If you had a free bar for guests at your wedding, please come tell me how much drink you stocked it with!

(31 Posts)
Puddlejumpingqueen Sun 20-Mar-16 21:23:56

Just that really, it is such an unknown and I am terrified of running out but at the same time I do not have limitless funds. Out venue will not allow the sale of alcohol (but serving it is fine) so mobile bar and temporary licence out of the question.

Summer wedding, approximately 80-90 guests, mix of wine/beer/cider/some spirits/soft drinks.

I have done all the calculators online which help you guesstimate but whenever I come up with a figure I have family members piling me in telling me it won't be enough and I need to double it!

So far I am thinking 30 bottles of red (its summer, no red meat being served) 60 bottles of white, 400 bottles of beer, 30 bottles of that awful fruit cider stuff, a litre bottle of vodka, gin, whiskey. 2 jugs of pimms and then a ton of soft drinks/water. Doubling just seems wildly excessive.

So please share your wisdom and experience!

P.s. If I didn't serve any sparkling wine or served sparking wine but not champagne would you think this a massive faux pas?

Avebury Sun 20-Mar-16 21:28:04

I think I would probably stick to wine/beer/cider and soft drinks just to keep things simple with maybe Pimms on arrival if you felt so inclined. A lot of places will offer sale or return which might be worth investigating.
Or alternatively is it the kind of low key wedding where you could ask guests to bring a bottle?

sooperdooper Sun 20-Mar-16 21:28:14

Haven't actually done any calculations but could you tell people that drinks are provided but they're fres to bring a bottle too? I'd be more than happy with that and it solves the potential issue smile

nancy75 Sun 20-Mar-16 21:29:57

I think you need more beer, is the wedding afternoon in to night?

FeelingSmurfy Sun 20-Mar-16 21:30:18

Could you make it a BYOB

It's hard to plan because you don't know who drinks what and who will have 4 drinks in the time it takes someone else to finish one, if people bring their own then you know everyone has what they like, and you can just supply some extra

Puddlejumpingqueen Sun 20-Mar-16 21:35:13

My original plan was beer/wine/cider/soft drinks and Pimms on arrival but I was told it was "rude" not to offer some level of spirits hmm

I think with everyone's BYOB suggestions that it might not be enough so I will up it somehow! (Looks at budget in despair)

Re the bring BYOB suggestions: I don't live where I am from, so my guests are all travelling in to be at the wedding and most are staying overnight so I wanted to make sure they didn't have any more expense on top of that.

Stylingwax Sun 20-Mar-16 21:35:29

I think I'd also keep it simple with just wine and beer. Or even just wine. Buy a bottle's worth for each adult, half white, half red, the £2.89 stuff from Aldi is very drinkable and tell people they're free to bring their own if they want more.
I'm sure people will be delighted. Most wedding packages only come with half a bottle per guest anyway.

VimFuego101 Sun 20-Mar-16 21:39:53

Am I the only one who would never expect spirits to be included in a free bar at a wedding? I agree maybe more beer would be needed if you think a large percentage of the guests would drink beer, but the amount of wine sounds plenty to me.

LineyReborn Sun 20-Mar-16 21:41:44

If you are going to think about supplying cava - which I think is a good idea, personally - would you have the ability to chill it, even if it's bought ice in buckets?

I would personally supply more beer and some cava and not have spirits. People who are likely to be twats always do twatdom when they've had spirits IME.

flingingmelon Sun 20-Mar-16 21:41:48

We had a free bar at ours. Had spirits but only singles, not doubles.

After we hit a certain amount the manager asked us if we wanted to keep it up, suggesting that we might want to just have beer / wine later in the evening. We were pissed so didn't change it! grin

Friolero Sun 20-Mar-16 21:42:51

Yes I'd just do beer, wine and soft drinks too, and maybe pimms for the bit after the ceremony. Sounds like you have enough, you've catered for a bottle of wine and 4-5 beers per person (assuming no kids are included in your guest numbers - obviously if that includes children then there's even more booze per adult guest!). If you're worried, maybe add a little bit more but you definitely don't need to double it!

No-one will notice if it's sparkling wine / prosecco rather than champagne.

Puddlejumpingqueen Sun 20-Mar-16 21:48:49

Liney - yes we are able to store it all in industrial fridges and then the will use ice buckets to chill so many at a time before replenishing from the fridges.

There is a small number of children (not a child free wedding, just only a few of our guests have children so far) - soft drinks/water for them obviously!!

So thank you all for your help, I will up it a bit but not too much, will consider dropping the spirits and will get in some sort of sparking wine. Anyone tried Aldi's champagne? I have heard good things.

willfuckformichilenstarfood Sun 20-Mar-16 21:57:37

Can you get to Calais? Are you close to Dover? You can get bottles of wine for £2 (branded £5-6 bottles from home) and crates of stubby beers for £6. Check out the prices online. X

annielostit Mon 21-Mar-16 07:02:11

More than 2 litre of vodka & gin, it ran out at a similar wedding a few years back. I like wine with a meal but too many it makes me squiffy. Lots of tonics & soda water lime mixers.
Lidl & aldi champers do the trick, as do lidl prosecco.

annielostit Mon 21-Mar-16 07:07:27

You know your guest list, think what they drink, uncle Bob only drinks xx auntie Flo likes gin etc.... Then you won't have too much undrinkable left.

FeelingSmurfy Mon 21-Mar-16 09:28:18

I have no idea if it's enough or not, I suggested BYOB because that way you don't buy too much of one and not enough of another

BrieAndChilli Mon 21-Mar-16 09:39:26

You haven't put any White wine on your list? More people will drink white at a summer wedding.

How long is the wedding - if it's noon to midnight people will drink a lot more than of 5-12pm.

Will there be people serving the drinks or will it be a free for all? If someone serving it will be easier to control measures and keep it to one drink at a time.

How about some judge of punch or cocktails? Can make it a bit weaker to stretch the spirits out. But one bottle of vodka will not last long.

Wishfulmakeupping Mon 21-Mar-16 09:43:38

You need more beer and cider I think.

FenellaMaxwell Mon 21-Mar-16 09:52:51

I think it depends - we did 2x welcome drinks pp, half a bottle of wine with dinner pp, a glass of champagne pp, and £1000 behind the bar, and still ran out by about 8:30pm for 100 people. And no it is not rude to not offer spirits! I would suggest getting your booze from somewhere like Majestic that offers sale or return. That way you can over-order and then take back whatever you don't need.

murkylurker Mon 21-Mar-16 09:54:31

I had a free bar at mine and i think we worked off 1 drink per guest per hour for wine which worked out at a bottle per head, plus toasting champagne and a welcome drink. I would think you need a couple more beers. Try to buy them from somewhere that will take back unopened cases in case you over buy, e.g costco does this.

People drank as much as they wanted at ours and we still only finished drinking our wedding wine this year (2 years down the road). Makes those first years of marriage pretty fun with all that guilt free already paid for wine sitting around in your house!

FeelingSmurfy Mon 21-Mar-16 10:16:22

Brie it says 60 white after the brackets smile

JamieVardysParty Mon 21-Mar-16 10:26:15

DBIL/SIL had an open bar at a hot, summer wedding.

Most people drank prosecco, beer, cider and soft drinks. The wine was hardly touched.

They had about 60 guests and went through 40 bottles of prosecco, 180 ish beers and 100 ish bottles of cider.

Apparently it was a great night, none of us really remember much of it grin

AngelsWithFilthySouls Mon 21-Mar-16 10:59:35

I think the cider needs to be increased as it could go very quickly at a summer wedding (I'm speaking from experience as someone who doesn't drink wine or beer who suddenly had everyone hogging the cider) and would be tempted to swap some of the white wine for rose, but you'll know you're guests better.

I don't think 1 litre of vodka will last long so I'd either drop spirits or increase them if possible. I'd be happy to BYOB if I was given notice, means I can drink what I like and you don't have to stress about running out. Would that be an option?

frikadela01 Mon 21-Mar-16 11:12:43

I wouldn't bother with spirits and would get more cider... as pp I went to a summer wedding last year and the cider was the first thin to run out because lots of people were drinking it.

I would also mention to guests that they are welcome to byob. I certainly wouldn't mind bringing my own bit of something.

Ooh also get plenty of ice. Running out is a right pain in the arse.

PotteringAlong Mon 21-Mar-16 11:15:39

No spirits, more cider. Will all be fine smile

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