(Closed) DIY Bar for 150 guests

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
1413 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

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JosieR:  If the overwhelming preference is for beer, I’d say a couple of mixed drinks (maybe two different ones, each with a different liquor?) would be totally fine – and easier to pay for and manage.  No reason to have 10 different liquors and 20 different mixers when most people will drink beer anyway.

Are you hiring bartenders?

Post # 3
8601 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

For guest safety, enjoyment and liability reasons I would definitely say bartenders are mandatory!! Not sure if skipping them is what you meant by DIY bar

Post # 4
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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JosieR:  Our situations are almost identical and I have been tossing ideas around like this lately.  We are doing kegs of beer but also wanted some liquor options for non beer drinkers.  The thought of having to completely stock a bar over whelmed me (not just the liquor but all the things that go with it, cherries, limes, lemons,mixers).  I decided we are going to do a few signature drinks, beer and some wine. That is it.  Now to decide how many signature drinks….I am leaning toward 4!  I know that sounds like a lot but will give variation to people (a rum drink, tequila drink, whiskey drink and vodka drink).   I am thinking I will do it on the premise of “Something old, something new, something borrowed, Something blue” 


We are having bartenders so I want to keep it easy for them too.

Post # 5
645 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

In this instance, I would do something like a screwdriver and jack n coke, premixed. They’re pretty standard drinks that most people like, covers your bases as far as a light & dark liquor. Also, math wise, I’d probably figure 1.5 mixed drinks per adult, since you’re doing beer as well.

Post # 6
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I did a DIY bar for 145 guests, but I hired two bar tenders, which was WORTH IT! Our reception was from about 4:30 – 10:00pm.

We had 2 kegs of beer (local craft beer) and a bunch of wine, some champagne for the toast and whiskey and vodka. If you’re not doing wine, and you have heavy beer drinkers then 3 kegs is probably a good idea. We almost finished 2 kegs.

Our signature drinks were a whiskey ice tea or a vodka peach lemonade and moscow/whiskey mules. I also bought some sparkling water and tonic water and had a lot of limes available. So basically people could go for the signature drinks or order something with one of the 5 mixers available. 

It worked out SUPER well. Everyone said the alcohol was great. No one missed the “full” bar. We never ran out, and actually ended up returning a lot of wine, hard alcohol and mixers, so we overestimated our budget by about 1/3. While everyone there loves beer and/or wine, I think people really appreciated the option for hard alcohol.

I’d recommend making sure you can return extra alcohol and finding out what the rules are on that. We purchased from bevmo, and they let you return anything as long as it’s unopened and the label is intact.

Post # 7
316 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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aroger:  How much of the liquor did you buy?  Like how many bottles of each?

Post # 8
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

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cookiebird:  Keep in mind this was TOO much, and I know at least one person absconded with an almost full handel of whiskey at the end of the night and took it back to the campsite where a lot of the younger crowd was staying. But I’m glad the fun was continuing.

5 handles of Makers Mark Bourbon
6 handles of Kettle One Vodka

People really liked the “fancier” alcohol, and I think it cost about $200 more to get higher shelf stuff (compared with say smirnoff and jack daniels), but it was definitely noted by guests.  

Post # 9
6331 posts
Bee Keeper

Wisconsin is all about the beer! Beer was the only alcoholic beverage at our wedding because DH made some home brews and also brought out his rare beer stash. For the most part, people were fine with it although there were a few people who wanted wine instead, but we wanted to keep it simple and have it reflect our personal interests. 

Post # 10
16 posts
  • Wedding: August 2015

I a doing a DIY bar for 129 I figured out a majority of the alcohol needed for the wedding ( I was bored at work one day haha). Here is what we figured:

Serving Sizes
• 750 ml=17 drinks
• 1.75L = 41 drinks
• Full keg= 165 drinks
• Pony Keg= 82 drinks

# of Drinkers Break Down for 129
• 70 beer drinkers
• 18 Mike’s Lemonade Drinkers
• 14 Hard Cider Drinkers
• 24 Liquor Drinkers (VODKA, TEQUILLA, FIREBALL)

# of drinks needed = 1drink per hour per guest (6 hour reception)
• 420 beers (186 Coors Lites, 186 Dry Dock, 48 Old Chub)
• 108 mikes
• 84 ciders
• 144 liquor drinks (for liquor we are just getting a handle or each and when its gone its gone)

1 Signature Drink per person
• You will need to list your ingredients and see how many drinks you can make in a batch and then see how many batches are necessary. If you are doing more than one you will need to guestimate which guests will drink what.

We got most of these numbers by going through our guest list and figuring out who drinks what. If we weren’t sure then we added them to all three lists (we know our guest pretty well so in doing it this way we figured we wouldn’t have to much left over). Something to also think about is finding a liquour store where you can return unoppend bottles. 

Hope this helps 🙂 

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