How To Calculate How Much Alcohol You Need For Your Wedding


So you are getting married; congratulations! You have done your due diligence and everything is in place for the big day. Your RSVP’s are in and you have a final head count. There is one niggling detail that eludes you however; how much booze to get. Let’s face it, alcohol and weddings go together like the bride and groom.  You have some basic idea of how much your primary invited guest drink but you are not too sure about their ‘plus ones. ‘

Calculating how much alcohol to have is quite tricky. Not everyone has the same taste in wine and spirits but some will drink what is available. Wine is always a good choice to have, white, red or rosé, as well as a couple cases of beer. Premium drinks such as brandy and whisky should be chosen according to your taste. It’s probable that any left overs will find the way into your liquor cabinet.

So let work this out:

  • 1 * 750 ml bottle of premium liquor = 18 servings
  • 1 * 750 ml bottle of wine = 5 servings
  • 1* case of beer = 12 servings

You can calculate a minimum of two drinks per guest for the first two hours and one serving per guest thereafter, for a wedding reception lasting approximately five hours, factoring in some persons may drink more or less.

Let us assume that the total number of guest is 100, and half of those are dedicated wine drinkers.  We can calculate that 70 bottles of wine will be required, 6 bottles per case will equate to 11.4 cases of wine. Assuming again that half the remaining guest will drink beers, which will be 25 of the remaining 50. So for the calculation of the beer quantity, we can estimate than you will need at least 14 cases of beer. For the remaining 25 guest we can assume they drink premium liquor such as rum, vodka, brandy or whisky. Two 750 ML bottles of each is a good target.

 Bearing in mind that at formal functions the avid beer connoisseur may decide to dabble a bit in the unknown and some of these guests will be children, who have no business partaking in alcohol whatsoever, there is plenty to satisfy cross-drinkers. A good idea is to get these drinks on consignment as you only pay for what is used.