Knowing how much alcohol to buy for your event is important. Whether you’re having a large reception or an intimate gathering with your closest family and friends, there is a thin line between not quite enough and way too much. Follow the tips below to prevent over spending and get the most of your celebratory evening.
Know Your Crowd
Open Bars and Wedding Receptions pretty much go hand in hand. Celebrating love is an exhilarating experience, and so is watching Uncle Charles on the dance floor after his 3rd glass of wine kicks in. If your vision for your reception is a night full of dancing shenanigans then stocking the bar is a wise plan. But how much alcohol do you really need? The simple answer here is going to blow your mind. A lot less than you think.
Beer, Wine or Seltzer? or all of the above?
Our venue has a no liquor policy, which is in place specifically to protect you (the couple) and your guests. Beer, Wine & Hard Seltzers are allowed and is a great way to offer a variety without breaking the bank. Beer and wine have long since been a reception tradition but ever since White Claw hit the market, hard seltzers have quickly become a staple. If wine is more your style, consider your dinner options carefully and choose a red and a white that pairs well. For the beer drinking crowd, keep the options to 2 (three at most.) Offering too many options can become unnecessarily expensive and truthfully, your guests will happily drink whatever is available.
How Much Alcohol to Buy Based on Guest Count
Here it is, the simple answer. Guest Count X 3 drinks per person = how much alcohol you should buy for your wedding. If you’re thinking, gosh, we’re heavy drinkers, that’s not enough! – I have 2 pieces of advice for you.
First of all, you, your newly wed spouse, your wedding party & guests will all be buzzing on affection and adrenaline. Alcohol is purely a nice cool addition to that love-drunk vibe. Inevitably, the more alcohol available, the more everyone drinks. By controlling the inventory you ensure that the evening stays a celebration and does not take a turn down – oh no, what happened last night?! – lane.
Secondly, while 3 drinks per person seems like an overly modest number, keep in mind that not every guest will drink. A true guest count will include kids (if any are present at your wedding,) the folks that will leave following the ceremony and a select few DD’s. Thanks to these individuals, it typically increases the available beverages for the folks who are drinking and comes out to just the right amount.
How Much Alcohol is Leftover?
“Bought too much? No big deal, we can just take it home. Rather have too much than not enough.” This is something we hear all the time. It’s true, if you have leftover alcohol you can always take it home, but (and this is really important) PLAN AHEAD. We cannot count the number of receptions that we have seen with leftover beverages and nothing to transport them in.
When the evening comes to an end and everyone is scrambling to load, pack and leave, having to haul extra cases of booze is not so much fun.
If you are planning a wedding and trying to figure out how much alcohol you should have available for your reception, trust this tried & true method and rest assured that it will be a night you remember forever, for all the right reasons.