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Wedding Alcohol – How much should you buy?

Wedding alcohol – it’s a question our team of wedding planners are asked regularly! So, today we’re sharing our top wedding planning tips to help you buy the right amount of alcohol for your wedding!

As professional Wedding Planners working across the UK, we’re so lucky to plan and design some incredible weddings in dry-hire venues – this is where you hire a beautiful piece of land (for a marquee wedding or tipi wedding) or amazing dry-hire wedding venue such as a barn or country house, and then source your wedding suppliers to bring your wedding vision to life.

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 booze to buy can be a minefield – purchase too little and you’ll run out and buy too much, you’re home will become a wine warehouse for the duration! Note, this may not necessarily be a bad thing, but for those trying to closely manage a wedding budget, getting the alcohol quantities for your wedding correct first time, is highly recommended!

It’s also worth mentioning that some wedding venues will allow you to purchase alcohol for the day time events only, so for example, your welcome drinks, post-ceremony drinks and throughout the meal. The wedding venue will then likely provide the wedding alcohol for your evening bar, so really, you can get the best of both worlds!

Choosing your wedding alcohol

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 focus your attention on the evening bar mostly.

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 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 think about what you enjoy drinking with your nearest and dearest.

In terms of the alcohol quantities – here’s a rough guide to how much alcohol the average wedding guest is likely to consume:

  • Welcome drink – allow one drink pp
  • Post-ceremony drinks reception – allow 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 six drinks pp

Always work on the basis that a bottle of wine offers five standard-sized glasses of wine, whilst you’ll get six glasses out of a bottle of fizz.

There’s a fantastic alcohol calculator on the Majestic wine warehouse website here, and again, this should be used as a guide and adjusted precisely for your wedding guests needs.

Consider your guest list

This is, of course, a very general guide and you must consider the needs of your guests. 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 essential to ensure you have water readily available throughout the wedding day – a Kilner dispenser filled with fruit and ice is a nice touch. Do instruct your wedding 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!

If you’re planning a wedding in the UK and would like to chat through your plans with our team of wedding planners, we’d love to hear from you! You can reach us on 0800 772 0765 or [email protected].




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