WEDDING GIFTS – Just Bring a Bottle of Champagne

When you are getting married for the second time, it can be difficult to decide how you want to approach the issue of wedding gifts for a couple that may well have everything for the house and home. Certainly a second toaster or another set of steak knives would only clutter up the attic, even more than it is already. This dilemma faced the future Mr and Mrs Real Food Inspector two years ago and we think we came up with a novel idea, which is worth sharing with other prospective wedding couples.

Both being ‘real foodies’, we could not trust an outside caterer to service our reception, which as part of a money saving exercise, we decided to host in a marque in our own garden, providing our own home cooked food. But what about the drinks?  While we persuaded our neighbour to brew a barrel of home- made beer, guests could hardly toast the bride with a pint of Thunderer's Brown Ale. So, solving the drinks supply problem, alongside the need to prevent unwanted wedding gifts, became our challenge.

Wedding invitations contained a footnote that said, ‘No Gifts, Just Bring a Bottle of Champagne’. We hoped that all of the 90 guests would be able to purchase a bottle of bubbly at a price that would suit their pocket, whether a supermarket brand, for as little as £16.49, or a Moet & Chandon Vintage at £42.99, the current prices at Sainsbury’s.  We were not wrong.  Guests arrived armed with champagne of all sorts and all costs – 85 bottles in fact! There were vintage bottles of Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose, currently £57.99 at Waitrose, Lanson Black Label Brut, now at Asda at £22.00 and many bottles of Veuve Clicqot Yellow Label, which today is £32.99 at Tesco. One couple brought 6 bottles.
All these bottles of champagne kept the reception going late into the night, supplemented by the home brewed beer. Guests had no complaints, in fact many guests said that they had never drunk so much bubbly, and at no cost to the wedding couple! We even kept back a few expensive boxed bottles of Vintage Bollinger Special Cuvee, for future special occasions. Sadly, we are still trying to figure out which couple brought the only bottle of Tesco Brut Cava, currently £4.99!       


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