Wedding receptions can be a headache. One of such niggling problems is the amount of alcohol to buy for your wedding reception. The type of guests you’ll be having, their age ranges, and sometimes their alcohol preferences are a major determinant on the type and volume of alcohol to bring. Your budget is also a key factor in planning your wedding reception. We have carefully laid down a workable process that would help you deal with the logistics behind your wedding reception, and how much alcohol is permitted.
Here are some things to take into consideration
We would be laying down some useful markers that you need to consider while you plan for your wedding reception. But before we delve right in, let’s deal with some of the basics, shall we?
The amount of alcohol that would be consumed by your guests has a correlation with the day and time of the day of the reception. For example, receptions held on Friday nights tend to have more alcohol consumption than those held on Sunday afternoons.
Also, the personalities of your guests should be taken cognizance. Some people prefer wine and beer to hard drinks, while others prefer soft drinks instead; make sure you know the drinks your guests prefer, and do well to make adequate provisions.
Another important element to consider is the type of wedding environment you want to have. If you want a somber, solemn, professional and classy reception, open bar would not suffice. With an open bar, you are most likely going to have more hard drinks and a free flow of drinks. But if you want something wild, then please, by all means, throw the bar open!
Your wedding reception budget is another important criterion. If the plan is for alcohol to take up a huge chunk of your wedding budget, an open bar fits the bill.
For a less expensive option, beer and wine would do just fine. Offering limited alcohol options is another cheaper alternative. Don’t beat yourself up by trying to cater for everybody’s preference, you can’t satisfy everyone. Moreover, it is your wedding reception; don’t break the bank if you don’t have the means.
Lastly, it is needful to know that not all venues have the proper license to serve liquor. Double check on the venue before booking; be sure it has been licensed to have a full bar.
THE DIFFERENT BAR TYPES
THE SIGNATURE COCKTAIL
Weddings don’t just happen with spontaneous receptions; a lot of thought goes into it. For wedding receptions with themes, a signature cocktail is a must-have. The theme is usually matched with a signature cocktail. For example, a roaring twenties-themed wedding might have mint juleps as its signature cocktail. This way – with signature cocktails – alcohol can be controlled, and the couple can save money by buying the drinks in bulk.
BEER & WINE vs. HARD LIQUOR
Some venues are not licensed to serve hard drinks; so in such situations, soft liquor like beer and wine would do just fine. To keep things simple and cost-effective, many wedding receptions serve wine and beer. For a reception with a signature cocktail, wine and beer is a good addition. For a more conservative and cost-effective reception, having a limited bar is a good option. Like we mentioned earlier, know your guest – how much they drink, the drinks they prefer – and provide the alcohol accordingly. Please note that Progressive Pours will only serve a guest a max of two drinks per order, and we won't continue to serve a guest who appears to be over-intoxicated.
WHO SUPPLIES THE ALCOHOL?
Many reception venues, hotels and restaurants want the drinks to be controlled by them. This arrangement is usually included in the contract as Food & Beverage cost. Caterers also demand that the drinks are coordinated through them. Should the caterer not have license, he/she would suggest they worked through a licensed vendor; in a nut shell they want to handle the drink selection at the reception.
If the venue you are to use allows for you to provide the drinks yourself, this then calls for many mathematical calculations and planning and budgeting for drinks; this can be tasking. Some venues will charge you for corkage fee – a flat rate fee per bottle opened. You can still save a lot of money if you are able to buy the drinks at wholesale prices.
HOW MUCH ALCOHOL SHOULD I BUY?
You have decided to take on the job of buying the alcohol for your wedding; you need to know what to do and how to go about doing it right. Here are the necessary steps:
If you are doing a champagne toast, and that is the only time champagne would be drunk in the reception, plan for 8 people per bottle. Toast glasses must not be filled to the brim, ½ or 1/3 glass fill is enough; direct the servers accordingly. So, for a reception with a 150 guests, 19 bottles would be enough.
The rule of thumb when it comes to beer and wine is to assume that each guest would consume two drinks for the first hour and one drink per hour for every hour they spend in the reception.
For a reception of 150 guests, you would need at least 7 cases of beer (24 bottles per case x 7 = 168 bottles). This would be sufficient since not all guests would fancy beer. Receptions held in the evening have more red wine consumption than white wine consumption. Each bottle of wine contains 5 glasses, approximately. If you think your guest would consume red and white wine evenly then 20 bottles of each wine would do (5 glass x 40 bottles = 200 glasses); that’s more than enough for a hundred and fifty guests.
Note: You know your guests and how much wine they can consume. Those calculations are for average wine and beer drinkers. If your guests are heavy drinkers, provide for them accordingly.
The sorting of drinks, and their various quantities to make available is quite tricky, given that you are unsure which of the liquor options your guests would choose when they arrive. Still, planning is important. If a signature cocktail is what you would be working with, make sure you have more than enough to satisfy your guests.
Assume that a majority of your guest are tilted toward the ‘heavy’ side of drinking. Let’s assume that each guest takes one drink serving per hour. For a reception of 100 guests, 400 servings is needed to keep them satisfied for a 4 hour event. If the limited bar style is what you have decided, great! Assume that each 1.75L bottle of liquor would do 30 servings, to get four hundred servings you would need 13 bottles.
Again, know your guest and the side of the drinking spectrum they fall in – light, moderate or heavy drinkers.
About Progressive Pours
We are a full service mobile bar that can provide whatever it is you need for your special day. You essentially only provide the booze, and we provide the rest! We even create a shopping list to help with your choices.
The best advice I can give you is give us a call today or submit a contact form for us to follow up with you so we can better discuss your needs. We will layout a plan that fits your budget and needs.
Visit our contact form to submit that request or feel free to visit our website to get more info about our company and services