Let’s face it, weddings can be expensive – and there seems to be endless ways your precious finances can be drained! Beverages can be a significant proportion of your budget, so choosing a BYO wedding venue in Christchurch like Waipuna can save you significant dollars! Not to mention, it offers a great way for you to inject your own personality into your wedding.

We’ve put together a list of things to help you when thinking about the beverages for your BYO wedding.

BYO Wedding Champagne

How much do we buy?

This is probably one of the most common questions we hear and unfortunately, it is not a one size fits all answer! Many factors need to be considered, first and foremost your budget. That will help determine how much and what beverages you have on offer. You will also want to consider what sort of drinkers your guests are. A common rule of thumb is to supply one drink per person, per hour. This is a good starting point and you may find you need to bump up your supply a bit or lessen the amount depending on your guests. Remember that not everyone will be drinking – some people will be driving. There are also some great online calculators too that can help determine amounts.

Another helpful thing to consider is when you intend to serve all your beverages. We often find couples will serve a bubbly wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages until dinner is served. Still wine is then served with the meal. This option could potentially help with keeping your budget lower too.


What do we buy?

Unless you have some specific thoughts on the type of beverages you want to serve, our biggest advice in this area is to keep it simple! Don’t feel you have to offer a wine list that is comparable to a restaurant – you don’t! What’s more, it is often too much choice for your guests. So, keep it simple, usually two or three varieties of white or rose and one red is plenty. Likewise, with beer, two or three different lagers is more than enough (unless you are a craft beer enthusiast or have a preference). Bubble are always popular and depending on your tastes, there are a wide variety of bubbles at different price points. Cider is also a popular option – again there are plenty of great options at a range of pricing.

From our experience, spirits are not commonly supplied. If you would like to offer some, you could have some spirits put aside for later in the night or offer pre-mix RTDs.

Don’t forget to make sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic options available – these are popular!


Where to buy?

You have a number of options here. Supermarkets often have some great specials on and offer the chance to slowly stockpile your supply over a period – helping with the budget again!
Buying from a liquor store also has advantages as many offer a returns policy on anything that isn’t opened. This is a great option if you don’t want to be left with an oversupply of alcohol!
Another option is to buy from a local wine merchant – we recommend Wine Divine in Rolleston. Wine Divine offer the option of a pre-wedding tasting (how fun does that sound?!), expert advice and they will even deliver all your wine, so you don’t need to!

So, there you have it, our thoughts on the things to consider when you have a BYO wedding venue. It’s important to remember that while BYO venues are not licensed, that doesn’t mean we don’t take host responsibility very seriously. Keeping you and your guests safe is paramount. We do require you to have dedicated bar staff and we will ensure people drink responsibly.

Finally, if you are having your wedding at Waipuna, we take care of lots of the small details to do with your beverages. We have plenty of fridge space to keep your drinks cool, we also supply drinking water, ice and all the glassware. Oh, and we don’t have any corkage charges at all – which in itself is a massive saving! Choosing a BYO wedding venue is a great option.

Any other questions to do with BYO weddings? We’d love to help, drop us a comment below and we’ll get in touch. Download our wedding information here.