How to Pick Wines for Weddings

how to pick wines for weddings

When you read studies about the most stressful events in life, getting married is always in the top ten, sometimes as high has number three.

Yikes. The thing you’ve dreamed about since you were a little girl is also the thing that causes more stress than just about anything in your life? No pressure there.

Don’t worry - we’ve got your back. We’ve already offered you a definitive guide on how much wine you’ll need to have at your wedding. Now you’ll just need more information about which kinds of wine to serve. Here are the top seven things to consider when choosing the best wines to serve at your wedding.


Before you buy the first drop of wine, it’s critical that you know what portion of your budget has been designated for the wine. If you don’t have an exact amount but know what your overall reception budget is, Martha Stewart says that the wine will typically be about 15% of that. There are a huge number of wines available at all price-points. You can easily have enough wine for 100 guests by spending less than $1,000. Take the time to do determine how many bottles you will need, and then figure out how much you’re willing to spend per bottle from there.


You’ll need to think about the kind of food that you’re having at the reception. In fact, hold off making the decision about the wines until you have your menu in place. While you can certainly order some wines that don’t complement your menu, most of the wine you stock should go with the main courses of your meal. 

You can always ask your caterer what he or she recommends as complementary to their food. After all, they know their food best and won’t recommend a type of wine that won’t complement their food and make it taste better.


Generally speaking, people tend to drink red or white wine according to the seasons. If you’re getting married in fall, winter or the first part of the spring, people drink more red. If you’re having a late spring or summer wedding, expect more requests for white. However, when you’re taking the season of your wedding into consideration, you need to pay equal attention to where you’re getting married.


The venue always goes hand-in-hand with the season when it comes to their influence on what wine to serve. Are you getting married outdoors in a barn during the summer months? Cool rosés or white wines will likely be the favored vinos at your wedding. Are you having your wedding over the New Year holiday at a ski resort? Warm reds will likely be chosen more often by your guests.

Those are general tips and should be taken into consideration, along with your menu, when you’re making your wine selection. We always recommend adding a few extra bottles, so maybe the extras you add are based on your venue and the season.

One last thing to remember about the venue, and it’s critical. Before you order wine, always check with the venue to make sure that you can bring in your own supply and don’t have to use their vendor. The last thing you want to do is order 50 bottles of wine and then find out that your venue won’t let you use it.

Personal Taste of You and Your Groom

If you and your hubby-to-be have a favorite wine, definitely have it on hand. This is your wedding! If you can’t drink your faves at your wedding, when can you? If it’s something you don’t think your guests will love, then order a bottle just for the two of you to have with your meal. Take it up a notch and personalize the bottle with your favorite picture of the two of you and your wedding date. A great decoration for your reception turns into a treasured keepsake after the wedding is over.

Maintaining the Temperature of the Wine

Consider whether or not a wine needs to be chilled before it is served. If it does, you’ll need to have a plan to make sure that the wine is the right temperature. Check with your venue to see if they can make chilling the wine part of the bartender’s duties. If they can, great. If they can’t, stick with wines that don’t need to be chilled before service.

Personalizing the Wine Labels

If you’re looking to use your wine bottles as part of your reception décor, personalizing the bottles is a must. There are so many ways that you can personalize labels for the bottles and make them completely unique to you and your special day – and it doesn’t have to cost any extra money.

Don’t just think about what’s inside the bottle. Think about how you can make the outside of the bottle work for you too, and don’t settle for any wine that can’t be personalized.

Wedding are stressful, but choosing the right wine for your wedding doesn’t have to be one of the dreaded tasks. These seven tips will help ensure that you have the right wine for your wedding.

Tags: Wedding, Wedding Reception

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