How Much Alcohol Should You Buy for Your Wedding?

Great food and drinks are a top priority in wedding planning. The cost of food is easier to figure out than the cost of drinks. With food, you have a set platter and appetizers, and a specific amount is prepared for the event. When it comes to drinks, there are different ways of serving them, such as an open bar. This will impact your wedding alcohol budget and how much planning is needed, among other factors. Trying to figure out how much alcohol to buy can be stressful, but we are here to help. We have listed a couple things you should consider when figuring out the amount of alcohol to serve.

Types of Guests

Take a good look at your guest list. How many people are coming? What kind of people will be showing up? How many of them drink or are underaged? Are they light, moderate, or heavy drinkers? Nobody knows your guests more than you and your partner. Be open about your guests’ drinking habits, so you can get a better understanding of how much they will consume at your wedding. What kind of alcohol do they prefer? If you’ve invited wine or beer enthusiasts, you will have to stock up on that. Maybe most of your friends and family like heavy liquor. Mixed drinks are the answer here. 

Time and Length of Reception

Is your reception a daytime or nighttime event? Is it on a weekday or weekend? How long will it last? These are all important questions to consider because they will greatly influence the amount of alcohol that is consumed. Alcohol is consumed more at night, than during the day. Therefore, if your reception is a daytime event only, you will most likely need less alcohol. Most people work during the week, so they will be less inclined to consume a lot of alcohol if they work the next day. The longer your reception lasts, the more alcohol you will need to supply. As a great guide, assume 2 drinks per person in the first hour. From there, one drink per guest every hour after that should be fine. Although, if your guests are a younger crowd, you might have to supply a little more per person. This is why knowing the types of guests is crucial.

How Many Bartenders?

Have you ever gone to a bar, and had to wait a very long time before getting served? The bartender was drowning in orders, and you seemed to blend in with the crowd? You don’t want your guests to have this same experience at your wedding. We recommend having at least one bartender per 75 guests. But if you want to provide great service, one bartender per 50 guests is perfect.

Other Recommendations

Hidden Creek recommends having two options of wine, red and white, as well as two options of beer. Costco allows you to buy beer and wine in bulk, and return unopened boxes. We also recommend Spec’s. This company will supply all the alcohol, as well as help you calculate how much is needed. Or, you can invest in a bar service that takes care of everything. 

Different Types of Bars

There are a variety of different ways to serve alcohol at your wedding. You can buy all the alcohol and mixers yourself, and then hire someone to serve it at your event. However, we strongly encourage you to hire a bar service that can take care of all the alcohol, mixers, and serving for you. Here are the types of bar services you can choose from, depending on your wedding alcohol budget.

Open Bar

This option is the most expensive, but will be your guests’ favorite. They will be able to order any drink they’d like, and you will pay for the resulting tab. Since the drinks are limitless and free, your guests may drink more.

Cash Bar

This is the opposite of an open bar. Unless your guests don’t really drink, this is probably not the best idea. They will have to pay for any drink they order. Although this will save you money, it might result in some unhappy guests. It’s a controversial route to take, for you are expecting your guests to pay for their own drinks, which can seem rude. We recommend opting out for a limited bar instead.

Limited Bar

You can offer a selection of alcohol, such as wine, beer, and mixed drinks, and set specific times of consumption. This can be at night during the dancing, or during dinner, etc. By limiting the time the bar is open, you will save money on alcohol and will still have happy guests, since the drinks are free. You can also choose which kind of alcohol is served and the amount, such as only wine and beer and select liquors. And don’t forget about the toasts!

The Perfect Setting at Hidden Creek

Accompany great food and drinks with the perfect venue. Hidden Creek is cozily tucked away in enchanting woodlands, away from any disturbances. You and your guests can party away comfortably, without worrying about a thing. Hidden Creek pairs up with excellent bar services, including HD Liquid Catering and DFW Bartending, as well as gives you the opportunity to supply your own alcohol instead. Whatever decision you make, we have the right team and resources to help you turn it into reality. Schedule a tour with us today, and let’s make your dream wedding come true!