After the food has been decided, the next menu decision for wedding couples is often the wine to accompany the meal. There is often a perception that bringing your own (BYO) wine is the best option, and if cost is the most important factor, that can often be the case.
The following are just some considerations to bear in mind.
If you choose to bring your own wedding wine, it is likely that your venue will charge ‘corkage’. (Despite the misleading title, corkage actually has nothing to do with the cork in the bottle!) The corkage fee is a service charge applied for chilling/storing bottles in advance, staff serving the wine, use of the venue’s glassware, potential breakages, disposal of glass bottles and VAT. The corkage rate charged will vary per establishment depending on their wine service, (e.g. wine bottles left on tables or served to the guests, etc.)
However, bringing your own wine can often end up being an expensive option for couples as they tend to ‘over purchase’ wine to make sure they have enough white and red for everyone. It is often the case that there is unopened wine left over after the wedding.
Using the venue’s wine
Most wedding venues will have an extensive wine list that has been carefully selected to complement their food. The house wine is usually competitively priced (and even discounted for weddings) and couples will only be charged for what is consumed. Using a half bottle per person (i.e. two generous glasses) as a rule of thumb, couples can still keep their budget in check by setting a cap on the number of bottles to be used.
The decision lies with the wedding couple and if you can source quality wine at a favourable price, by all means the corkage option may be best. But don’t put yourself to unnecessary hassle transporting boxes of wine to your venue before your big day if it can be avoided by choosing from their already carefully considered selection.