A bottle of red, a bottle of white. Maybe tequila and salt for a margarita night. Glasses, napkins, or an ice bucket, too. Stock the bar before you say I do!
There is one surefire way to make your wedding memorable. Of course, this would be in the worst possible way. Run out of alcohol. To prevent this catastrophe during your reception, we have an essential shopping list for you to follow. However, if you want to try to save money on your reception, consider a stock the bar party in lieu of a bachelor or bachelorette party!
If you are planning to stock the bar yourselves always check to see if your venue charges a corkage fee. If they do, don't forget to incorporate that cost into your total alcohol budget for your event.
Our list includes everything you'll need to set up a full bar for a four-hour evening reception for 100 guests. We have estimated that your guests will consume one drink per person per hour, or about five drinks over the course of the evening. Some will drink less, or course, but some may drink more.
When hosting a stock the bar party, rather than bringing more traditional gifts, your attendees bring a bottle of something on your list for you to serve at your wedding. This saves you money on your reception and is ensures that your guests are guaranteed to have what they like to drink most when they celebrate your union.
Your Bar Wish List:
- Beer: 5-6 cases
- Whiskey: 1 liter
- Bourbon: 1 liter
- Gin: 2-3 liters
- Scotch: 2 liters
- Rum: 2 liters
- Vodka: 6 liters
- Tequila: 1 liter
- Dry vermouth: 1 liter
- Sweet vermouth: 1 liter
- Red wine: 2 cases
- White wine: 2 cases
- Champagne: 1 to 1 1/2 cases
(include an additional 18 bottles for a champagne toast.)
- Tonic: 1 case
- Club soda: 1 case
- Cranberry juice: 1 gallon
- Orange juice: 1 gallon
- Grapefruit juice: 1 gallon
- Ginger ale: 1 case
- Triple sec: 1 liter
- Lime juice: 1 gallon
- Sparkling water: 2 cases
- Bottled water: 3 cases
- Diet coke: 2 cases
- Coke: 2 cases
How many drinks to a bottle?
A bottle of champagne fills six to eight glasses.
A bottle of wine fills five glasses.
A liter bottle of liquor makes about 18 drinks.
How many drinks to a bottle?
A case of wine contains 12 bottles.
A case of beer contains 24 bottles or cans.
The Open Bar
An open bar is the most gracious approach. No guest should pay for anything at the wedding. However, this is also the most expensive approach. Guests can order any drink on the planet, and you'll have to pick up the hefty tab when the party is over and done with. Because there is no limit, people may drink like fish. If you know anyone who tends to drink a bit too much, make your wedding planner aware in advance so they can give the bartender a heads up.
The Limited Bar
You offer a selection of drinks to your guests...beer, wine and your signature drink, for example, and set specific consumption times, such as the cocktail hour, the toasts and an hour after dinner. We suggest that you consider hiring waiters to pass drinks on trays rather than letting guests go up to the bar. You will have to pay for the waiters, but you will save money on alcohol in the long run and fewer guests will go overboard. If you limit the amount of time that the bar is actually open, just make sure that the waiters are circulating during dinner to refill glasses with water, soda or wine.
The Cash Bar
Trust us on this one. DO NOT have a cash bar without a very good reason. (Personally, we don't think there is one.) You don't invite people to your house for dinner and then charge them for the food. Seriously, trust us. It is not a good cost cutting solution. It is way too controversial and will be the cause of many arguments.
A Dry House
If most of your guests do not drink alcohol, skip it. Serve sparkling cider, water, soda, sweet tea, flavored lemonades, or even a nonalcoholic signature drink. There are so many fabulous recipes for nonalcoholic cocktails on Pinterest to try. If you want something bubbly for toasting, garnishing a flute of sparkling cider with strawberries is always a classy choice.
All bartending information and bar wish list provided by Concoctions Bartending Services. Concoctions Bartending Services specializes not only in top notch service, but crafting signature drinks for your special event. Owner, Brittany Jones, can be reached at the Concoctions Bartending Services website: concoctionsbartending.com or by calling/texting her directly (615) 987-0227.