Budget Weddings Forum

Wine and Beer!!!!!

I am having the hardest time deciding how much alcohol to get for this reception. We opted to bring our own I the reception, (yes we checked and we can) and we are just doing beer and wine. We have 250 guests and 230 are 21 and older. We defiantly have a lot of heavy drinkers and some older crowds that are not so big drinkers. Anyway how much should I get? Originally I was thinking 50 bottles of red wine 50 white, and two kegs, one regular and one light. My fiancé doesn't think it will be enough and we deff don't want to run out. Any help is appreciated!

Thank you


Also it is a 6 hr reception....

Re: Wine and Beer!!!!!

  • Hmm... That's a tough one.  Will the venue let you take home what you don't use?  If so, err on the side of caution and with more than you think you'll need.  One how to host a party website said to assume each adult will drink half a bottle of wine, on average, but that really depends on how the age of your guests skews.  Are you also serving food at this reception?  That will impact the amount drunk as well.
  • Also, find out if you can return any unopened bottles or kegs.  That should take the sting out of overbuying.
  • I am having about 100 or so people. My fh's fruends are heavy drinkers and I was just going to get some bottles and maybe a keg. Buy they are sooooo expensive. Here it is actually about 2 cents cheaper per ounce to buy cans.
  • Well anything left over u can take with me, and te store we get te keg from will buy back anything we don't use, as for the wine... I'll be ok with keeping that lol. We are getting our wine wholesale from a friend so I can't return to them anyway. We are having a very full buffet style dinner.
  • Ours is a little different because we're going with cans instead of kegs, but we're estimating two drinks for the first hour, and one drink per person per hour after that - and spreading that out between beer, coolers, and hard (vodka and spiced rum). We're also getting a bottle of red and white per table. We can return anything unopened... we may not return the wine :)
    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
  • I think you're close, but I would add more beer.

    This might help. Take it with a grain of salt though, as everything else when getting advice from the outside. Just put in "0" for liquor drinkers.


  • jenijoykjenijoyk member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    edited August 2014

    I think you're a little short. When I used to work in liquor retail, we would assume 60/40 for a party serving only wine and beer. (60% wine, 40% beer.) Then we'd assume 1 drink per hour per guest + 1 (so in your case, 7 drinks per guest). Of course, if you know your crowd skews towards heavy or light drinkers you can change it around, but it sounds like you have both heavy drinkers and light drinkers, so you're probably good with these assumptions, which already take into account the need to have a cushion. (In other words, we would assume everyone stays for the whole party, which never actually happens, so that's your cushion).

    For your party then, you'd do:

    .60 (wine drinkers) x 230 (total 21+ guests) x 7 drinks per guest = 966 glasses of wine, or 193 bottles of wine

    .40 x 230 x 7 = 644 beers, or  4 standard size kegs

  • I love this and find it very helpful, so thanks! How do you change the math if you are only having beer and wine?
  • We did this too (although we also had margaritas for something fun and different).  About 180 attended and we went through 5.5 drinks per person during about 5.5 hours. 
  • Ask your liquor store or venue to see if they can help at all.
  • I've used this website before to calculate alcohol for parties. It doesn't adjust for heavy versus light drinkers but it does tell you how much wine and beer to buy for the duration of your party and it has served me well in the past.


  • I love this and find it very helpful, so thanks! How do you change the math if you are only having beer and wine?
    Add "0" under the liquor category.

  • I think you're close, but I would add more beer.

    I agree with @southernbelle0915.  You've currently got about a full portion of wine per average drinker but only about one can's worth of beer per drinker.  Since you said they're heavy drinkers, I'd err on the side of caution and get one more keg of each kind (so four kegs total).

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  • This has got me thinking! Cheers for the advice x 
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