For Vibrant Brides of Color

How Much Liquor At Your Wedding Reception?

Whether you're having a few guests over for a quiet dinner, or busily finalizing plans for a reception, there are always many questions with respect to the beverage alcohol you plan to serve, and the responsibilities associated with being a host.
Try different drinks together and set up a<br>drink list that matches your wedding theme.<br>Like Daquiris for a beach wedding!

If you are able to provide your own liquor for your reception, then you will probably save a good deal of money. Here are a few guidelines on what to buy based on the standard of 100 guests. Please do not forget to get a Liquor Permit.

Getting the numbers right

Guidelines for Wine

A standard serving of wine is five ounces at 12% alcohol by volume. This means that you get:

    Five glasses per 750 mL bottle
    Seven glasses per litre
    10 1/2 glasses per magnum


Guidelines for Spirits

A 750 mL (26 oz.) bottle gives approximately 17 standard drinks. You will need three similarly sized bottles of mix. Allow three drinks per person. Guest preferences or a party theme may affect the types of spirits purchased, so the following is only a basic guide for making spirit purchases:

    30% Canadian Whisky
    20% Vodka
    20% Rum
    10% Scotch
    10% Gin (more popular in summer)
    10% Float or something unusual (e.g. liqueurs or Schnapps)


Extra fruit juices and soft drinks should be provided for the designated drivers and non-drinkers. Consider fun Mocktails and Virgin drinks.

Estimating Needs for a Larger Social Function

Make your reception memorable.

Follow three steps when estimating your needs:

    1. Calculate how many people will be drinking at the event.
    2. Multiply this number by four. This tells you the maximum number of standard drinks you need.
    3. Translate the number of standard drinks into cases of spirits and bottles of wine.

100 "standard drinks" = approximately:
Beer: 100 12-oz. bottles or
Spirits: 6 750 mL bottles or
Wine: 20 750mL bottles

Suppose you expect 200 people to be drinking at your event. The recommended number of drinks you need is 800 (4 x 200). Let's further suppose that you expect about half of the people will drink beer and the rest will be divided between spirits and wine. The 800 "standard drinks" required would be divided as follows: 400 bottles of beer (4 x 100), plus 12 bottles of spirits (2 x 6), plus 40 bottles of wine (2 x 20).

The prices and quantities shown on this page are only estimates. Use this information accordingly. Actual prices and amounts may be higher or lower based on the products you select and the accuracy of your estimated percentages per category.

List of drinks for a full bar

If your responsibilities include supplying the entire bar and mixes, here is a general list of the things you may need:


  1. Ice
  2. Coolers for beer, etc.
  3. Lemons
  4. Limes
  5. Cherries
  6. Olives
  7. Lime Juice
  8. Lemon Mix
  9. Tabasco
  10. Worchestshire
  11. Milk
  12. Orange Juice
  13. Cranberry Juice
  14. Tomato Juice
  15. Clamato Juice
  16. Soda Water
  17. Tonic Water
  18. Coke, Diet Coke
  19. Seven Up, Ginger Ale
  20. Straws
  21. Personalized Drink Stirrers

Mixing Drinks is so much fun. Get the groomssmen involved!
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