Ask the Experts – Do You Still Need to Buy a Round of Drinks or Provide Champagne for the Toast?

Planning & Advice

Years ago at weddings, a round of drinks for the toast was the norm but these days with lots of other little touches, it can be an added extra that can really add up! Is buying a round of drinks for the toast or providing champagne really necessary? We asked our wedding experts their opinions…

From the Experts

Heather from The Meadowlands Hotel, Kerry – View Profile

It is not necessary or expected but is a nice touch for the toast.

Jana from The Westbury, Dublin – View Profile

Do not spend money on a round of drinks for the toast, guests can toast with the provided wine.

Lisa from Barberstown Castle, Kildare – View Profile

This is completely up to you and your budget, it is a nice gesture to allow guests to have a drink of their choice to enjoy during speeches, however, they have been drinking wine through the meal so a top up of wine can also be nice to ensure glasses are full.

Vivienne from The Westgrove Hotel, Kildare – View Profile

A toast is a nice touch on the day but not an essential extra.

Nicole from Fota Island Resort, Cork – View Profile

You certainly don’t need to do this any more, it is your wedding day and therefore your choice. Lately more and more couples remove the toast drink and replace it with a drink of choice to ensure each guest gets a drink they like rather than a glass of sparkling wine. Alternatively couples take it out completely and use the money for some fun things like an ice cream or candy cart during the day.

Joe from Rathsallagh House, Wicklow – View Profile

No, both the toast drink and the champagne toast are dying out, much better to get the venue to ensure no one runs out of wine prior to the speeches. It is probably better to put the funds for the round of drinks behind the bar as a credit until it runs out, this is a popular option recently. Also in recent years we have found a lot of wastage with the champagne toast. No one will refuse the glass when it is being poured prior to the speeches, then when it comes to the toast, the non wine/non champagne drinkers will probably just take a sip, then leave the glass down and never touch it again. The amount of wasted champagne that is poured down the drain is staggering. If you take that 20 bottles are needed for 120 guests, at least 5 bottles or €350 to €400 worth of champagne ends up in the drain.

Amy from Bellinter House, Meath – View Profile

No not these days as before when it was done, they did not have a Prosecco reception, canapés on arrival or midnight snacks. Guests get a lot now, so I would not worry about a toast drink as well. Keep your money for your honeymoon .

Deirdre from Virgina Park Lodge, Cavan – View Profile

I believe a top up of the dinner wine is preferable as some guests don’t like to change their drink at this point.

Edward from Martinstown House, Kildare – View Profile

There is a lovely trend of serving personalised drinks for the toast that we’ve noticed at Martinstown House. A couple might choose to commemorate their Italian heritage by serving Limoncello, or an American proposal with a Bourbon cocktail. This can be a good way to keep the cost down and ensure everyone has a glass to raise.

Susan from Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Limerick – View Profile

It’s not a standard practice any more, maybe 1 in 10 weddings do a specific toast drink and a lot of these use the wine allocation. Alcohol is expensive in hotels and you’ll be looking in the region of €1,000 based on 150 guests. I’d recommend extra canapés, a mini cocktail or beer keg at your arrivals reception and you’ll be looking at half the price.

Photo from Cormac & Linda’s real wedding by Julie Cummins Photography