Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Dry Wedding Lemonade/Tea bar

We're planning on doing a lemonade and ice tea bar with fresh fruit and flavored syrups so guests can customize their drinks...water also be available. We will not be serving alcohol. We have 3 3gallon drink dispenser but I don't know many gallons of lemonade and tea we should purchase to last the cocktail hour on into the reception. Any suggestions?

My Fiancé likes the idea of glass bottles sodas as an alternative. We have access to a really neat and antique Westinghouse fridge so he thought old school would be cool too. Idk I feel like that might be way more pricey.

Re: Dry Wedding Lemonade/Tea bar

  • ernursejernursej member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2016

    Alcohol free is completely acceptable for a 'cocktail' hour and reception. I would plan on the usual formula drinks to calculate how much you need: 2 drinks in the first hour and a drink each hour after (all per person) and I might add an extra drink or two per person in the total since it is non-alcoholic and you never want to run out.

    *Ensure that you are calculating drinks based on the size of the cup that will be offered. Most guests will fill the cup up completely and not half way.

    I think offering additional choices of non-alcoholic might be nice, but as long as you have a few choices, I think you are fine.

    -Edited for extra idea.  

  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2016
    What you are planning is perfectly acceptable, but if you have the budget to offer soda as well, I think you will find a lot of people would like that.

    Besides water, do you have any sugar free options? Is your tea sweet tea or iced tea? (in Canada, the term iced tea is used for sweet tea- like Nestea).

    Myself, I don't drink pop so I'd be fine without, and quite happy with water in things to infuse in it, but a couple of people in my family are diabetic, so they like diet pop as their something sweet to drink.
  • To figure out how much you'd need overall, I agree with the formula @ernursej gave above. But to put it into actual numbers in case that'll help you.....So if you have an hour cocktail hour and a four hour reception with 100 people that would equal 2*100+4*100 = 600 drinks. From there, figure out how many gallons your cups hold and then you'll have the total amount of drinks. But, I think that people will probably drink more if it's hot and with non alcoholic drinks, so I would up it a bit. 

    If if I was offering pop as an alternative, I would maybe have 200 pop drinks and the remaining 400 drinks of the lemonade/iced tea (a 1/3 rati). But obviously play around with the numbers based on your crowd. 

    Oh, and I wouldn't include water in that total count. That's just for non-water drinks. Hopefully you can provide as much water on demand as needed to supplement the above. 
  • At daughter's wedding, we paid more for the soft drinks (soda pop) than for the alcohol drinks.  It was a daytime brunch reception with a lot of Asian guests who cannot drink alcohol, but the sodas were very popular.
  • I feel like if you aren't serving alcohol, or really even if you are, soda is a must. Unless this is a 1-2 hour cake and punch thing, I think you need to do it. Doesn't need to be glass bottles in a fancy fridge though. 
  • I just want to say that I disagree with @STARMOON44 - I don't think soda is always necessary. Nice to have? Sure, but necessary? No.

    To me it's like offering a full bar including liquor vs wine and beer only.

    Sorry, I don't have any advice on the quantities!
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