Best wines for weddings – and how much you’ll need

Weddings expert John Kemp shares his top tips on what kind of wine to choose for your big day and how to calculate the amount you’ll need …

OK, this is something you mustn’t get wrong.

Yes, yes, the love of your life has said yes. I’ve taken that as read.

So you’ve pulled out all the stops.

Your big day will be special and unique.

Like many, maybe you’re foregoing the church or registry office to tread a confetti-littered road less traveled. Some of the more unique venues for the nuptials now include aquariums, space museums, temples, submarines, haunted castles, subterranean lakes, tree houses, TV studios …  there are even vineyard weddings (probably best booked abroad).

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Plus over 80% of you are now choosing to ‘bring your own booze’.

A great idea. But, when you are up to your eyes in other arrangements: from dietary requirements, invitations, seating plans – where do you put Margot and Terry, (the close friends of no-one quite knows who) … button holes, bouquets, readings, music … it’s another first-world headache. What wines should you choose? Do you want fizz for the toasts? How much should you buy? Will it be delivered on time?

Here are five general things to consider.

Tip 1. Go for the crowd-pleasers

You may have gone off piste with the venue. Don’t go off piste with the wine. Everyone has different tastes. You need safe options. Soft easy drinking reds like Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir – or juicy blends from southern Italy or France. And crisp refreshing whites – Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay (not too heavily oaked), Sauvignon – again not too in your face like some of the New Zealand Sauvignons, but fresh and crisp from the Loire, south of France or South Africa.

Tip 2. Consider the food – and the weather

If you have a spring or summer wedding, especially a daytime or outdoor one, you probably won’t want to serve anything too heavy. Big 14% Malbec reds are lovely with steak but you don’t want people nodding off come the speeches. The father of the bride might be enough to do that on his own!

Lighter reds work well with both chicken and fish, too.

Tip 3. Don’t go short

You don’t want to see your guests searching desperately for the next glass. it’s better to over cater – and have waiters topping guests up and leaving bottles on the tables. People drink less (and less quickly) if they do not feel the well is about to run dry.

Tip 4. Let’s get fizzical

Depending on your budget, allow a glass of Champagne for toasts but otherwise serve sparkling wines to start – Prosecco is hugely popular just now as it is cheaper than Champagne, and softer and fruitier to drink. But there are a host of alternative sparkling wines from Cava and Crémant to delicious fizzes from Down Under … or, if you’re dead set on Champagne, consider the family growers rather than the big name brands. Your money will go a lot further.

Tip 5. Talk to Laithwaite’s Wedding Service!

We can help with the wine choices – through tastings organised at your own home and at your convenience (it’s a fun way to plan your drinks list too). You can use our drinks calculator to pinpoint quantities. Every wine has a 100% money back guarantee. We offer sale or return on up to 25% of your order, we deliver at a time to suit you and we offer competitive discounts too.

Read more:

Here are our current Top 5 wedding wines

  1. Alessandro Gallici Prosecco – our must-have Italian fizz
  2. Danaris Grüner Veltliner – “the best kept secret of the wine world” (Wine & Spirits magazine)
  3. Abbesse Sauvignon Blanc – our customers’ favourite super grassy, lemon fresh Sauvignon
  4. Corsiero Nero – Italy’s luscious red is full of wild blackberry, violet and smoky vanilla
  5. Ermita de San Lorenzo Gran Selección – a double-Gold gorgeously mellow 2011 Gran Reserva

So, if you’re getting hitched, visit our Wedding Wine Service page or email us at We’re here to help!

Best wishes and congratulations!

John Kemp

Wedding Events Manager


About Laithwaite's Wine

We’re wine nuts, not wine snobs. We’ve been exploring the world on a mission to find great wine for the last 50 years. If you love adventure as much as we do, you belong with us. We know our winegrowers like family – and in some cases they actually are. Expect to hear from these legends of the soil, see behind the scenes access into vineyards and wineries and get news on fresh finds from our travels on this page. Drink responsibly. Visit for further health information. You must be aged 18 or over to follow.

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