How Much Alcohol Is Needed for Your Wedding?

Arranging the perfect alcohol spread for your wedding reception can feel like walking a tightrope. It’s essential to encourage a lively atmosphere while considering the budget constraints. This comprehensive guide will ease your mind and help you expertly plan the drinks for your wedding party.

Understanding Your Guests’ Preferences

The first cornerstone for your alcohol plan is familiarity with your guest list. Identifying the drinking habits and preferences of your guests will steer you towards the appropriate quantity and variety of drinks. Consider the niches among your guest list- are there many wine lovers or a bunch of craft beer aficionados? Perhaps there are some who favour cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages. Catering to these tastes will ensure satisfaction across the board and prevent surplus.

Choosing the Ideal Bar

Next on the agenda is deciding on the type of bar. If finances are not a major concern, an open bar arrangement, where guests can savour any kind of drink as per their wish, is an excellent idea. However, if you’d like to keep a check on cost, a beer and wine bar is a reliable alternative.

It offers a good selection for guests, and you can still introduce a few signature cocktails to spice things up. While you can choose a cash bar where guests pay for their drinks, bear in mind that this isn’t generally welcomed in the wedding scenario.

Scheduling Impacts Consumption

The time of day you hold your wedding can also influence your alcohol plan. Daytime weddings usually see lighter drinking compared to their evening counterparts. Mimosas, bloody marys, and white wines are popular daytime drinks. Think about the kind of drinks that fit the time and mood of your wedding.

The Art of Alcohol Calculation

Now, how much alcohol do you actually need? A general rule that never fails is to account for one drink per person, per hour of the reception. For example, if you have 100 guests attending a four-hour reception, you should aim for 400 drinks.

In a full bar set-up, a practical split could be 30% spirits, 20% beer, and 50% wine. For our 100-guest example, that means about 60 servings of spirits, 80 servings of beer, and 200 servings of wine.

However, if you’re only offering beer and wine, a common calculation is a 25% beer to 75% wine ratio. This would require 100 servings of beer and 300 servings of wine for a 100-guest list.

To-Do: Selecting Your Liquor

Choosing the right liquor for your bar can be fun, but endeavour to keep a balance. Include a blend of white and red wines, a couple of different beers, and a variety of spirits—vodka, gin, rum, and whisky are the standard. You could also add your favourite spirits and mixers for the perfect personalised cocktail.

Champagne or Sparkling Wine?

Champagne or a similar sparkling wine is a staple at weddings, perfect for toasts. A standard rule is to have one glass of champagne ready for each guest for the toast. However, you’ll need more if you plan to serve mimosas at a brunch wedding.

Teetotaler Options

Finally, it’s important to offer alcohol-free options for those guests who don’t drink. Specialty mocktails, artisanal sodas, and a variety of non-alcoholic beers and wines ensure everyone’s beverage needs are met.

Planning your wedding drink menu is not just about the numbers – it’s about knowing your crowd, considering their preferences, and creating an inclusive and enjoyable experience for everyone. At Impressions Catering, we can help relieve the stress of planning your beverage list. Offering professional advice on alcohol proportions and selection, our team can ensure that your menu is both cost-effective and tailored to your guests’ preferences. Contact us today to find out more!

Related posts:

Ready to Chat?

Call NOW on 0415 547 641 or complete the Online Enquiry form.

Fast Catering Enquiry

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Lukarla McCready

Lukarla McCready

Lukarla is the owner and director of Impressions Catering. She has a passion for providing her clients with a unique catering service for any occasion. She opened the Cross Roads Café in Shoalwater in 2010 and quickly realised the need for a quality catering service, launching her own business the following year. With a team of experienced professionals and a commercial kitchen, Impressions Catering is making an impression across the region.

Related Articles


Do Buffets Work for Wedding Receptions?

couple standing with a wedding cake

How to Select the Right Wedding Cake?

cake served by wedding catering company in perth

How Much Does a Wedding Cake Cost?

wine bottle kept ready to serve as part of wedding catering in perth

How Much Alcohol Is Needed for Your Wedding?

budgeted wedding catering

How To Cut Catering Cost For A Wedding On A Budget

wedding cake topper of groom and bride

Wedding Food Options: Buffet vs. Sit-Down

wedding food

What Amount of Food Should I Serve at My Wedding?

wedding entree ideas

Entrée Ideas for Your Authentic Australian Wedding

wedding catering

Spectacular Wedding Catering Ideas

table setting for a wedding

How to Hire the Best Wedding Catering Services