There are lots of elements to a wedding that can eat into the budget, but one of the big money-burners is the cost of the alcohol to be served at the wedding breakfast and reception. Everyone wants their guests to relax and kick back after the formal part of the day is over, but who, except the uber-rich, can afford a free-pour wedding nowadays? One of the ways that you can ease that cost is to choose a venue that offers no corkage charge for bringing your own drinks. This way you can make your budget stretch much further and you’ll end up feeling much more of a bountiful host.
The type of venues that offer no corkage charge range from stately homes and grand halls to do-it-yourself field-only sites, meaning you are sure to find something that suits your wedding style.
At Burnicombe Farm in Devon, for example, weddings are casual Giant Tipi affairs, with a growing arbour to say your vows under, and camping, glamping, boho vibes and sunrise-watching as standard. Although there is a bar set up available there is no corkage charge, leaving you free to bring all the booze you could ever need.
Over the county line in Somerset, Gants Mill has a similarly relaxed feel. This beautiful secluded river-valley location (50 acres in all) and the mill itself have a history stretching back over 1,000 years.
The owners aim to allow you as much freedom as possible on your big day, including your own choice of caterers and drinks suppliers – with no corkage charge.
Empire Hall in Leicester is well known for its seductive combination of hugely impressive splendor (check out that domed ceiling!) and extreme flexibility, making it a favourite for Asian weddings. It also offers no corkage as standard, and with a capacity of up to 500 this can offer you some potentially huge savings on drinks.
Similarly, Pendrell Hall in the West Midlands offers you the flexibility of an exclusive-use country house wedding while also offering no corkage charge on any drinks you bring.
The Hall is the perfect venue for a house-party wedding, with outstanding views of the surrounding countryside, oak panelling inside and romantic open fires for the winter months, as well as 23 bedrooms for you and your guests to relax in.
Finally we have Wethele Manor in Leamington, Warwickshire. This privately owned country house, set in 250 acres of garden and parkland, can accommodate up to 250 guests for a grand celebration. The experienced catering team here are ready to tailor make a menu just for you, and yes, you guessed it, there’s no corkage charge for wines you bring with you.
Add into the mix five-star award-winning accommodation and a choice of indoor or outdoor ceremony locations, and you have a top-notch contender for your shortlist.
Hire a bar!
If you need to hire a bar to serve your corkage free wedding drinks then have a look at The Plank Company. Their prices start from £100 for the single bar, they include ice buckets and can be sent out all over the UK. Cheers!
Something a little different
Red and white wine at the breakfast and a glass of fizz at the drinks reception is pretty standard. But what if you fancy something different? Here are our top five alternative drinks options.
Pimp your prosecco
Nobody says you can’t have fizz, but how about giving guests the option to gussy it up a bit? Strawberries and a selection of cordials, plus a sign inviting guests to make full use of it… lovely!
Milk and cookies
OK, so you’re not eight. But some of your guests might be. Don’t forget drinks for the kids, and why not serve them in grown-up cocktail glasses to make the little ones feel special?
These have been all the rage recently, and there’s a good reason. It’s easy to set up a really lovely looking bar, your guests can pour their own and choose their combinations, and they taste great! And all they really consist of is fizz, juice, and a fruit garnish.
Craft beer bar
Like mimosas, craft beers don’t look set to go away any time soon. Be the love of all the lads (and some of the lasses too) by setting up your very own beer bar with palettes and hidden kegs. Nice.
Now that gin is everyone’s favourite tipple, you could set up your own gin-tasting bar and supply a few bottles of your favourites. There are so many artisan gin producers nowadays that it’s easy to come up with a few that people haven’t tried before.