Toasts are traditional and lovely, but hardly anyone actually drinks the champagne! That means it is both smarter and less expensive to avoid the waste. You can, of course, ask folks to use whatever they are currently drinking, but there are ways to both save and provide a special beverage for the ritual. .
1. Toast with a signature drink instead of champagne.
2. Serve a bubbly alternative. Sparkling grape juice or white soda pop works just as well.
If you do want to have the traditional drink, there are still ways to save.
3. Make the toast beverage a sparkling wine. If it looks like champagne and acts like champagne, it may not actually be champagne.The authentic beverage is made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France and produced under specific rules (at least according to Wikipedia). Sparkling wines, which may be from anywhere, do the same job and can be much less pricey.
4. Pass out flutes with a token amount of bubbly and make more available only to those who will actually drink it.
5. Let the guests choose whether to use their own drinks or the champagne by having servers pass around glasses to those who want it.
6. Combine savings by using sparkling wine and giving guests the choice of using their own drinks or passing out only a token amount.
7. If you want to shake and spray the bubbly in celebration go straight to the lowest-priced fizz for those bottles. It is wasteful to spend extra money on drinks that will not be consumed.
Budget bonus tip: The bride and groom can have their own toasting flutes without paying an arm and a leg for them. These are all under $25. You can also recoup some of your cost by selling them used on eBay after the wedding.
The above is an excerpt from the Dream Wedding on a Dime; 7 Secrets for the Budget-Savvy Bride ebook.