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Let’s face it. The wedding reception is one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning. Why? Mainly because of alcohol. Wedding alcohol is much more challenging to estimate than the food menu. Even with the help of your caterer, you still have to know how much alcohol you’re going to serve. We don’t want to ruin the party by running out of booze a little early into the wedding reception.

Underestimating or overestimating your alcohol amounts will be a formula for a mistake. So, how do you gauge the amount of booze to prepare for? Here’s a guide for you when it comes to your wedding booze. 



The time and day of your wedding dramatically affect the amount of alcohol your guests will be willing to consume. If you’re tying the knot on the weekend, expect your guests to indulge more booze than when the celebration falls on a weekday. Likewise, guests will be more likely to drink during nighttime than during daytime. And, the longer your party lasts, the more booze you will need.


Think about your guests. How many are drinkers, non-drinkers? Are they light, moderate, or heavy drinkers? What drinks do they prefer? When deciding which drinks to offer and how much to serve. Take all these into account; when unsure, you can always ring up some of them and inquire. 

Type of Service

What type of bar will you opt for? There are different setup choices for reception bars: open bar, beer and wine bar, and a cash-only bar. Open bar is the priciest option yet the most common one where guests can have unlimited drinks. A beer and wine bar is more budget-friendly, where you can add pre-selected cocktail options. Lastly, the cash-only bar is where guests pay for their drinks and is generally not recommended. 

Suggested Alcohol Numbers

It’s tricky to know the amount of alcohol to serve accurately, but as a general guide, here are some ratios:

50 guests

Wine & Champagne: 25 bottles

Beer: 100 bottles per/hr

Liquor: 6 bottles per/hr

Mixers: 17 bottles per/hr

100 guests

Wine & Champagne: 50 bottles

Beer: 200 bottles per/hr

Liquor: 12 bottles per/hr

Mixers: 33 bottles per/hr

How Much Alcohol Do You Need for Your Wedding?
How Much Alcohol Do You Need for Your Wedding?


Alcohol numbers will vary depending on the factors discussed above. If in doubt, round up and buy a little more. You can always return the unopened bottles if you haven’t lost the receipts.

Now, if you still have problems with planning and need assistance, we’re here to help.



Keep Guests Tipsy

Wedding Catering Types