3 Questions to Ask Before Making Wine for Your Wedding Reception

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Are you planning a wedding? If so, congratulations! This is undoubtedly a very exciting – and maybe also a little bit stressful – time, with so many plans to make in preparation for the big day.

One thing you may be considering is what to do about alcohol. Will you have an open bar or cash bar? Cocktails before, or wine with dinner only? When it comes to celebratory drinks, there are probably at least as many options for wine and drinks as for anything else – which can be especially tricky if you want to stay within budget.

Making your own wine can be an extremely smart and cost-effective way to serve wine at your wedding reception. Before you begin brewing, though, ask these questions to make sure that your bottles will be permitted at your Ontario venue:

1. Does your venue allow you to bring your own alcohol?

Check with your event coordinator or venue representative to confirm before making any arrangements. Be sure to ask if special permits are required, and if you’re required to provide your own (certified) server(s), as they’re not always provided.

Even if you can’t bring wine to serve, consider giving wine as favours or bombonieres. Restrictions on alcohol apply only to service – not to gifting sealed bottles – so there’s no reason this wouldn’t be possible.

2. Are there additional fees?

Some venues may charge a corkage fee for alcohol you supply yourself, or require you to supply your own certified servers. In both cases the costs will likely not outweigh the savings of bringing your own wine, but it’s important to ask these questions in advance so that you can budget accordingly.

3. Are special permits required?

If your reception is taking place at a privately-owned (not rented) location or residence, such as a friend or relative’s home, then no permit is required to serve your own wine. Serving your own alcohol at any other facility will require a “No Sale SOP,” which costs $25 per day. Note that you are not permitted to charge money for your own wine or beer, regardless of the venue type – it must be served free of charge.

This information may change without notice. For the most up-to-date information, and to download any required forms, please visit the AGCO’s website.

When you consider the potential savings, and the fact that it provides many opportunities to customize your bottles to match the rest of your wedding, making your own wine is a terrific way to reduce your wedding expenses without sacrificing great quality and style. It’s also easier than you’d expect, and requires no knowledge of the winemaking process, since we handle the hard parts for you.

To learn more about wedding wine packages, click here – or email us to discuss how we can help you add signature wines to your special day.

 

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