Wedding Drinks – “How many bottles do we need?”

Often the wedding receptions that we cater are held in marquees or venues where our couples can provide their own drinks, this can provide a huge cost saving.  We don’t charge corkage to serve our client’s drinks – it’s just part of what we do.

One question we are always asked… “How many bottles do we need?”

Below is a guide and a few tips on making sure you don’t run out and you don’t end up with too much left over!

Drinks Reception

The average length of time for drinks receptions is around one and a half hours.  You can expect that around 90% of your guests will be drinking alcoholic drinks.  We often serve Champagne, Prosecco, Pimms, Aperol Spritz or simple cocktails.  Elderflower cordial and sparkling water being the preferred choice of soft drink.

So, if you are planning on serving Champagne or Prosecco you can expect your guest to drink 3 to 4 glasses each, this equates to 1/2 to 2/3 of a bottle per person.

So as a rough guide….

100 guests = 50 to 60 bottles drinks reception

Wedding Breakfast

Most couples serve red and white wine to their guests during the wedding breakfast, along with still and sparkling water.  As a general rule of thumb, more guests will drink white wine, but this can depend on time of year and your menu choices.

You can expect most guests to drink approximately 2/3 of a bottle of wine during the wedding breakfast.

You should allow half a bottle of water per person, especially if it is a hot day.

So as a rough guide…

100 guests – 70 bottles of wine, 40 white and 30 red

100 guests – 50 bottles of water

Don’t Forget The Toasts

When pouring toasts prior to speeches, we would expect to get 7 glasses per bottle poured.

So as a rough guide…

100 guests – 15 bottles of Champagne or Prosecco

Money Saving Tips

You can pick up some fantastic deals in all of the supermarkets on wines, Champagne and spirits, especially around Christmas time.  If you have space to store, stock up then.

Negotiate a ‘sale or return’ basis with your supplier.  That way any drinks that you don’t use can be returned and refunded.  The drinks will need to be returned in the same condition as they were purchased, labels intact and in boxes usually.  Make sure your caterer is aware of this.