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# Do we have enough to drink?

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I’m trying to calculate if we have enough to drink.  We will be having 250 guests - about 40 under 21.  The drink calculators I’ve found don’t seem to accommodate our drink menu well.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Our day is starting with a quick cocktail party at 4.  It will go through the ceremony, a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing until 11.

Our beverages are:

Coffee during dinner

Bottled Water – 5 gallons

Iced tea – 10 gallons

Sangria – 10 gallons

Beer – ½ barrell

And to mix into the lemonade and iced ted:

Rum (four 1.75 liter bottles)

Vodka (five 1.75 liter bottles)

Whiskey (three 1.75 liter bottles)

Do you think we’ll need more of any of these?  Please don’t tell me we have to have soda or mixers.  We’ve considered them but they are not viable options in our venue.  We would consider adding brandy to the liquor.

## Re: Do we have enough to drink?

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I'd double the water. I'm not sure what time of year you're getting married or the venue but I'd imagine you'd want more water. That's the beverage that people would be most upset to be out of.
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I'd say up your Sangria another 10-15 gallons. We only had 130 guests, and probably went through 20- gallons, at least.

I don't know how much beer is in a barrel, but you'll probably want at least 400 servings.  So, if the barrel you have doesn't have that, you should probably increase it.

Websites/blogs where our wedding has been featured:

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serena569 said:

I’m trying to calculate if we have enough to drink.  We will be having 250 guests - about 40 under 21.  The drink calculators I’ve found don’t seem to accommodate our drink menu well.

Our day is starting with a quick cocktail party at 4.  It will go through the ceremony, a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing until 11.

Our beverages are:

Coffee during dinner

Bottled Water – 5 gallons

Iced tea – 10 gallons

Sangria – 10 gallons

Beer – ½ barrell

And to mix into the lemonade and iced ted:

Rum (four 1.75 liter bottles)

Vodka (five 1.75 liter bottles)

Whiskey (three 1.75 liter bottles)

Do you think we’ll need more of any of these?  Please don’t tell me we have to have soda or mixers.  We’ve considered them but they are not viable options in our venue.  We would consider adding brandy to the liquor.

I'd definitely increase the water, sangria and iced tea/lemonade.

10 gallons, at about 8 ounces a serving, is 160 servings.  So you have not quite 500 servings for 250 people (the 40 under 21 will still drink, just not alcohol).....on average 2 per person for the entire night.  I don't know your crowd, but I think it's fair to say that, on average, people will have more than 2 of these drinks during the night.  Even if you have the serving size smaller, I'm pretty sure you'll run out.

That said, my DH would probably not mix alcohol with lemonade or iced tea (and most of his buddies probably wouldn't either), so he'd stick with beer all night.  How many servings is a 1/2 barrel of beer?

Also curious why soda is not a viable option for your venue.
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Oh yeah, definately up the lemonade and iced tea as well.   You will probably need to make at least 30 gallons of those.

Websites/blogs where our wedding has been featured:

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One last thing- think about what cups/glasses you're serving from. In my experience, the bigger the cup, the more people drink.
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edited March 2014
If you aren't going to have soda and mixers I think you should skip the hard alcohol altogether. If you're not providing the means to have a real cocktail, why bother? If I were a non-drinker Id find it baffling that you have vodka but not coke. I'd scrap it entirely and add wine instead. And figure out a way to have soda. Also I think you need to dramatically increase the quantities of everything except iced tea and lemonade which really aren't most grown up's first choices for an evening drink.
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If you aren't going to have soda and mixers I think you should skip the hard alcohol altogether. If you're not providing the means to have a real cocktail, why bother? If I were a non-drinker Id find it baffling that you have vodka but not coke. I'd scrap it entirely and add wine instead. And figure out a way to have soda. Also I think you need to dramatically increase the quantities of everything except iced tea and lemonade which really aren't most grown up's first choices for an evening drink.
This.  I don't know anyone who drinks liquor with lemonade or iced tea.  I do know a great many people who mix liquor with club soda, tonic water, and Coke.

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If you aren't going to have soda and mixers I think you should skip the hard alcohol altogether. If you're not providing the means to have a real cocktail, why bother? If I were a non-drinker Id find it baffling that you have vodka but not coke. I'd scrap it entirely and add wine instead. And figure out a way to have soda. Also I think you need to dramatically increase the quantities of everything except iced tea and lemonade which really aren't most grown up's first choices for an evening drink.
This.  I don't know anyone who drinks liquor with lemonade or iced tea.  I do know a great many people who mix liquor with club soda, tonic water, and Coke.
I drink vodka/lemonades all the time. It's actually my drink of choice.

Websites/blogs where our wedding has been featured:

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Suggesting soda has not really been helpful.  I already stated it was not an option.  We are getting married in a park.  We have to haul it in, store it, and chill it without electricity.

The hard liquor with the lemonade is our version of signature cocktails.  Many people drink vodka lemonade.  I love Lynchburg lemonade.  And my FI's summer drink of choice is lemonade and spiced rum.  They will be listed on a chalkboard sign with the directions to make each.

After doing the math, we will increase the lemonade, the tea, and the water.

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edited March 2014
serena569 said:

Suggesting soda has not really been helpful.  I already stated it was not an option.  We are getting married in a park.  We have to haul it in, store it, and chill it without electricity.

The hard liquor with the lemonade is our version of signature cocktails.  Many people drink vodka lemonade.  I love Lynchburg lemonade.  And my FI's summer drink of choice is lemonade and spiced rum.  They will be listed on a chalkboard sign with the directions to make each.

After doing the math, we will increase the lemonade, the tea, and the water.

Ummm, how are you hauling in, storing and chilling the lemonade, iced tea, sangria and water?  I have a feeling the same way just might work for soda!

I also highly suggest you get a bartender.  I don't want to make my own drinks at a wedding.  The area will also become messy very quickly and backed up as people try and read directions and pour the drinks.   Not to mention, if you're letting guests make drinks, no doubt they will over pour, instructions or not.  You better add more alcohol to that list.  Or just skip the alcohol altogether if you cannot afford to have a bartender.
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Yes, everything you've listed must be served cold. I mean, no one will drink a warm beer and they won't want it over ice. What are your plans for doing that?

Also check the contract or rules of your venue. Most public venues require a licensed bartender if there is to be alcohol, and some parks don't allow alcohol at all. People pouring their own drinks are likely to pour themselves a double or triple, or just shots, if left to their own devices. And what safeguards will you have in place to check IDs and make sure no one underage is drinking, or cutting off anyone who has had too much to drink and wants to drive? In a public place you could get yourselves in big legal trouble if a 20 year old is caught with a vodka lemonade in hand. As the hosts anything that happens like that will be on you.
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Yeah this doesn't add up for me. All drinks need to be kept cold.

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OMG I'm sorry I asked.  I'm not serving warm drinks.  And, as I've said more than once, we cannot chill soda.

The water, lemonade, iced tea, and sangria will be in beverage dispensers with large pieces of ice made from each of them.  The beer will be in an electric barrel cooler.  How exactly do you suggest I chill soda for 25 people?  Shall we haul in two refrigerators?  Or maybe a horse trough and ice?  Don't you think we've considered all the options?

Regarding the bartender - I am not a moron.  I checked the rules for the park and I've attend many weddings here.  Serving alcohol is allowed and a bartender is not required.  We do have someone who is keeping the tea, lemonade, and sangria full.  He will also pour the alcohol for each drink and allow the guests to top them off themselves with the lemonade.

As for the person who asked about safeguards for underage people - we didn't invite any.  Even our kids and their friends are old enough to drink.  We're not dealing with minors.
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edited March 2014
If you're chilling the beer in an electric barrel cooler, then obviously the is an electrical source there. You can rent portable electric beverage coolers that you can put cans or bottles of pop in. Problem solved. You don't even have to have a wide variety of pop - coke and diet coke will probably suffice. And, whoever you've hired to handle setup and takedown of your catering and beverage service will be responsible for handling it anyway. (Please do not tell us you're asking friends and family to do it for you. They shouldn't have to work. Make it fit in your budget to hire someone. Your caterer will probably be able to set it up.)

ETA: For soft drinks and mixed drinks, just pouring them over ice would probably be easier. You need a cooler, bags of ice, and cups. The beer and other drinks would be chilled in other containers like you stated. Then you could have club soda or juice as well.
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What about the 40 people under 21 you mentioned?
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The 40 people under 21 are way under 21.  The oldest under 21 is 12.  And yes, we hired people.  Our family offered but we told them there ar there to celebrate - not work.And now I'm done with this topic.
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Okay....you've gotten some good advice, not sure why you're so angry about it. The good thing about advice is you can choose not to follow it, but since you asked you would think you'd be interested in hearing what people think.

Personally, I like the idea of a signature cocktail and I think vodka lemonade is delicious, but lemonade and tea can be dangerous as a mixer because they're so sweet - hangover central. Anyway, I think you need a lot more beer. It's a much more universal drink than liquor and lemonade or liquor and tea.
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I suggest you bring a large plastic container, fill it with ice, and stuck soda in it. This really isn't hard.
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If you dont have electricity, what are you doing to keep the food at an appropriate temp?
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You're having 250 people for 7 hours. I'd expect your guests to drink up to an average of 2 drinks an hour, so you need to be prepared for 3,500 drinks!

Bottled Water – 5 gallons=80 servings.

Iced tea – 10 gallons=160 servings.

Sangria – 10 gallons=160 servings

Beer – ½ barrell=a keg=165 12-oz beers

And to mix into the lemonade and iced ted:

Rum (four 1.75 liter bottles)=156 1.5oz servings

Vodka (five 1.75 liter bottles)=156 1.5oz serving

Whiskey (three 1.75 liter bottles)=156 1.5oz serving

Ignoring the alcohol because it goes with the mixers, you only have 725 drinks planned. That's about a fifth of what you should plan to have! I think you need to drastically increase the water and the beer, and increase everything else as well!

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I agree you are way under, and still think you should reconsider not having sodas, since it's really not remotely difficult to do.

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I think it's all about knowing what your crowd drinks. I agree with others, I would probably triple water as people like to drink water to sober up & rehydrate while dancing, which you are planning on doing.. I know for my crowd, they are more of a beer crowd then a sangria crowd so the sangria would go to waste & the beer would be gone within the first 90 minutes. So I would just recommend thinking about when you hang out with your guests on a social basis, what do you typcially see them drinking. One of the options we had at our venue was Gin, but no one we know drinks gin, so we opted for a second vodka which we knew would be drank. I think your good on non-alcoholic beverage. Yes pop would be nice but unless you bring in either coolers to put the pop in w/ice or just coolers of ice to pour the soda over, it won't work. And bringing in containers of ice is hard depending on how far you have to transport things from the car to your location. Good luck, I'm sure it will work out ok.
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