How Much Alcohol Do I Need for My Wedding?


photo by Comfort Studio

If you’re stocking the bar for your wedding (or rehearsal dinner), you’re likely confounded by just how much of everything you need to purchase. No one wants to run out but you don’t want to be stuck with tons of leftovers either.

A few points to to keep in mind as you start calculating your bar purchase:

General rule of thumb – people drink the heaviest the first 2 hours of a party with 2 drinks per person per hour and then at the 3 hour onward mark, it’s 1 drink per person per hour

50% of guests will prefer wine, 30% beer, 20% mixed drinks

If you’re only serving beer or wine, plan on 60% drinking wine and 40% drinking beer

If it’s hot, people will drink more white wine than red and more beer than mixed drinks

The more mixed cocktails you serve, the more ingredients you’ll need on hand. To keep bar costs down, keep it simple – beer, wine, hard liquor with mixers

For every liter of hard liquor, you’ll need 3 liters of mixer (sodas, juices)

Don’t forget to have water, ice, ice buckets, ice chests/coolers, cocktail napkins, stir sticks, glassware, garbage bins and bags

1 bottle of wine = 5 glasses

1 bottle of champagne = 8 glasses

1 bottle of hard liquor = 18 drinks

Here are a few tools to help you calculate just what you’ll need:

Bar Shopping chart


Wedding Alcohol Calculator

Perfect Party Planning shot


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