(Closed) How much alcohol should I buy for my reception?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We’re doing the same thing, and luckily, we’ll be able to return what we don’t use 😉

I just found this, don’t know how accurate

To help break this down by drink type, you can use the following guide: 

  • Champagne One case will serve 50 people, averaging 82 drinks. A great way to offer guests champagne is to have a champagne fountain, which can be operated with as little as three bottles or as much as five gallons 
  • Hard Liquor A good rule is to have enough hard liquor so that each guest can have two drinks. Each quart of liquor serves between 21 and 28 drinks, with the most popular choices being Bourbon, Gin, Scotch, and Vodka. 
  • Punch If you want to serve alcohol but cut back on costs, you can have spiked punch, which makes a great option for weddings 
  • Beer For beer, your most economical solution is to buy kegs. If the reception will be small, you can rent a pony keg, which would be perfect.

Post # 4
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Ya, that’s not the greatest, lol.

I’m thinking at LEAST 2 beers/glasses of wine per person of legal age.  Some will have none, some will have 6…. lol. 

just found this online:

“As a former wedding planner, I can tell you that the rule of thumb is 5-6 glasses of wine per person. This may seem like a lot, but people sit drinks down and forget about them, etc. Since there are 5 glasses in a bottle of wine, and 12 bottles in a case, you need about ten cases of wine. People drink more red wine than white, so if you serve white wine it will last longer.”

Don’t know if that’s true… 

Post # 5
Member
327 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

We are trying to calculate this for our wedding as well. We’re having a daytime wedding, and I asked around to family as to haw many people will drink and how many heavier drinkers they think there will be. I’m estimating 4 drinks per person (for a shorter, daytime wedding). We are not doing liquor though, so I think that makes it easier to do calculations.

Post # 6
Member
2090 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

My venue planner told me they estimate 1 drink/per guest/per hour (so, if your reception is 5 hours long, 5 drinks per guest). She said they totals sometimes come in less, but that it’s a good average to use.

One thing to keep in mind too is that if people are pouring themselves drinks, they will pour larger drinks. If a bartender is pouring, you should get 5-6 glasses of wine from a standard size bottle, but if guests pour, you’re more likely to get 4 glasses/bottle.

It might be helpful to poll some friends/family and see what they drink – if they mostly all drink wine, then probably order more wine than beer, etc.

Post # 7
Member
1801 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

That’s interesting that they say white wine will last longer.  It’s always been my experience that white goes faster because chilled drinks are easier to drink.  But I suppose that would really depend on the people and the food served. 

We’re having 150 people for a dinner reception and a beer/wine only bar.  We’re looking at ordering a minimum of 60 bottles of wine (2 glasses per person).  I’m still unsure of the split between red and white though.  Our beer has to be by the bottle, so we haven’t figured that one out yet.

Post # 8
Member
2205 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

we calculated that 20% of guests wouldn’t drink (kids, obviously)

30% would have two drinks (likely wine) 20% would have 4 drinks (beer and mixed) and 30% would have more than 4 (it was a 7 hour reception) (mixed drinks)

You don’t have to pinpoint, but it’s good to have an idea of how many and what type of drinkers are coming to your wedding. KLP2010 shared some good guidelines as well!

Post # 10
Member
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

Well, I was going to give you a link, but Hazelnut beat me to it!Smile

Post # 12
Member
9 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 1992

How do you calculate how much alcohol  per guest…?

Post # 13
Member
1294 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I have been wondering how to estimate this as well. It is actually best to overestimate because you can take unopened bottles back to the store right?

We will be doing kegs for the beer

I hate that people drink a sip from their cup and set it down and get another   so annoying. I will never do that at a wedding because I know it costs the bride and groom!

Post # 14
Member
9 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 1992

That’s good idea…kegs, I read that if you estimate a drink every half hour for each guest you will have more than enough…? 

 

Post # 15
Member
4194 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

My advice on this is to make sure whatever you buy, you’d want to drink yourself, AND that you’ll have helpers to take it home. We ended up overbuying on everything since we got a great discount through a wine rep, but I’d always rather have too much then run out. And the extra wine made for great Christmas gifts that year! 🙂

We had two whites: Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, two reds: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. We kept the hard alcohol pretty simple: vodka, gin, bourbon, whiskey, and soda and juice for mixers. Three beer choices: Fat Tire, Lienenkugel Sunset Wheat (DH’s favorite), and Natty Boh.

Post # 16
Member
9 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 1992

@rebwana:  

 

Awesome, thanks for the info…it gives me some ideas.

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