How Much Alcohol Should You Serve At The Wedding Reception?

Planning a wedding reception is no easy task, especially if you are taking on the role of wedding planner yourself. You need to consider the venue, the guest list, seating arrangement, food, flowers, centerpieces, entertainment and the list goes on and on. One aspect of the reception that may take some guestimating, is how much alcohol is needed to keep your guests happy and the party going?

We use the word guestimate as you can never truly know how many beverages each guest is going to consume, or what the drink of choice is going to be for the night. To help with your guestimating we have put together a list of items to consider when you prepare your alcohol order for your wedding reception.

Gauge your Guests

When calculating the amount of alcohol to order for your wedding reception, you should start with the number of guests at the reception. Classify your guests into different categories, such as non-drinkers, light drinkers, and there for a good time. Factor in the duration of the party and the variety for drinks you would like to serve, as not everyone will be drinking the same beverage. Once you review these, you should have a starting point for your order.

Decide the Types of Drinks to Serve

As mentioned above, you should plan what you intend to serve your guests. Are there any special times during the ceremony where you may require a specific type of alcohol, for example sparkling wine for a toast, and wine for dinner.  You should also consider other types of alcohol, for example you may have a signature cocktail for the evening, if so you should expect to use more of that drink’s ingredients.

Cash Bar VS Open Bar

Do you plan on having a cash bar or an open bar for your reception? Introducing a cash bar to your wedding reception will help reduce the cost of the alcohol and curtail the amount of drinking at the reception. An open bar will lead to more alcohol consumption and more drinks going to waste, as people tend to put them down and forget about them.

Decide How Much to Serve

An easy way to make an educated guess on the mount of alcohol needed is by offering your guests several free drink tickets each and ask them to purchase any additional drinks they would like to consume. You should assume, that those not drinking will pass their tickets on to their friends drinking, but at least you have a minimum number of beverages required.

Create a Budget

Going all out and buying cases upon cases of alcohol for your reception may seem like a good idea, but it comes at a cost. Literally, you will need to set aside a chunk of change to pay for your order. Having a defined budget for your alcohol order will help you keep the ordering in check, and will help you when it comes to deciding on the variety and quantity of alcohol to order. The easiest way to go about this is to come up with a cost per guest.

Don’t over think it, you have so much on your plate planning for your wedding. Make your order based on your initial calculations, and if it turns out you are running low on a specific type of alcohol, you can always turn to an after hours alcohol delivery service. They will be sure to bring you whatever you are running low on, without having to worry about one of your guests running out, or the party ending early.

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