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Wedding wine and how it can affect your budget.

Probably the choice of wines for your wedding matters more than any other occasion in your life, and the reason we say that is because of the expense you will incur - cost per bottle multiplied by the amount of guests drinking can come to hundreds of pounds. Rule of thumb on this is half a bottle of wine per guest ? this is the equivalent of 3 small glasses.

That being the case you have to tailor the cost of your wedding wine selection to suit your budget (or at least to suit the budget of whoever is paying the bill), and that can be done easily enough. But the final outcome in terms of monetary outlay still depends to a large extent on the volume purchased.

So when you have decided on the number of guests who will be attending there are one or two other considerations for you. As a norm there are three possible wine highlights for your day; after the ceremony, during the meal and for the toast.

By the time your ?Big Day? arrives you may have hit upon the uncharitable thought that ?everyone is after your money?. And to a large extent they are! So this brings us to where you negotiate with the venue hosts about their corkage fee, if they have one.

Corkage fees can be outrageous, but then again, your hosts may be charging outrageous prices for their selection of wedding wines. You may be able to negotiate with them about the corkage fee and bring your own wine to the event, thus quite probably saving quite a lot of money.

We suggest simplicity in choosing your wedding wine whether you bring your own to the venue or buy it from the venue hosts. Keeping it simple in our view means something like: one white, one red, one sparkling and a ros? if you like.

When it is time for the toast, tradition says the drink for that occasion should be Champagne, but probably your budget says otherwise, in which case why not serve Cava which tastes just as nice but doesn?t come with such a hefty price tag.

Mind you, some people find Cava rather rich, so a lighter sparkling wine would most probably suit your wedding guests and be even lighter on your pocket.

You can make an impression on your guests by including the names of the wedding wines on your menu cards, for your guests to take away with them and look back on years later.