Kennedy
Beginner May 2020

Alcohol Etiquette

Kennedy, on September 18, 2019 at 5:50 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 23
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We are planning to serve alcohol at our wedding and wanted to provide 1-2 drinks per person before having a cash bar. What is the norm or etiquette for how many bottles of wine and how many kegs to provide? We have 200 people invited, and at least 30 are under 21. Please help!

23 Comments

  • Mrsbdg
    Champion August 2017
    Mrsbdg ·
    Are you providing the alcohol or is catering bringing it?
  • Kennedy
    Beginner May 2020
    Kennedy ·
    View Quoted Comment
    We will be providing the alcohol.
  • Alejandra
    Expert March 2019
    Alejandra ·

    So are you planning on selling the alcohol that you bring in after each person has a drink or 2. I am slightly confused on how it'll become a cash bar if you're providing the alcohol, maybe I am missing something.

  • Mrsbdg
    Champion August 2017
    Mrsbdg ·
    View Quoted Comment
    I was wondering that too.

    If you are providing the alcohol how do you plan to pick prices?
  • Hannah
    VIP July 2019
    Hannah ·
    I don't think you can legally sell alcohol that you have purchased yourself. I would check into local alcohol distribution laws.
  • Jeannetta
    Dedicated July 2020
    Jeannetta ·
    I'm doing this but the venue is providing the liquor so they set the pricing.
  • Kennedy
    Beginner May 2020
    Kennedy ·
    To clarify, we are purchasing alcohol from the venue and plan for it to be enough for each person to have 1-2 hosted drinks. After the alcohol we purchase from them is gone, they can continue to purchase from the venues bar. Does that make sense? I'm not sure I am using the right words.
  • Hannah
    VIP July 2019
    Hannah ·
    Oh ok. So you're doing a consumption bar with a cap. Normally the venue will track it by beverage poured. Did they specifically ask you how many bottles of wine/kegs you'd want to pay for? If they haven't, I would just ask for the cost per drink and use that number to calculate how much would be 2 drinks per person. The issue you run into with this is that people drink at different speeds, so Aunt Sue may be holding out for wine with dinner and goes to get her 1st drink and it's switched over to cash bar. You can combat this by drink tickets, but those don't go over well either usually.
  • Kennedy
    Beginner May 2020
    Kennedy ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you, yes we considered this, but are doing appetizers instead of dinner as it's in the afternoon, so more about drinking and snacking! The venue did ask us though how many bottles of wine, so that is where I am stuck at, especially since we are buying a keg as well which has roughly 150 beers in it. I don't want to be rude to my guests, and the etiquette on this has me stumped!
  • Hannah
    VIP July 2019
    Hannah ·
    View Quoted Comment
    I feel like they should be able to give you the correct amounts given they are the experts. You can search online for drink purchase calculators that can give you some estimates. Can you return unopened wine?
  • Kat
    Expert May 2019
    Kat ·
    View Quoted Comment
    I don’t understand. Your venue is making you pre-purchase the actual keg/wine bottles for your guests before the wedding? And then once those run out, guests will need to start paying? Why can’t the bar just run a tab and when it hits your pre-specified amount, they start charging guests? Then guests would have at least their first drink, whatever it is, paid for. I don’t see what having a cocktail reception vs dinner has to do with it.
  • Jeannetta
    Dedicated July 2020
    Jeannetta ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Yes that is what we are doing as well. The venue set the price of the drinks. So we are taking our count and multiplying that times 3 drinks for each guest.
  • Kennedy
    Beginner May 2020
    Kennedy ·
    Hmm, maybe I will ask and see if they can just put a dollar amount towards the tab. I think their reasoning is because they wanted the payment 60 days prior to the event, but I don't see why we can't just tell them we are paying $XX towards the tab. Thanks for the inputs!

    And I just added we are having a cocktail reception to the point of different styles of guests drinking, e.g. if someone was waiting for dinner, that would not be applicable with ours.
  • Kennedy
    Beginner May 2020
    Kennedy ·
    One other reasoning I guess for pre-buying the selected amount it so that there are the hosted items (until they are gone of course) and then if they want something special like mixed drinks, they pay for that separately. I have been to many weddings like this, which is where I was given the idea. I guess my question is this to simplify it: for 200 guests, what would be a practical amount of kegs and wine bottles to host? Knowing that we are only wanting to supply the equivalent of everyone being able to have 2 drinks if they want to drink.
  • K
    Dedicated October 2019
    Katherine ·
    Any way you could do three drinks instead of 1 or two?

    If you are only doing drinks and app, it doesn’t seem like you are hosting much if they only getting maybe one drink. Especially if they don’t know free drinks are limited and first come first served.
  • Kennedy
    Beginner May 2020
    Kennedy ·
    View Quoted Comment
    I guess I could, I am just trying to figure out how many bottles of wine to pre-purchase with a split hosted/cash bar. Like should I purchase half beer and half wine for the hosted drinks etc.

    We do have fairly heavy appetizers, so it's not like anyone will be going hungry either, we just have a shorter event time as well.
  • K
    Dedicated October 2019
    Katherine ·
    View Quoted Comment
    So if you exclude liquor, it depends on your crowd. For my group I’d do 65%wine, 35% beer. I’ve seen 50/50 and 75/30.

    You get get between 4-6 glasses of wine per bottle. I use 5 per bottle to calculate drinks since you never know who is pouring.

    So so let’s say you think your group is 50/50. You have 200 people but 30 are minors and 10 don’t drink or are pregnant. So 160 are drinking. 80 drink wine, 80 drink beer (my wedding is more like 100wine and 60 beer). Of the 80 wine drinkers, you want to give them two drinks each which is 160. Divided by 5 (glasses per bottle). 32 bottles. So you would prepurchase 32. Of that I’d go 60/40 or 65/35 split between red and white wine. Roughly 21 red and 11 bottles white. You can change those numbers if it’s summer and hot and make more white.

    Then beer take 80x2=160 drinks times oz per drink. That is how many oz of beer.
  • Jessica
    Dedicated November 2020
    Jessica ·
    View Quoted Comment

    This is such a great calculation to follow!!

  • Kennedy
    Beginner May 2020
    Kennedy ·
    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you!!! This is exactly what I was looking for, I appreciate you!
  • Nichole
    Just Said Yes November 2020
    Nichole ·
    If you hired a bartender they should be able to assist you with a par list! You could also just have one or two signature drinks made in mass quantities to decrease the hard alcohol costs.

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