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# Alcohol question

member
hi everyone! My venue gives the option of supplying our own alcohol. For people that have done this for their own wedding, I was wondering how much you budgeted towards it. We plan on getting wine, beer, and liquor for about 200 guests. As most places I looked at included the bar price, I am kinda at a loss for how much the alcohol will cost. I plan on calling some suppliers just wanted your guys input first. TIA!

## Re: Alcohol question

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edited December 2011
I have no idea about the cost but I know some places will let you return unopened bottles.  If you can find one of those- do it!  Then you don't have to worry about buying too much.
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edited December 2011
I would go somewhere like Sam's or Costco (not sure if you can return unopened bottles there or not--- probably not is my guess though).  Anyway, if you go there you can get the larger bottles.  I think the formula most places use is 4 or 5 1/2 drinks per person for the entire night (pending on who you ask).

This is from an article I found before:
750 ML of spirits (hard liquor)(25.4 oz.) =17 Servings
1 Liter (33.8 oz.) =22 Servings
1.75 Liter (59.2 oz.) =39 Servings

You can manually calculate the alcohol you need. First, estimate how many people will be drinking at the event. Second, multiply this number by four (most people drink 2 to 3 standard drinks at a party. We estimate one extra drink per person so that you won't run out!) This tells you the number of standard drinks you need to accommodate. Next, translate this standard drinks number into the different kinds of drinks. A bottle of beer provides one drink, a 750ml bottle of wine provides five drinks, and a 750ml bottle of any spirit is about 17 drinks.

Finally, multiply those numbers by the preference percentages above (50% beer, 25% wine, 25% spirits) and you have a shopping breakdown of the alcohol you need to buy.

For example, a typical selection for a party of 200 people would be 400 standard drinks, distributed in this way: · 200 12-oz. bottles of beer (200 drinks) AND · 20 750ml bottles of table wine (100 drinks) AND · 6 750 ml bottles of spirits (100 drinks)

This is generally based on a lower intake, however I own a Mobile Bartending Company www.souledoutmusic.net and what we ask the customer is to determine what kind of bar will you be having full or limited? A full bar for 200 people should be stocked with at least:

3-4 largest bottles of your clear alcohols such as Vodka, Bacardi Light & Dark, Tequilla, Malibu Rum, Gin.

3 large bottles of Jack Daniels and/or Jim Beam, even one of each will do as they are usually less popular.

PLENTY of Triple Sec though (min. 3 bottles), you will go through that like crazy!

You should have 3 cartons (gallon size) of Orange juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice and pineapple juice. I also reccomend 3-4 jugs of pina colada mix and 10 cans of coconut milk.

3 bottles sweet & sour mix

4 large jugs of margarita mix

3 lg jars of cherries
2 lb bag of limes

10 1 lb bags of ice

optional items:
Milk and Baily's for White or black russians (not as popular either unless a december/Jan wedding.  Milk can spoil as well.It may help you to remember that the most common spirits are these. (All values are approximate, and fluctuate from season to season.) · Whisky · Vodka · Rum · Scotch · Gin · Tequila · Vermouth (for martinis and manhattans) · Other (aperitifs, liqueurs) A number of aperitifs and liqueurs are very popular, including Bailey's Irish Cream and Kahlua, both of which are often served with milk or coffee. That's right, don't forget milk, cola, tonic water, and soda water.
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edited December 2011
I don't know what part of town you/your reception are, but Showerman's at Merriman and 5 Mile in Livonia allows you to return unopened liquor bottles and they have a worksheet you can use for ordering based on the # of guests.
April 2012 Siggy Challenge Furry Babies
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edited December 2011
100% use a place that lets you return unopen bottles...unless you are like my FI and I and plan on keeping everything extra to stock our own bar! (sometimes I think we are boozehounds but oh well!)

Like PP said, there are calculators online that will help you.  You want to know what your guests are gonna drink.  Like my family drinks a lot of vodka and my FI's family drinks a lot of beer.  We are currently pricing out a lot of different options.  Indiana has really cheap liquor and there is also duty free.  When we went to canada last month, there was a guy at the duty free in Sarnia (blue water bridge in port huron) that works with brides and grooms and helps them get the best possible prices.  There is a website (which I don't have with me) that posts their prices.

FI's parents are paying for the bar but all I know is that it seemed to be a lot more reasonable to bring in your own booze than go with a bar.  Our place also provides all normal mixers and bartenders so we didn't have to worry about mixers.
August 2011 sig challenge: Honeymoon!! (We bought a boat!!)
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edited December 2011
We are having our reception at Blossom Heath in Saint Clair Shores, and have to provide our own alcohol.  They suggested the Wine Dock on Jefferson (right across the street from the hall) so we checked with them, and they have packages set up based on the number of expected people, apparently from what they say most party stores have packages like these, since alcohol, for the most part, is a state mandated price.  For our 200 person wedding they quoted us at \$1389, and we can return anything we don't use, plus if we run out of anything through out the night, we can call them and they will send someone over with it right away (HUGE selling point!).  They deliver everything and help set up the kegs before the wedding.  I would definetly recommend a place that will purchase back the unopened bottles, but check with a local party store, usually a little more friendly, and they may offer free delivery!
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edited December 2011
Thank you everyone for all the great feedback and helpful advice! Erintruax- that helps me out so much! Thanks for sharing your info about the package. I will have to look into that! it looks like we could save a lot of money. Thanks again!
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edited December 2011

The Real Simple website has a great calculator that I am using.

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