Minnesota-Minneapolis and St. Paul

Buying your booze

We will be able to stock our own bar for our reception. Any advice on how much wine, beer, liquor to purchase for a reception for 100-125 guests? And where can we buy alcohol at a low cost?

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." -Robert Fulghum<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Re: Buying your booze

  • According to Real Simple (Alcohol Calculator)

    100 Guests
    Red Wine: 12 bottles
    White Wine: 12 bottles
    Champagne: 20 bottles
    Beer: 120 bottles
    Vodka: 4 bottles
    Gin: 2 bottles
    Rum: 2 bottles
    Bourbon: 2 bottles
    Scotch (blended):  1 bottle

    150 Guests
    Red Wine: 18 bottles
    White Wine: 18 bottles
    Champagne: 30 bottles
    Beer: 180 bottles
    Vodka: 5 bottles
    Gin: 3 bottles
    Rum: 3 bottles
    Bourbon: 4 bottles
    Scotch (blended): 3 bottles

    Planners estimate one drink per person per hour. (A bottle of wine or Champagne contains five drinks; a liter of spirits, 22.) For each bottle of spirits, you need three containers of mixers—club soda, tonic, juice, and so on. Warm weather outdoor weddings call for more clear liquors (for vodka gimlets and gin-and-tonics), cocktail parties might prompt guests to order martinis, and multi-course sit-downs will necessitate plenty of wine.

    “Having a specialty cocktail for the evening is a great cash-saving trick that I always recommend to my clients,” says Linnea Johansson, an events planner and author of Perfect Parties: Tips and Advice from a New York Party Planner (amazon.com). “It’s a stylish way to start a celebration and it makes things easy, since the drink can be premixed.”


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    wajohnson09
  • Wow, thanks! That's a bit more than I was thinking we'd need.  So where in the Cities can we find the best prices??

    "We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." -Robert Fulghum<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

  • chkmeowtchkmeowt member
    500 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited November 2013
    I'm guessing Costco would have the best prices - do they sell beer, liquor and wine?

    Wedding Black & White, Sepia
  • I have heard that Costco has great prices but I'd also recommend looking into Liquor Stores.  We used Thomas Liquors in St Paul and they were great!  They let us pick out our wine during their wine sale and gave us the wine sale prices for our wedding (months later) and for a very small fee they delivered all of our alcohol, were available during the receiption if we needed more (they just needed a phone call by 9:45) and they picked up all not opened bottles, cases, etc and credited us back for all of those within a few days!  So while it may have been a little bit more per bottle, we really only paid for what was used and felt that we saved money that way because we over planned for what we actually needed.
    kasasr1024
  • I've found that those alcohol calculators go a bit crazy on the amount of alcohol you need.  We had 150 people and followed one of those calculators.  We bought almost twice what we ended up needing, but we bought it all from Costco so we were able to return our unused stuff.  We bought cheaper wine, a couple different kinds of beer, no champagne, and we weren't allowed to have hard liquor so that saved us money. All in all, after returning unused stuff, we spent around $350 for alcohol for 150 people.  Definitely buy from somewhere that you can return alcohol if you have a ton left over.

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    kasasr1024
  • We bought at Surdyks' during one of their sales, prices and selection were great, and like Costco, you can return unopened bottles. Their best sales are in December and June, and they also have smaller sales in the spring and fall.
  • I've heard Surdyks is great to work with and will give you heads up on their sales and whatnot.  A friend just bought the alcohol for her wedding their and was really pleased with the staff and the pricing.  We're in the same bought and will probably look into Surdyks, but are also seriously considering Trader Joe's. 
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