How to know how much alcohol you will need for your wedding 

Asking “how much alcohol will we need?” or “how much should we put on the bar tab?” is a common and we get it, the fear of running out of booze on the night or having a blowout on your bar tab is a real one! Fear not because our inhouse wedding planner and stylist Alanah has a tried and tested method of knowing how much alcohol you will need at your wedding.

Ok lovers, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down with your partner and your guest list and prepare to be a tiny bit judgy. 

Every wedding's guest list is different and there is no golden formula to determine the perfect amount of alcohol for each wedding but there is a way to estimate as well as you can and that's to consider each of your guests individually. Next to each guest name make an estimate of how many drinks you think that guest will enjoy on the night and what you think they will drink the majority of. For example, Grandma might only have 3 glasses of chardy, but your Maid of Honour may be more along the lines of 5 or 6 glasses of champagne. 

Once you have everyone's estimates it's just a matter of tallying up for your total. As a rule there are 5 glasses in a standard bottle of wine or champagne. Remember to consider if you are having an arrival cocktail, champagne tower or a champagne toast as this will more often than not make up one of your allocated drinks for each guest.

Of course it's always a good idea to have a bit of extra incase you have any surprise deviations from your estimates on the night, It’s always better to have slightly too much than too little. Leftover bottles make for great thankyou gifts for your bridal party, family or suppliers and if you have to take home a few bottles it's not the worst thing in the world! 

When you are ready to choose what beverages to include on your drinks list its best to keep your selections to one sparkling or champagne, two whites, a rose, two reds and 3 - 4 beers. Any more than this can slow your bar service and confuse your guests. 

If you are holding your wedding at a venue that is licensed and does not permit BYO you can also use this method to inform your Bar Tab budget or decide between a beverage pack and bar tab option. If this is the case also compare your list of estimates with your venues beverage list prices and compare your total with the total spend on your per head beverage package. 

Beverage packages often seem to offer more value for money than bar tabs; however if you have a group that will drink only a moderate amount, or a lot of older family or pregnant guests a bar tab may actually be a better option. Beverage packages may often be limited to beer and wine, keep this in mind if you have a large number of spirit drinks on your guest list, it might not be worth covering people on a beverage package who will likely only drink outside of the available beverages on the night.

A few other beverage related tips: 

  • Your non-drinking guests will really appreciate some fun non-alcoholic options. Consider including a mocktail on your drinks list or some interesting flavoured sodas for these guests to enjoy on the night. 
  • Don’t forget the water, most venues will have this covered under their RSA practices however if you are hosting at a more DYI venue it's super important to ensure all of your guests have access to water. A water station by the dancefloor is always a good option and will ensure that your guests remain well hydrated (and not too merry) later in the night whilst busting a move!
  • Remember to consider mixers when tallying up your spirits list for BYO venues. Guests will also enjoy soda water alone so make sure you have more than enough soda and lime on hand to cover as mixers and as non-alcoholic options.

As always you can chat to me anytime about planning or styling advice on the stylist chat!


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