Did more people drink liquor at your wedding than you thought?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
9998 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

Most of our guests drank beer as we assumed they would. However, we used a liquor store that has a party/wedding department whose policy was that as long as we ordered thier recommended amounts of alcohol we could return anything unopened. They had us fill out a form with some questions and were actually pretty dead on with thier numbers so I would talk with whatever liquor store you plan on using. Our also delivered to our venue so we didn’t have to worry about picking it up ourselves.

Post # 3
7025 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Yes. We had top shelf liquor and went through a lot of it, particularly vodka and scotch. If you are concerned you can limit to beer, wine and a few featured cocktails versus a fully stocked bar.

Keep in mind that bar consumption may appear higher at a wedding even if people aren’t drinking more–drinks get set down on tables and cleared or abandoned while people are visiting or dancing and a guest may just get another. 

Post # 4
5789 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
tayquinn26 :  While many people did drink wine and beer, I noticed coolers were more popular than I would’ve thought (I find many of them too sweet personally, but Woody’s coolers, Bacardi’s, Mike’s Hard etc were all popular choices). I also found people tended to do rounds of shots – at our wedding there were several rounds of Sicilian Kisses (my husband’s Italian, lol I don’t even know what’s in these shots). Sheridan’s & Tequila Rose were also popular shot choices. Mixed drinks tended to be fairly traditional- Long Island Iced Tea, Margaritas, Daquaris, Jack & Coke, Rum & Coke. Pina Colada’s also seemed to be popular but ours was a beach themed wedding so this may have skewed the choice. Seasonal drinks definitely. 

Post # 5
7633 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I have no idea as the liquor was provided by the venue and we went with the hourly rate or whatever rather than “by consumption”…but I will say I saw a lot more tequila shots happening than I would have anticipated for a Sunday night wedding lol.

Post # 6
506 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

We haven’t gotten married yet…and our package includes an open bar, so I can’t talk from wedding experience.  However, from other party experience, what we’ve done is had beer and wine stocked really well, and then had 1 or 2 different signature cocktails pre-mixed so that there was still liquor, but it wasn’t a fully stocked bar.  also, as one PP suggested, you can try to find a liquor store that will allow you to return unopened bottles.  

You have options, but I wouldn’t go crazy

Post # 7
2611 posts
Sugar bee


During dinner, I noticed the men drank beer and the women, wine.

For the rest of the night, they took advantage of our top shelf open bar and preferred the cognacs, whiskeys and vodkas.

Post # 8
1068 posts
Bumble bee

We were able to bring in outside alcohol purchased from a local store.  They provided guidance on how much beer, wine, and hard liquor we needed for a reception of our size and length so we deferred to the experts.  


We were not surprised by what we had leftover – hardly any liquor, some wine, and a ton of beer.  When our friends hanf out, most people have mixed drinks or wine, not beer.  Go with your gut on what your crowd drinks – if you have a Bud Lite group, they are probably going to drink that at your wedding, not Cabernet and Moscow Mules (or vice versa). 

Post # 9
512 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

We had 135 guests- approx 110 drinking. Our bartending vendor instructed us to get 7 handles of liquor. 2- Tequila, 2- Whiskey, 1- Vodka, 2-Rum. 6 Bottles of Wine (3 Red, 3 White). 4 cases (24) of beer. 

We did not run out of anything except our Import Beer (Dos Equies). But we did nearly run out of Red Wine. We were down to the last half bottle. (DH family likes their red wine…)

We Had full bottles of Rum, White Wine, and Tequila left over. Our liquor store allowed us to return these for a refund. 

I will say that Darling Husband and I barely got to drink at our wedding. We were so busy visiting and greeting people, I went up to the bar once all night, and ordered another bottle of water. I had a few sips of my specialty drink (Paloma), and a glass of champagne all night.  

Post # 10
603 posts
Busy bee

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tayquinn26 :  I am not married yet, but I went to a wedding last year that had a bar situation similar to yours.  What this couple did was offer three cocktails, two red wines, two white wines, prosecco, and three beers. The three cocktails they offered were a bourbon cocktail (very popular, and they ran out of this after about an hour and a half…it was delicious), a gin and tonic, and a vodka cocktail (don’t remember what it was?).

My point being, that I think offerring a few cocktails with all the garnishes etc., rather than trying to accommodate every single persons drink preferences worked really well for them. Also, often times, a package store might take back whatever unopened liquor you don’t use.

Good Luck!! 

Post # 11
3584 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

At our wedding the liquor was by consumption and provided by the venue. I didn’t see a lot of beer but I did see a lot of wine and whiskey, but that’s our crowd, especially when there’s an open bar involved.

Post # 12
2109 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

We decided fairly last minute to have a super limited selection of liquor, so we didn’t buy much. We had 3 handles of vodka and 3 handles of bourbon. We had 180 guests. Aaaaand we ran out before the end of cocktail hour. It was crazy. We had a TON of beer and wine though, since that was what we were planning offering exclusively until last minute, so we didn’t run out of either of those.

Post # 13
9379 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

find a place that buys back the unopened bottles.

Post # 14
4774 posts
Honey bee

Yeah, as a lush and former bartender for a venue I can tell join that open bar + happy celebration + people getting hotel rooms or having a Dear Daughter = lots of drinking, even from people you don’t think will drink because celebrating is fun.  With my crowd probably vodka, bourbon, and rum in that order but tied pretty closely, with gin a distant fourth.

Post # 15
197 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

View original reply
SeptBride2Be23 :  Interesting.  I would nix the rum, add gin, do Scotch and bourbon for the whiskey, and add WAY more vodka.  Seems like most people I know either drink vodka or Scotch.

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