How Much Alcohol to Order for your Wedding

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

If you’re planning on stocking your own bar for your wedding then working out how much alcohol you need to purchase may be giving you a headache. The steps below will help you to calculate this – but remember to consider your guest's tastes, for example, my friends and I are big gin drinkers so I would purchase more gin than I would vodka.

1. What to Stock

You don’t need to stock all options but it’s good to have a selection:

  • Vodka

  • Gin

  • Rum

  • Tequila

  • Whiskey

  • Beer

  • Red Wine

  • White Wine

  • Champagne and/or Prosecco

You will also need the following:

  • Tonic

  • Juice

  • Soda

  • Club Soda

  • Ice

  • Water

  • Lemons & Limes

  • Cocktail Napkins

2. How Many Servings

Guests will drink an average of 1.5 drinks per hour so to work out how many servings of alcohol you would need simply multiply the number of guests by 1.5 servings by the number of hours.

no. of guests x 1.5 x no. of hours = no. of servings

Some things to consider:

  • People will pour heavily at self-service bars so if your guests will be serving themselves plan for more.

  • If it’s going to be a hot day then plan to get through more cool drinks and water.

  • People tend to drink less the earlier the wedding is as well as on weekdays and Sundays.

3. Serving Sizes

You’ll need to know how many servings you can get out of each bottle in order to calculate how many you need to buy.

Wine: 4 servings per bottle

Beer: 165 servings per keg or 1 per bottle/can

Liquor: 18 servings per bottle

4. Calculate Your Ratios

Think about your guests – what do you think they’ll be drinking?

The example below is based on 100 guests attending a 6-hour wedding, 30 are beer drinks, 30 are drinking wine and 40 will be drinking some form of liquor.

100 guests x 1.5 x 6 hours = 900 total servings

360 servings of liquor = 20 bottles

270 servings of beer = 270 bottles/cans or 2 kegs

270 servings of wine = 68 bottles

If you're looking for any further wedding advice or tips, please visit or contact me at for more.

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Based in Somerset, UK and covering the rest of the South West, Leah Olivia Weddings provides wedding planning services to modern couples.

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