So you've tasted the offerings of the caterer and you've selected your main menu options. What about drinks?
What's on tap
Much like selecting the menu options, you will need to factor in what kinds of drinks everyone would like to drink. The easiest way to take care of this is to offer a full service bar. In this way, guests can have mixed drinks of all varieties or they can stick to wine and beer.
You want to plan this option out carefully as you may end up paying more than you would like. Check with the provider as to how many drinks each guest can have, or can expect from the supply that will be brought. In most cases, there is no limit.
A word of advice: Don't ever have a cash bar. Making your guests pay for their drinks when they may also have paid for their outfits and transportation is just a lot to ask.
What to choose for everyone
In terms of wine and beer, tastes and varieties are enormous-how does someone choose?
The best advice is to select four to five different kinds of beer with each one having enough to fill everyone's glass. This may surprise you, but sometimes all of your guests will like the same thing and you may want to make sure that they can have it.
As for wine, you may want to have at least one of each a red varietal and a white varietal. This ensures a milder and more acidic selection. A way to make sure that everyone is happy is to find blends of each of these wines. By blends, this means to find a red that includes a merlot, syrah, and pinot noir, while the white might include a chardonnay, reisling, and zinfandel.
These can be tricky to find, but they are crowd pleasers.
Champagne for toasts
Toasts are just not toasts without a little glass (or two) of champagne. It's common sense to make sure that the new couple and their wedding party have the very finest in champagne (as determined by the budget), while the rest of the guests have another variety. In many reception halls or catering services, the champagne for the wedding party is provided.
Of course, there will also be designated drivers at the wedding, so you will also want to have water, sodas, coffee, and juices available as well. When you're planned it thoroughly, everyone will be well-watered throughout the evening.