Bees who bought their own alcohol for the wedding, how many guests? How much?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
21 posts
Newbee

I haven’t bought yet, but am planning to – prices would depend on what you want, and prices where you are, obviously. But I found this article super helpful – talks through amounts (drinks per person per hour). But I can’t speak from experience, yet! http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/01/calculate-alcohol-for-wedding/

And this one, on prebatching cocktails, if you want to do cocktails: http://apracticalwedding.com/2014/03/prepare-big-batch-signature-cocktails-wedding/ (There are a lot of great how-to articles on the site, in general. Highly recommend.)

Post # 3
Member
8917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Barbiestylez:  Oof, I don’t remember all the details – but we had 165 guests, LOTS of partiers, and two days of events (including a welcome BBQ the night before that lasted for ~5 hours).  We did only beer and wine.  We had 6 cases of wine (72 bottles) and 5 (?) half-barrel kegs of beer – 2 PBR and 3 microbrew.  The wine ran out by the end of the wedding night, but we had about one keg left, which got polished off the next day by the cleanup/hang out crew.  We did 1/3 white, 2/3 red and in retrospect, I would have done at least half and half – the white ran out relatively early (outdoor wedding in the summer).  The wine was relatively affordable, maybe $10 on average, and the kegs were standard keg price.  Can’t remember the total cost but it was well worth it!  😀  

Post # 4
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Barbiestylez:  if you Google that exact question, a calculator of sorts will come up. Plug in number of guests and type of alcohol you’re planning to serve and it will tell you the number of each thing you should purchase. I’m on my phone, otherwise I’d grab the link for you. 

Post # 5
Member
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Commenting to follow 🙂

Post # 6
Member
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Commenting to follow 

Post # 8
Member
50 posts
Worker bee

I intend to buy my own alcohol for the wedding for 150 guests, to make sure I don’t run too much over or too less, I called around my town to all of the Liquor stores/depots until I found one that is willing to take all the unopened cases back and refund all my money and also said will give a 10% for every 6 cases, I intend to buy from him all the beverages too, since I’m getting such a good deal. no time limit they said for refund 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  Ralia1982.
Post # 9
Member
5883 posts
Bee Keeper

Depends on your location too. I’m in NJ and for my daughter’s wedding almost 4 years ago, our bar bill was just under $1500. for 85 guests. We had very little remaining that was unopened. The liquor store did do a buy back of all unopened items, tho. We also had a full open bar with top shelf booze.

Post # 10
Member
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2014 - lindsay lakes, cypress TX

I don’t know what kind of formula they are using for this but here is a calculator you could use. We’re also purchasign the alcohol (beer & wine only) for our wedding off 200-220. Hoping it will save us a lot!<br /><br />http://www.perfect-party-planning.net/drinks_calculator.html

Post # 11
Member
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Ok, I’m an engineer, so I have spreadsheets. Just keep in mind we overbought – we bought most of the wine before we got RSVPS, so it was tailored to the invite list, not the RSVP list. Beer and non-alcoholic drinks were bought more tailored to the crowd. We were copying a wedding that ran out of beer at 7 pm, so we were paranoid, but were also taking into account what happened at my sister’s wedding . . so yeah, it’s complicated and you have to know your crowd.

That being said . . . 

We invited 194 for the wedding and had ~115 RSVP yes. We invited 109 to the rehearsal dinner and about about 55 people. We spent $2222 on the drinks total and were able to return about $500 worth of red wine. We sent some of the leftover wine/beer/soda home with other people and just finished our leftover 4 cases of wine and have most of the 10 cases of beer gone :). Great way to start your marriage off very cheaply (and drunkenly sometimes).

For the rehearsal dinner:

We had 10 bottles of cheaper white wine and 10 bottles of cheaper red wine. We had a lot of soda and water. We had some beer in a can because we couldn’t have glass in the park. People drank MAYBE one alcoholic drink per person. We had way to much at the rehearsal dinner, which was fine by me.

For the wedding:

We had tea and water and coffee served by our caterer at dinner, and a coffee station setup throughout the night. I think we had two 1/2 barrels of beer, one of generic and one of microbrew, which we thought wouldn’t please our crowd, but totally did. This essentially was all that was drunk during the wedding, beer-wise. We ended up with ~10 cases of beer leftover, which was odd because that was my original budget (thanks generous husband lol). We had 8 cases of red wine, 4 of which I returned, and 4 cases of fancy white wine. We had something like 8 bottles of sparkling grape juice for kids, which I’m not sure was touched because people didn’t end up bringing their kids and we had a shuttle to prevent drunk driving. We had something like 10 cases of soda and only about 1/2 were drunk. We had something like 12 cases of bottled water, which was very very necessary for setup/takedown/end of night, but we probably had 4 cases left over. 

As a sidenote: we voted no liquor because we didn’t want our crowd to get too out of control. As the ‘hosts’ (ie no bartender), we were legally liable for our guests bad behavior or drunk driving according to WI law. We booked a shuttle to do circles to try to prevent drunk driving and also bought wedding insurance with a liquor liability add-on, primarily for the liquor liability. Our guests were well behaved, but it’s good to be safe.

Post # 12
Member
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Maybe an easier way to process the info: here was our plan (not vetted against what we bought)

For a wedding starting at 4 pm and ending at 11 pm for 115 people, we planned for 6 alcoholic beverages per person and 4 non-alcoholic drinks per person (may have cut down on this). For the rehearsal dinner, we planned for 3.4 alcoholic drinks per person (this carried over to our wedding, so we overbought) and 4 nonalcoholic drinks per person (probably did something more like 2). The rehearsal dinner started ~ 6 pm and people dispersed by 9 pm. There was endless analysis on how to get these numbers and get the best deals. Our wine came from 3 different states in order to get different kinds/stuff we could return. Then our beer was bought right before the wedding from a couple of places and our choices were affected by sales. We bought Smirnoff for people who liked coolers – total waste of money. People adjust.

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