As professional UK Wedding Planners, we’re so lucky to plan and design some incredible weddings in dry-hire venues – this is where you simply hire a beautiful piece of land or building and then plan your wedding from scratch. Whilst there’s so much more work involved in planning a wedding of this nature, one of the major perks is that you can often provide your own alcohol! Whilst most dry-hire venues won’t apply corkage charges, determining how much alcohol to buy can be a minefield! Here are our top tips for how much alcohol you should buy for your wedding!
Decide on your drinks
Firstly, decide what kind of drink offering you would like to provide. It’s really easy to decide on welcome, post-ceremony and wedding breakfast drinks so you’ll need to mostly focus your attention on the evening bar.
Don’t, whatever you do, feel like you have to offer a full evening bar – the majority of our couples will choose a wine, beer, prosecco and then some signature drinks that work in season – go for the heavy-hitters such as g&t’s, rum and coke etc so that the bulk of your guests are catered for.
Think outside the box
It’s also really fun to have a signature cocktail on tap – mojitos work really well for this, but also consider options like sangria or something a little lighter. Post-dinner drinks such as espresso martinis are absolute crowd pleasers but the starting point is to really think about what you enjoy drinking with your nearest and dearest.
In terms of the quantities – here’s a rough guide:
- Welcome drink – allow 1 pp
- Post-ceremony drinks reception – all 2-3 drinks pp
- Wedding breakfast – allow half a bottle of wine pp
- Speeches – allow a glass of bubbles pp (you may want glasses topped up depending on the order of when your speeches take place
- Evening bar – allow 6 drinks pp
Always work on the basis that a bottle of wine offers 5 standard-sized glasses of wine, whilst you’ll get 6 glasses out of a bottle of fizz.
Consider your guest list
This is of course very general guide and you must take the needs of your guests into consideration. For example, if you have lots of beer drinkers, you’ll want a higher beer quantity for your evening bar. If you’re having a summer wedding, you’ll likely need a higher allocation of white wine to red and you’ll also want to consider adding some rose wine or more sparkling options into the mix!
Water, water and more water!
It’s also really important to ensure you have water readily available throughout the day – a Kilner dispenser filled with fruit and ice is a nice touch. Do instruct your caterer to place jugs of tap water or bottles of sparkling water onto the tables and importantly, if you have children coming, ensure there’s water, squash or juice available for them for the duration.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice – places like Majestic wine warehouse will be happy to advise on specific quantities and often offer purchases on a sale or return basis. As wedding planners, we’re used to dishing out booze advice and will always ensure you are well stocked because there’s nothing worse than running low on drinks!