While planning your wedding, you will hit a fair few brick walls. How much booze to buy is usually one of them. Let us try and help you…
What to buy
First things first, decide exactly what alcohol you’d like to buy. Sit down and write a list of all liquids you think you need. This will depend on your venue as some venues provide, for example, a glass of bubbly before the reception or a bottle on each table. However, if you are providing the whole thing, day and night, or have been asked by your bar hire company what you want, you’ll need to decide early on, for the sake of your budget.
A free bar doesn’t mean a lot of choice, and your guests will know that. The more you try and offer, the more expensive and difficult it’ll become. We suggest wine, beer, select spirits, and soft drinks
Your shopping list could consist of the following:
- White wine
- Red wine
- Ale (preferably real, from a keg)
- Mixers and soft drinks (cranberry juice, coke, lemonade, tonic water, soda water, lime cordial)
We hope you agree with us when we say this is the ideal booze shopping list!
How much to buy
It is really difficult to know how much booze to purchase. Buy too much and you’ll be drinking lime cordial for years. Buy too little and you’ll have guests wandering around with no drink in their hands to clutch, not to mention they could leave your wedding sober (!). There’s no solid way of calculating exactly how much you will need, it depends on a number of things: how many guests, how many hours your wedding will be, how wide the choice, and of course, how much you friends and family can drink.
The best way to know how much is to talk to others. Track down someone who has had similar size wedding to you and ask them. Failing that, we’ve done some research and found this:
One couple had 120 guests and spent £2400 on alcohol:
- 80 bottles of red
- 80 bottles of white
- 60 bottles of prosecco
- 6 bottles of 1L gin
- 6 bottles of 1L vodka
- 3 bottles of 1L whiskey
- 2 bottles of sambuca
This is excluding beer and soft drinks which they bought from the venue. The also said they did a semi-free bar i.e. after a certain time they charged £1 a drink which they made £300 on. In the end, they said they spent £1900.
This is a well stocked bar that didn’t run dry with some pretty hardcore guest, all in all, a successful bar.