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Much Ado About Booze and Knowing How Much Alcohol to Buy for a Wedding

Know how much alcohol to buy for a wedding when planning an open bar

When planning your wedding, you might start feeling overwhelmed early on, especially when it comes to your food and beverage decisions.

Here are some quick guidelines for you as you plan all things drinks and all things alcohol for your wedding!

The first question you might come across is whether to have a cash bar or an open bar. The main thing to take into consideration here is your budget. Generally, if you are on a tighter budget, a cash bar will help you stay in your bounds. And if your crowd isn't heavy drinkers, considering a beer and wine only menu is also a great option!

*If there is liquor offered, that is what people will gravitate towards*

On the flip side, if you choose to have an open bar, you will need to factor in how much alcohol to buy for your wedding or how much to budget for. I recommend using a wedding alcohol calculator to best estimate the cost!

Now, you now might be wondering what drinks to get? Here is a good and basic wedding alcohol list that will cover your bases:

(2) white wine options, usually a Sauv Blanc and Pinto Grigo

(2) red wine options, usually a Pinot Noir and Cab

(1) sparkling wine/ champagne option. If it is summer time, a sparkling rose always does the trick!

(3) types of beer, usually a lager (something lighter), an IPA, and a wheat option. Beer is always the last to be selected, so go easy on the quantities here and NEVER get a keg - you will waste a lot of good product!

With spirits, here is a great starting point:

(1) type of vodka

(1) type of gin

(2) types of whiskey

(2) types of tequila (blanco and repo)

This list can change based on the taste of your guests!

Now the doozey - how many drinks should you budget for? We recommend budgeting for two drinks per person, per hour, if your guests are light drinkers, and 3-4 drinks/hour if you have some party people on your hands!

Don't forget sodas, mixers, ice, and garnishes!

Take it from a pro, hire a pro for your bar! When it comes to wedding alcohol, they will help guide you with selections and quantities and remember to always purchase your alcohol from a shop that allows returns! This way you can safely over purchase to make sure you don't run out knowing that you will get some money back on the unopened product.

We hope these simple guides will help you plan the perfect bar at your wedding!


Professor P


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