Drinks at reception?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
940 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

mowii09 :  I think you’re going to need more than one bar tender… 

Post # 3
Member
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Math time: 1 drink per person per hour of reception + 2 drinks per person for cocktail hour. Assume a cocktail hour and a four hour reception. This math is generally pr tty good for both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks. 

This means 6 drinks per person = 900 drinks total. 

1/3 of the people drink alcohol but not all of them will drink all six drinks of alcohol but let’s stick with 1/3 because running out would suck. Depending on your crowd, you could probably go down to 20-25% if you have a lot of light drinkers.

I did a 40/60 split for beer/wine but it depends on your crowd. So, so far, this equates to:

180 servings of wine (we did a 40/60 split between white/red, so 72 servings and 108 servings)

120 servings of beer 

600 non alcoholic servings (400 servings of pop and pop alternatives, explanation below)

unlimited water (to make up for the 200 non alcoholic servings above and extras). 

Your two kegs sound good. You’ll probably have extra. I would look into getting bottles of beer because then the extra can either be saved and drank later or returned to the liquor store. Any extra from a keg will be wasted. Boxed wine usually isn’t good. Can you get bottles? People can self serve or if you have bartenders, this will be easy. Most events I’ve been have had wine bottles on the table. Again, any extra unopened bottles can be saved or returned.

Canned pop is totally fine and makes self service really easy. You can keep them cold by getting large bins and a ton of ice. Also, based on how many people you have who ar light or non drinkers, I would expand your options. Part of those 600 servings can be water (since not everyone will drink a flavoured drink). I would assume about 2/3 of the 600 non alcoholic drinks should be flavoured (so 400 servings). Otherwise, I would assume the rest would be water. Water should be unlimited regardless though. In addition to pop, can you offer iced tea, soda water, juice, spritzer, etc? Do you also have a coffee/tea option for after dinner? In addition to the rest of the drinks, my caterer provided enough coffee/tea for about half of the guests and it was fine. 

Modify all of the above numbers based on your crowd, time of year, location, etc. since people will drink more when it’s hot. And remember, running out of drinks partway through really really sucks, so it’s always better to get extra. Unopened drinks can be returned or saved for later. 

Post # 4
Member
1607 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Oh yes, I agree with the pp. you need more than one bartender, unless everything is self serve anyways and the bartender is more there to supervise. 

Post # 5
Member
62 posts
Worker bee

Agreed, you’ll likely need another, if not 2 more bartenders and possible a second bar setup. Bar lines can get long. I’d also say you’re looking at more like 5-6 drinks per person for a 4hr rececption. As a guest, I typically drink 2 glasses of wine at cocktail hour, and 3-4 from dinner to the end of the night.

Post # 6
Member
637 posts
Busy bee

mowii09 :  The amount of alcohol really depends on how long your reception is. 

I think canned soda is fine. I would look for a large bin you can fill with ice. 

PLEASE ALSO HAVE WATER!!!! 

Post # 7
Member
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Just adding this in case you hadn’t realized: check your local liquor laws. If your friend who is bartending isn’t licensed and insured, depending on local laws, you or your friend may be held liable for any injury or damages. It is that way in my state. 

Post # 8
Member
6673 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

mowii09 :  I don’t know anything about alcohol quantities, liquor laws, etc but I just want you to conider this:  Your friend is making home brewed beer.  Then guests who don’t drink alcohol get what… pepsi? Coke?  At least go out to a local brewery and get them something a little more interesting and tasty so it looks like you care just as much about them.  We didn’t do much for drinks but since we got local beer, we also got growlers of root beer and it was delicious and looks like quite a bit more effort than a Walmart run.

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