Our venue gave us the choice of paying $$$$ for a fully-stocked, open bar, or we could either provide all our own beverages. Being on a budget, and well-versed in cheap booze, we chose bachelor number two.
For our wine we bought eight cases of Trader Joe's Two-Buck Chuck (four cases of chardonnay, two merlot, two cabernet sauvignon), took off the labels, and slapped on our own. So any self-described “wine snobs” at our event wouldn't get so uptight upon seeing “the cheap stuff.” Since we constantly remove labels and stick new ones on for our home-brewed beer, I have a couple quick tips for anyone pulling the ol' switcheroo to save major dollars on the bar.
Fill a bathtub, bucket, cooler or other large watertight container with warm water and OxiClean. A scoop or two. Leave them to soak overnight. The next day the labels and adhesive residues will be totally gone from glass bottles. Plastic bottles take some extra scrubbing.
Adding new labels:
- Don't use stickers! Yes, really. They behave oddly when they get wet, so if your beer, champagne or white wine gets a bit sweaty in an ice bath or after removing it from the fridge at your venue the sticker will slough off on your bartenders' and guests' hands. No fun!
- Print your label design on a low-weight paper. Office paper works amazingly. The lower the weight, the better it'll stay in place on your bottle.
- The magic adhesive: GLUE STICK. Seriously. My future husband and I have used many adhesives for this project, and glue sticks are far and away the easiest, cheapest, and most effective. Buy a two-pack for $3 at your grocery store and go wild.
- Use rubber bands or hair ties to keep unruly labels in place. This is only an issue if you MUST MUST MUST use a heavier paper. If the ends keep curling up, slip an elastic band around it and give it a week or longer — show it who's boss!
And voilà! Now you have your very own custom wedding wine on the cheap. Cheers to that!