Try These Fabulous Champagne Toast Alternatives

Make a traditional champagne wedding toast your own with these delicious and festive substitutes.
glasses of champagne
iStock
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
by
Maggie Seaver
maggie seaver the knot wedding planning expert
Maggie Seaver
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Maggie Seaver is an Associate Digital Editor at RealSimple.com.
  • Maggie writes about life, career, health, and more.
  • Maggie was an editor at The Knot from 2015 to 2019.

There's no rule that says you have to toast to your marriage with expensive champagne. Maybe you can't swing top-shelf bubbles for 200 guests, or maybe your wedding is alcohol free. Whatever your circumstances, you're welcome to raise a glass of anything you'd like to salute your newlywed status. But if you're hoping to maintain that champagne-toast feeling (what could replace the celebratory pop of a cork?), we asked Cristina Mariani-May, the co-CEO of Banfi Vintners, for a few festive champagne swaps you and your guests will love. The main takeway? Bubbles make everything better.

Scenario 1: You love champagne, but expensive bottles won't fit your budget. You need something equally delicious and party worthy.

While there are tons of champagne alternatives, Mariani-May recommends prosecco, which is typically more affordable than champagne, but no less chic or tasty. Good quality prosecco goes for about $13 a bottle, while top-of-the-line prosecco will be about $20. "The key difference between 'everyday' prosecco and 'special occasion' prosecco is seeing 'Valdobbiadene' on the label—it's a specific area within the [wine-growing] zone [in the province of Treviso, Veneto, Italy] that is considered to have the finest terroir for prosecco wine," Mariani-May says.

Expert Tip: "Like champagne, prosecco comes in three levels of dryness: brut, extra dry and dry," Mariani-May says. But don't be fooled—these words can be a little counterintuitive. Dry prosecco is actually the sweetest, brut is the driest and extra-dry prosecco falls somewhere in the middle. "Most people will prefer the brut or extra-dry types [for both] champagne and prosecco," Mariani-May says.

Scenario 2: You want a celebratory sip, but are indifferent to bubbles, so you need a great wine.

Again, having champagne or prosecco in your glass isn't a hard-and-fast rule. You can say "cheers" with anything from your signature cocktail to an extra-special wine. "For celebrations, it's more about choosing a wine that's special rather than a specific varietal," Mariani-May says. "A high-end, cellar-worthy [red] wine like Brunello di Montalcino is appropriate for toasting when the crowd is more intimate and includes a number of wine lovers." But get creative and choose a wine that's special to you as a couple, like the wine you were drinking on your first date, when you got engaged, or the wine served at your or your partner's parents' wedding.

Scenario 3: You're not into wine, but don't know what else to toast with (especially if your guests will be expecting it). You need a great, supplementary cocktail that satisfies everyone.

Mariani-May has a brilliant theory: "People who aren't into wine simply haven't found a wine they like!" In this case, she suggests a sparkling red wine (yes, that's a thing—try Rosa Regale) that's a little bit sweeter and lower in alcohol. "Mix it with orange juice or lemonade and you'll have a bubbly and delicious drink you can enjoy all night," she says.

Scenario 4: You're not serving wine or liquor at your wedding, but want the feel of a champagne toast. You need a nonalcoholic sip that's just as celebratory.

"Bubbles in any form can provide a celebratory feel," Mariani-May says. "For [your wedding], go with a festive-looking bottle of nonalcoholic sparkling cider, or any sparkling juice available—ideally one closed with a cork so you can hear the popping sound that makes people smile and cheer!"

Up Next
  • Neon sign saying 'til death' at wedding
    The “Till Death Do Us Part” Meaning, History and Origin