(Closed) Host Bar- how many drinks did your guests have?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
550 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015 - Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

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bluebellsbride:  The guide we were given said that we should anticipate 2 drinks per person for a one hour cocktail hour and then 1 drink per person for each hour that the bar is open for the rest of the night. Apparently this averages everything out nicely and is pretty accurate for most groups.

Post # 4
698 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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bluebellsbride:  Our reception started at 5pm, and went to about 1am. We had approx. 200 people. When we got our run down of liquor consumed post-wedding, removing the children from the count, it worked out to approx. 11 drinks per person, not including the 2 bottles of wine on each table. We clearly had some big drinkers at our wedding (friends and family), and it was quite the party, but even I couldn’t believe people had drank that much! 

Post # 5
86 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

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bluebellsbride:  The venue coordinator where I am getting married suggested 7 drinks per person as an estimate (with some people drinking more and some people drinking less). She said the vast majority of weddings held there have been around that. She did say know your crowd though. Some groups are heavier drinkers than others. 

Post # 6
3219 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

You can try shutting the bar down at 12 or 11:30? I wouldn’t announce ‘last call’ or anything so people don’t rush to get drinks they won’t finish. Or sneakily make sure it’s just wine and/or beer left at the end, 10:30-12:30. They take a little longer to drink, fill your bladder more than highballs, often are cheaper, and by 10:30 people still drinking probably won’t care, booze is booze.

Post # 7
341 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

That does seem to low.  I’m a small female and considered a “lightweight” with booze, and I’d probably have 3 throughout the night.

Post # 8
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - North NJ

Id say the 1 per hour and 2 at cocktail hour seems like an accurate number for an average, medium drinker. Your body metabolizes 1 drink per hour on average, so many people won’t even get drunk on that.

Post # 10
160 posts
Blushing bee

That seems low; I agree with others that I would assume at least 6-7pp, per hour, to get a more accurate number. Options if this is a budget issue for you:

-scale down what you host; ie just do wine and beer, or offer a white & red wine, a beer, and a mixed drink option, etc. It’s still hosting the bar but you’re limiting what you’re willing to pay for.

-Cut back your times… you could close the bar for dinner or close the bar an hour beofre the reception ends (just have your DJ make an announcement ahead of time either way, I’ve been to a ton of weddings like this). You could offer a signature drink only (or something similar) during cocktail hour and then full open bar once the reception starts.

We hosted wine/beer only with heavy drinkers and we averaged around 7 per person. We’d figured 6 so we were pretty much on the money with that.


Post # 11
2850 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Doubles and shots seem like the best way to deter people from getting tons of drinks! But I can understand not wanting people to get wasted.

My venue offers a choice of hosted bar or pay-per-head, so I’ve done a bunch of research on wedding boards trying to find out what the better deal is.. it always came out that one cost for unlimited drinks per head was the better optipon (sorry I know they dont offer you this option). I read one board that said their bar price at the end of the night having a hosted bar was $12,000!! It must have been a huge wedding, but still… not knowing until the end would scare me!!

I’m sorry, I didnt mean to be super unhelpful and scare you. To be honest, I usually have like 6ish drinks if i’m not driving… Fiance would prob have 4… I would average 5 a person just to be on the safe side.

Post # 13
1325 posts
Bumble bee

Take into account that doubles will probably be counted as 2 drinks, so even if someone drinks 3 glasses, that’d be 6 shots for you. 

Post # 14
1352 posts
Bumble bee

I calculated 1.5 drinks per person per hour and it came up to slightly below my estimate.

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