I am sitting at the head table tomorrow. The wine being served is fine (I helped pick it), but I'd like to have a better one for my best buddy and his new bride. I'm not down with hiding it, so a simple yes-no is in order here.
Original Post
I'm not sure what your problem is with camouflage. It allows you the best of both worlds. Your buddy and bride (and whoever is at the table with them) can drink very well, and no one feels like a second class guest. Otherwise just drink the same wine as everyone eles and share a great bottle with them another time.

If I was a guest I'd feel the snubb if the bride and groom drank better than me. After all I'm spending $100 on a wedding present, flying in from out of town and staying at a hotel, all at my own expense. Instead of a head table Superiore give them a bottle to drink on their 25th anniversary.
We did it. I see nothing wrong with it. "Tacky"? Hardley. It's your buddy's day... one of the most important for him and his bride. Open whatever they want!!!

I doubt whether others will even notice. And even if they do, who cares? Should other guests feel snubbed because they can't ride in the limo? This day is about the bride and groom... not anyone else. PERIOD.
I don't see what the big deal is either. We didn't do a head table at our wedding, but we did do a sweetheart table. We drank Dom while the rest of the wedding was drinking the champagne furnished by our country club. During the wedding we managed to down two '82 Bordeaux's that a wine friend gave us...he brought an '82 Haut Brion that could very well be the best wine I have ever tasted, as well as an '82 Margaux that too was incredible. God what I would have done to have been able to just take those bottles home to put in the cellar! But he wanted to open them, and of course we shared with our true wine geek friends. What a great friend to do that though! I'm not sure I'd give up any '82 Bordeaux to any of my friends....LOL!

What a great night though! Hard to believe that it was almost a year ago already! Seems like just yesterday we were visiting wineries in Tuscany. <sigh>


My style tends to be more of a take control of the situation.

I would bring two stunning bottles of wine. I would place them next to the cake/cakes. Place a "groom" tag on one and a "bride" tag on the other. At the appropriate time you all should find a table and enjoy the wine together and etch this moment on your heart forever.

Do it with style and grace!

Its their wedding, ask them what they want to do and whatever they say, do it.

If they want the wine, then pour it for them. If they are concerned with the impression it will give their guests, then don't. Ultimately it should be their decision and whatever that is, I would follow it.
Originally posted by Board-O:
I'm sure the author in your quote would do otherwise. It's tacky and classless to serve better to the people at the head table.

Are you preaching to me, Board-0?

I agree it is "tacky," but their guests wouldn't know if they were tasting Krug or Cooks. I asked the bride if she wanted to drink it at the wedding or not. She said let's drink it!
Originally posted by Board-O:
Originally posted by Berno:
Are you preaching to me, Board-0?

No. Out of curiosity, what do you think your deity would say about you drinking Krug while the others drink Cooks? Approve it?

Out of curiosity, why would you care what my Deity thinks?
Originally posted by Randy Sloan:
Definitely tacky. If you don't agree, how about really good hot dogs at the other tables and lobster at the head table?

If I asked every guest in the wedding if they had ever heard of Krug, every single person would say no. They wouldn't apreciate the Krug one bit. After the toast, their going to drink beer and rum and coke.

People know what lobster is. That's my only arguement.
Originally posted by Berno:
If I poured Cooks Brut into an empty bottle of Dom, the guests would not know it wasn't Dom.

Hmmm. You may not wind up in Heaven.

Originally posted by Berno:
If I asked every guest in the wedding if they had ever heard of Krug, every single person would say no.

I don't believe you could possibly know that. Bring marshmallows.
is it bad etiquette? yes. clearly. I actually can't figure out why people have to debate this.

Most people don't go to weddings for the quality of the wine or champange. (Of course we went to a wedding in May where they were pouring Pommery - the kosher bottling no less -, which was a nice treat.)
If the guests are like most people today and all wrapped up in how you are treating THEM on someone elses wedding day, then I agree it is tacky and you should not in anyway whatsoever offend all those self absorbed guests whose feelings need to be lifted and set at a higher priority than the joy of the wedding couple.

If on the other hand, the guests are there to truly celebrate with their friends and honor the couple on this important day, then they really won't care if the wedding couple is being treated by you with a special gift.

I doubt any of the guests would even notice or know the difference if the did notice. And if they did and became upset, I'd suggest that it was not their day even if they brought a $100 gift. If the gift has those kind of conditions, take the damn thing back, the couple does not need gifts given with that kind of petulance.
Probably a little tacky, but I would do it that way if I were to have my wedding all over again. Then again, I was so blitzed on bourbon, I probably wouldn't have appreciated the Krug!

My bro threw a 40th birthday celebration for his wife and himself last year. They served Nic Feuillatte Brut to warm up, a 2000 Pomerol with dinner, and 83 Smith Woodehouse with desert. There were about 100 guests. the wines were all great, and I think the guests noticed. IMO that's really the way to do it, but it's different at age 40 than it is at 20-whatever (wedding age).
There is nothing tacky about it - period.

My "special" day, my tab for the guests dinner, my out of towners party, my rehearsal dinner bill, my day after wedding breakfast bill. If the guests want to get ticked 'cause I'm drinking Dom and they are drinking ______ (fill in blank) then TOUGH BEANS - they will get over it - or they won't.

As an aside at my reception the best man was HAMMERED and drank 1/2 of the 1 bottle of Dom that was placed next to the head table for the bride and groom to drink. This was the only bottle we could afford at he chugged it like Kool-aid!

Sometimes the world is a little too politically correct........
I'm with grossie, Een and a few others.

To me there is nothing tacky about it if it is ALL aboveboard. Simply designate the wine as special bottles for the bride and groom. I have been to many weddings this year due to the age of my children. To simply designate a couple of bottles of 1988 Krug or 1990 Salon for the bride and groom is not tacky... and I'm the FIRST to point out tacky! Just ask my forum friends. Eek Smile

No person at the reception should mind imo. It is their wedding for goodness' sakes.

For all my friends on this forum, it looks like I might be paying for a wedding next year. I will guarantee you there will be a couple of special cases of wine (very special) for my wine loving friends after the cakes are cut.

I'm paying for the wedding and my daughter is getting married, I WILL share with my family and friends that cared enough to honor me with their attendance!

It is always about grace and style.
Looks like things went a little bonkers while I was away at the wedding. Roll Eyes

To close the loop on this thread, I did not bring anything for the head table. We drank the wine I had helped pick for the entire reception and everybody liked them, so I was pleased about that. Today there is a lunch being hosted by a parent of a close friend of the bride and I will be bringing all the bottles I wanted to bring last night (and then some) to this smaller and more intimate party. Thanks to all for throwing in their 2 cents (or in some cases, a buck fifty). Razz Big Grin

In the end I can't say I made the right or wrong choice, I just made a choice (it just happened to be the safe one).
I think you handled it just right tannic. The smaller party makes sense for the good wines.

I don't know if it is "tacky" to serve something better at the head table, but I wouldn't do it. As I believe Randy said, you wouldn't serve hot dogs to the guests and have lobster. And it doesn't matter if the other guests wouldn't notice or wouldn't know the difference between good and bad wine. Besides, with all the commotion I wouldn't think the bride and groom would really be able to enjoy the better wine. Save it for another day, drink the good champagne in the limo prior to the reception, drink something good after the reception. It just doesn't make sense to me to invite people to be with you on your special day and then treat them as "second class." And it isn't as EagleGrafix says about most people today being all wrapped up in how you are treating them. Most people from "yesterday" wouldn't have even considered serving their guests something less than they were enjoying.
Originally posted by wine+art:
I'm with grossie, Een and a few others.

To me there is nothing tacky about it if it is ALL aboveboard. Simply designate the wine as special bottles for the bride and groom.

It is very rarely that I will disagree with the illustrious wine + art, but in this case I must.

The question wasn't about a special bottle for the bride and groom, it was about special wines for the head table at which other wedding guests would also presumably be dining.

This is my problem with special wine for the head table. It creates a "class system" among guests. The riff-raff, who will drink what every one else is having and a select few who will partake in special wines at a special table.

Although in the best of worlds, everyone would take Een's attitude of:

"I've been at weddings where this was done and it didn't bother me. I doubt most people even noticed. Sure, it would have been nice to drink what they were drinking but it's their day and they should feel free to enjoy it."

The reality is that anyone who notices the diaparity is likely to be offended or at least experience some of the wistfulness Een expresses in her last sentence.

My feeling is that anything that creates a feeling of exclusion at a social event, even one as personal and "self centered," as a wedding reception is to be avoided.

That being said, I'll stick with my original thoughts early in the post. There is absolutely nothing wrong with artful camouflage. It's not about reality......it's about perception. Another spectacular reason for the existence of decanters.

Originally posted by PurpleHaze:

This is my problem with special wine for the head table. It creates a "class system" among guests. The riff-raff, who will drink what every one else is having and a select few who will partake in special wines at a special table.


And exactly what does having a "head table" do? That is the first step taken in creating the "class system" you want to avoid. Having a Head Table is having "special seating" for the honored few at the wedding. So why can there not be ways to express this honor? We let the couple have the first dance. We line up and walk past them heaping congradulations. We do all sorts of things to show special favor and impart special status on them and the wedding party for the day. But we can't do it with a special wine? Give me a break!

I guess I can not conceive of being offended when I see this happen at more than one wedding I've attened (and one I paid for as the father of the groom). But I suppose if there are some whose feelings would be so bruised by this "slight"....then do what you believe is right by them.
The alternative to a head table is to have the bride and groom sit alone. In this case, bring on the Krug and Mouton.

If the bride chooses to have a head table, she is absolutely entitled to sit with whoever she chooses. Ostentatiously serving either better food or wine at this table is in poor form. Period.


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