How Much Alcohol To Prepare For A Wedding?


Ah, the joyous (and sometimes daunting) task of planning a wedding includes tackling the all-important question: “How much alcohol should we prepare?” Whether it’s a grand reception or an intimate gathering, getting the drinks just right can really set the mood for a memorable celebration. So, let’s dive into a spirited discussion on how to ensure your wedding is as bubbly and vibrant as your love story, without leaving you with a budget hangover.

Here are some things to consider to help determine exactly how much alcohol you need for your guest count as well as what types of alcohol to serve.

Understanding Your Guests

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First things first, know your crowd. Are your guests the type to enjoy a glass of wine or two, mostly beer drinkers or are they more inclined to celebrate with something stronger? The composition of your guest list – heavy drinkers, moderate sippers, or teetotalers – will greatly influence your alcohol needs.

Types of Alcohol and Ways To Serve Them

Beer and Wine Only

If you’re planning a more laid-back or budget-friendly affair, sticking to beer and wine is a great choice. For wine, anticipate that each bottle will serve about five glasses. For beer, if you’re going with bottles or cans, one per guest per hour is a safe bet.

Full Bar

For a full bar, you’ll want a broader estimate. Along with beer and wine, you’ll need spirits. A 750 ml bottle of liquor will serve about 18 mixed drinks. Don’t forget mixers, garnishes, and perhaps a signature cocktail instead to add a personal touch to your celebration.

Signature Cocktails
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Speaking of signature cocktails, they’re not just a way to showcase your personalities but can also be a savvy move for your budget. By limiting the types of alcohol needed, you can make a memorable impact while keeping costs and the flow of drinks in check.

Non-Alcoholic Options Are a Must

Don’t forget about your guests who don’t drink alcohol. Offering a selection of non-alcoholic beverages is not only considerate but also essential. Think sparkling water, sodas, and perhaps a non-alcoholic signature drink.

The Evolving Bar

Crafting an unforgettable wedding experience involves not just selecting the right drinks but also presenting them thoughtfully throughout the different stages of your celebration. For example, serve cocktail during cocktail hour, wine and beer during dinner service, followed by beer and low alcoholic cocktails when the dance floor opens. By planning your alcohol offerings to lower the ABV as the event goes on, you’re not only ensuring that your guests have a fantastic time but also that they do so responsibly. It’s a thoughtful way to cater to different tastes and preferences while keeping the atmosphere enjoyable and safe for everyone.

Buying Tips

In the local setting, many couples opt for the BYO (beer and wine) route. Often, venues will wave off corkage fees if minimum booking requirements are met. Look for retailers that offer buy-back options for unopened bottles. This can be a lifesaver for managing your budget and avoiding waste. Wholesale purchases can also net you some savings.

Alcohol Catering

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When budget isn’t a constraint, and you’re aiming for a seamless, high-quality beverage experience at your wedding, opting for a professional alcohol catering service is indeed a splendid choice. These caterers provide a complete package, featuring everything from bartenders and servers to glassware and custom cocktails, ensuring a personalised and sophisticated beverage experience. The setback? Roughly RM120 per guest.

Wedding Alcohol Calculations

A general rule of thumb is to have one drink per guest per hour of the reception. This formula helps in estimating the quantity but remember, it’s always better to have a bit more than to run out. Now, let’s break it down:

Beer (660 mls): 1 bottle per 2-3 guests
Wine: 1 bottle per 3 guests
Liquor: 1 bottle per 18-20 guests
After-party: 1.5 drinks per person per hour

For example; 100 guests, 4 hour event will require an estimated:

Beer (660 mls): 50 bottles
Wine: 50 bottles
Liquor: 10 bottles
After-party: 1.5 drinks per person per hour (10 bottles of liquor)

Lastly, it’s wise to add a little buffer to your estimates. An extra case of wine or a few additional bottles of spirits can give you peace of mind, ensuring that your celebration remains lively and your guests happy throughout the night.

In summary, the key to alcohol planning for your wedding is understanding your guests, choosing the right mix of beverages, and preparing for a little extra. With these tips, you’re well on your way to hosting a successful wedding celebration!

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