Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Did you stock your own bar?

AndreaJ200AndreaJ200 member
10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its
edited February 2014 in Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Hi Ladies! Looking for input from those who stocked their own bar at their wedding. We are expecting about 150 drinkers, average consumption, ceremony-cocktail hour-reception will run a total of 6 hours, but I would expect the bar to only be available for 5-5 1/2 hours.  It's a Saturday evening. We are purchasing our own liquor and I have no idea what quantities to order - but I just want to make sure we don't run out of anything!!  There are five million wedding alcohol calculators and they all give different results.  

Did anyone here stock your own bar?  If so, please give details of the party (day or night; day of the week; # of hours and # of guests) and what did you stock your bar with (which spirits, wines and beers, and in what quantities)?

Your experience is much appreciated! 

Re: Did you stock your own bar?

  • Yes.

    Saturday evening (reception was 6-10:30)
    Four and a half hours
    100 guests, some children, some non-drinkers, but mostly heavy drinkers
    7 cases of beer (24 bottles each)
    4 cases of wine (16 bottles each of one red, one white, one sparkling "champagne")
    2 1.75L bottles of gin, plus lots of tonic
    2 1.75L big bottles of dark rum, plus lots of ginger beer (for dark n stormies)
    1 punch bowl of sangria
    Fancy water, seltzer and soda

    We had about a case of beer and a case of wine left over, plus a little gin. We didn't mind having leftovers because we only bought stuff we like, and we really, really didn't want to run out.
  • You can always over buy and then take back to the liquor store (unopened of course) what you don't use.
    Here is a good guide that we use, for a 3 hour event.

  • ^ I can't imagine my group of 150+ people will only drink 5-7 bottles of liquor! And would drink 50% beer....that just doesn't seem average.  My current draft shopping list probably has at least twice that amount of liquor.  Thanks though, I appreciate the guide, but like many others the formula seems so off to me.  

    I contacted a liquor store here today that will help me figure out all the quantities and needs.  Yes, I can take back what we don't open, but even trying to guage whether to buy 750mL v. 1L v. 1.75L if I'm trying to save bottles from being opened unnecessarily is frustrating.  I don't mind keeping some liquor to stock our own bar, but I don't want to end up with a sip taken out of 7 different 1.75L bottles that will take me a several years and parties to finish up.    Well, maybe that is not so bad.  
  • It's definitely a know-your-crowd situation. We used these calculations (LINK), but adjusted it because most of our friends drink beer exclusively. I also think that if you're stocking your own bar, it's much more effective to just do a few cocktails, rather than get enough liquor for a "full bar." If you choose something clear, something brown, and something sweet, plus beer and wine, the majority of your guests should be satisfied.
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