Post originally was published on Wedding Forward 

If you are planning a wedding party, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Oh, the number of things you need to keep in mind! (use our wedding planning timeline to make sure you do everything on time) One of the problems that arise when you are planning a reception is trying to figure out how much alcohol you are going to need. As any other detail of your Big day, your wedding booze needs careful planning. Our wedding alcohol calculator can help you out.

Use A Wedding Alcohol Calculator For Average Drinkers

First of all, tastes may vary, but on average your DIY wedding bar for 100 guests should include:

  1. 70 bottles of wine,
  2. 175 bottles of beer,
  3. 15 bottles of liquor,
  4. 20 bottles of champagne.

150 guests will most probably require

  1. 105 bottles of wine,
  2. 266 bottles of beer,
  3. 22 bottles of liquor,
  4. 30 bottles of champagne.

200 guests will consume

  1. 140 bottles of wine,
  2. 350 bottles of beer,
  3. 30 bottles of liquor,
  4. 40 bottles of champagne.

Let’s take a look at some other things that can help you organize a great self-serve bar at a wedding.

Choose Your Bar

Despite the statistics, let’s try to break up numbers and discuss the average cost of alcohol for Despite the statistics, let’s try to break up numbers and discuss the average cost of alcohol for a wedding. It might be not specified on the guide on how to plan a wedding, but first, choose the type of the bar.

  • An open bar is an approach your guests would appreciate the most. Open bar wedding cost can be a bit over the top, though – guests don’t pay for anything, which means some of your guests might get completely drunk. If you know a friend who can indulge too much – warn the bartender in advance.
  • The Limited Bar offers a selection of drinks at specific times: the cocktail hour, the toasts and during dancing.
  • The Cash Bar is quite a bad option, where the guests pay for everything.
  • A Dry House will do if you are sure your friends and family don’t drink alcohol. Serve non-alcohol beverages instead: soda, juice, water, tea etc.

Think How Long Your Reception Will Go On?

When you are trying to calculate, how much beer for a wedding you are going to need, keep in mind several things.

First of all, the total amount of alcohol depends on how long your reception lasts. So before you start your estimations, you need to understand the length of the party.

On average, a wedding reception lasts about 5 hours. Usually, wedding planners assume that guests will have 2 drinks in the first hour of the open bar, and 1 additional drink each following hour. Also, it is wise to add 1 more drink for situations when guests misplace their drink while dancing. So it brings our numbers to 7 drinks per person for a 5-hour event. Of course, it is possible that some people will not drink at all, or drink less than expected – but we recommend to stay safe.

Wine bottles will make great gifts in case you have some left, and it is better to have more than to worry that you didn’t order enough.

Calculate How Many Drinks Come in a Bottle

Trying to figure out how much wine for a wedding and using a wedding alcohol calculator, keep in mind the average size of a drink.

It’s easy to calculate the number of bottles you have to provide if you want to keep your guests happy. Usually, one bottle of wine is approximately 5 drinks (750 ml bottle). One bottle of champagne equals 8 glasses, while one bottle of hard liquor will make around 18 drinks (750 ml bottle). And of course, one bottle of beer is one serving.

Also, don’t forget, that drinks do not pour themselves! Beer is easiest to serve if you are wondering how to serve alcohol at a wedding without a bartender. An open bar requires at least one bartender to pour wine, liquor, and champagne, a limited bar needs a couple of waiters to serve drinks, while a cash bar will require regular bar staff from the venue.