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5 Tips For Planning a DIY Wine Tasting For Your Bridal Shower

Whether you are a red wine aficionado or finish every “yes way” with rosé, here is everything you need to know about planning your own tasting. Because wine not? 
rose nyc reflection

1. Create (and stick to) a Guest ListThis may seem like an obvious first step when planning an event, but there is always someone who doesn’t RSVP and shows up anyway. Gently remind everyone you invite that you need a definite yes or no answer. The last thing you want is thirsty friends and not enough wine and glassware to go around. 
2. Pick Your Poison 
At BG we love to #roséallyear and we don’t discriminate when it comes to wine. For your tasting party, red, white, or rosé, anything is fine, but for comparison purposes we recommend sticking to one kind (all white, all red, etc). Once you decide the type of wine you want to serve, it’s time to choose the different brands. Choosing four to six different brands is just the right amount to have enough variety and keep your guests sipping pretty. 
Since you don’t have to fill up the glasses completely, an average 750ML or 25.4oz wine bottle is enough for about 8 people. We recommend having an extra bottle of each wine for every eight attendants, so if someone wants a refill of their favorites after the tasting is over, it is readily available. Plus, once a winner is chosen you’ll want to have enough of that wine for a toast! 
gerard bertrand cote des roses
3. Secret Set-Up To keep the identity of each label under-wraps, assign each bottle a number. Then, create a placemat (like the one seen below) for each of your guests. When designing your placemat (or shopping for one on Etsy), you want to add placeholders to show where each glass of wine should go. For our National Rosé Day event with Lauren B. Jewelry, we used a site called Canva to add numbered circles for every brand of wine. After arranging the markers you can then personalize the paper with a hashtag, quote, etc. 
The second component to your set-up is a wine scorecard.  You can either craft or buy; we found the design below on EtsyThis allows your guests to track their notes and assign numerical values to each wine. Lastly, don’t forget enough pens (to write with, duh) and water (to cleanse the palette) for each attendee.
rose tasting placemat and scorecard
4. Execution
Remember the four “s’s” (see, swirl, sniff, sip). Have your gals take the time to really enjoy and savor each sip. Invite them to judge the appearance, aroma, body, taste, and finish of each wine in front of them. Although the responses are based on an individual’s taste, it is a great way for your friends and family who don’t know each other to bond over likes and dislikes. 
5. “Extra” is Just Enough 
Wine is an inherently fun theme for a bachelorette party or bridal shower, but why not make your event as Insta-worthy as possible? Create a fun bar or bar cart, deck your tables out with florals or tossed confetti, or incorporate fun signage or balloons to make your venue really pop! You can also have fun with your food. Cheese and crackers always pair well with wine, but offer your guests something sweet as well like a macaron tower or petit fours.
rose all day bar
Whether you wine a little or a lot, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the moment with your closest family and friends.
—Mary Gillen
Travel Wedding

How To Find the Perfect Resort for Your Wedding

Planning a destination wedding? Here’s how to find the right venue.

Besides the budget, this decision is the biggest in your entire wedding planning process. Although the two go hand-in-hand, cost should go at the top of your list. Detail what you can realistically afford. And don’t forget to factor in the incidentals. Gratuities, dress alterations, the bridal emergency fix-it-kit and other not-oft thought of wedding necessities can really add up. While some all-inclusive resorts offer gratuities-included programs, outside vendors such as photographers, florists and musicians may expect to be tipped. The customary allowance varies from country and destination, so ask your on-site wedding coordinator for a recommended tipping guide.
destination wedding tips

Photo Credit: Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort

1. Take out a piece of paper. 
Give one to your guy too. Write down your top three requirements for your wedding experience. Do you prefer a barefoot vibe? Or did you always imagine yourself as a bride in a grand ballroom? Is a formal dinner your top priority or do you prefer to savor the local cuisine? Next, each of you should outline your ideal destination. Have you always wanted to get married in a jungly locale or are you all about the water? Does he absolutely need to be near a golf course? And are historic attractions important to you? Then whittle down your hotel needs: Is service the most important part of your equation? How about a spa or yoga? Do you absolutely insist on having a variety of restaurants and cuisines or is it more about the activities? You may also want to each put down three absolute deal breakers (it’s not family-friendly or the pool is small, for example). 
2. Compare your lists. 
Highlight the similarities as a guide to choosing your ideal location. Much like couples and their weddings, countries, islands, states and resorts have distinct personalities. Some places are more action and adventure-centric; others have a more raucous party vibe. There are hotels that focus on haute cuisine, while others highlight the spa. As with most decisions, start with the broad strokes (country or island, for example). Take into account travel time and accessibility for you and your guests. Also think about how language and cultural differences might affect your planning, as well as the legal requirements for getting married. Some countries mandate waiting periods and on-site medical tests, so that is something you’ll need to add to your time frame and budget equation.
3. Choose a resort that speaks to your wedding vision as a couple. 
Make a list of a dozen or so and send out query e-mails to the resident wedding coordinators. Ask the basic package-offering questions, availability in your desired time frame and the kicker—cost. Some resorts require minimum spending on food and beverage and/or room nights. Clarify all that in this initial correspondence. Ask about accessibility to the airport, major cities and any wedding-weekend excursions that you may be considering. You’ll also want to ask basic weather-plan questions (like what happens to outdoor events in the case of rain?) and if the hotel requires or accepts wedding and travel insurance. If childcare or elderly needs are important for your guests, ensure that these points are covered in these early e-mails. Also, clarify the hotel’s policy on using outside vendors. Ask about site inspection trips and planning opportunities.