Wedding Planning

Ask a Wedding Expert: What Are Some Alternatives to a Champagne Toast?

Hive Events co-owner Alexis Davis says it can still be a party without bubbly.


Welcome to Ask a Wedding Expert, a series where local pros answer your most pressing wedding-planning questions. Have one of your own? Email rkashdan@bostonmagazine.com.

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A champagne toast might be tradition, but there’s nothing wrong with breaking the rules—especially when so many tasty alternatives exist. For this week’s “Ask a Wedding Expert,” we’ve turned to Alexis Davis, who co-owns Hive Events with husband Lance. Together, the duo mix and serve cocktails out of a retro Airstream trailer at weddings and other celebrations. Read on for her suggestions, all of which are totally worth raising a glass to.

The Question:

What are some celebratory alternatives to a traditional champagne toast?

Davis’s Answer:

If you’re not a fan of bubbles, this is your opportunity to bring in your favorite cocktail or shot. The chosen cocktail can include a seasonal product, such as watermelon or strawberry if your wedding is in the summer. Another option is adding a floral note, which could come from a flower in your bouquet or something that matches your color palette. Another way to add wow-factor: the presentation. Up the ante with a fun vessel, straw, stirrer, or garnish. The toast moment could also include a unique wine or beer that’s a favorite of yours or that’s hard to find. Another idea is to offer a palate cleanser or an amuse-bouche. This could be presented as your guests sit down, right after the first course, or right before dessert.

For couples looking to cut costs, there are also some great champagne alternatives to pour for your toast. Many vineyards produce bubbles, just without the “champagne” name. Some options to consider are prosecco, cava, crémant, spumante metodo classico, natural sparkling wines, and lambrusco.

As for non-alcoholic options, mocktails are all the rage at bars and events right now. As we plan events, we need to consider guests who don’t drink. Offering an option other than sparkling water with lime will be greatly appreciated by many. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables as the base and layer the mocktail with homemade syrups and shrubs, unique spices, or infused teas. Finish the masterpiece with some fun bubbles and, of course, a garnish!

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