially for the wedding by the groom:

Turns out that she is a well-know movie star and he is a celebrity carpenter, which probably made the construction and access to materials a little easier, but a sterling effort none-the-less.

So what do you do if you’re allergic to trestle tables but aren’t marrying a celebrity carpenter?  Well, I have recently stumbled across a brilliant website dedicated to selling second hand bars.  In fact it doesn’t stop at bars; second hand chairs, tables, catering equipment… if you’re getting married in a dry hire venue and want to source some interesting bits, make sure you save this website to your Favourites. Pronto.

I had started to check daily for a suitable small bar that we could potentially purchase and then sell on again after the wedding, when my Mum stepped in to make a genius suggestion once again.  She is a director for her local Am-Dram group and for a recent production of ‘Allo ‘Allo, a guy from the village made a wooden bar for the show.  With it doing nothing now but sitting in someone’s barn waiting for the next production, we’re going to go and have a look at it next time I’m down to see if it would be suitable.  I will post some pictures once I’ve been, but in the meantime… score!

Anyone else bar-my about their bar area?? (Boom boom!)  Or having difficulty deciding what drinks to serve?  Would love to hear from you on this sunny Friday afternoon.

In the meantime, have wonderful weekends all and thanks for reading :)

Sama xxx

 

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6 thoughts on “Are You Being Served?

  1. Evening!

    We too are providing our own bar … For almost 3 days not just the wedding day. our venue has no corkage and when your lover works in the drinks trade its a no brainer and something we really wanted to do Was to provide a free bar.

    On the wedding day we shall be hiring one of the caterering staff to serve the drinks at different points and run a bar effort… Which also gives them right to refuse if my alcae cousins That get a bit lairy and try to take advantage!

    We haven’t decided where and how to serve ours yet so I am loving This inspiration and I will have to begin some research. I’m not fussed on the cava situ we are thinking signature cocktails especially since Angus runs a vodka & gin distillery (chase vodka). His friends work in the beer trade so plenty freebies coming plus we may organise a local cask of lager/ale. Plus we’ll be taking some local cider from Herefordshire.

    As a non wine drinker I would say to every bride & groom make sure there are other options for drinks with dinner, it gets boring just having the water.

    More importantly it’s my 30th birthday party next weekend so I’m busy arranging the free bar for that!

    • Ok, so why don’t I know anyone in the beer or vodka trade?? How awesome! A good job though if you’re providing alcohol for three days! And a good shout about the non-wine drinkers for dinner. Will make sure they’re well-stocked. I think we will make it clear on the invites that basic booze will be provided but if people want to bring anything along with them they can. I’ve got a few friends who can’t get through a night without a couple of jaegerbombs! Thanks for commenting Sarah x

  2. Hello Lovely!!!

    So weird – John and I have been discussing bars and drinks this week too.

    It sounds like you guys have got things under control. I’m totally panicking about not having enough booze and running dry. Has Paul done some calculations?

    We’re having a ‘painting party’ this weekend – the tables are going to be pimped! Plus I’ve been collecting wooden pallets and we’re going to attempt to make a rustic bar.

    Loving the Braziers wheelbarrow picture – I can’t wait to get married there!!!

    On another note – I need to email you re coordination. Trying to get everyone formally booked up now we’re getting closer to the date!

    • Oh and one more thing…. Some supermarkets will do returns on booze if you buy to much to avoid running dry : )
      Thanks for the birthday wishes!

    • Hit me with that email! I’ll be waiting :)
      We’ve not done any calculations yet- I think he’s still reeling from me actually giving him a job. Will let you know what we work out though. It is the worst nightmare to run dry, but I guess you just need to buy LOADS and what doesn’t get used you get to keep, or even take back as Sarah says! Enjoy the painting party- great weather for it! xxx

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