A question that comes up time and time again when planning your wedding is, “how many bottles of wine for a wedding?”. There’s a range of factors to take into account when making this decision. And in reality, it really is down to the couple how much they provide on the day.
Me and my husband rarely drink, and both our families know that, so our wedding tables had one bottle of red and bottle of white between 6-8 people. You may not even want to provide alcohol on your big day. Although it’s seen as traditional, it’s your wedding and you can choose what you spend your budget on.
Let’s take a closer look at how to work out how much you’ll need.
How Much Wine to Buy for a Wedding
There are a number of factors to decide on first.
- How many glass(es) would you like each guest to have? – Just one, half a bottle, a bottle each? The choice is entirely yours.
- Would like red, white, or rose wine? – Guests often prefer a mix. Everyone will always have their favorites. If you’re struggling to decide, add an option of what each guest would prefer on your RSVP slip; that way little will go to waste!
- Would you like it put out in the center of the table for guests to serve themselves? – Some people prefer to keep it behind the bar and be brought out throughout the night, or others prefer it in the center of each table for guests to help themselves.
- How many guests are you having? – This is definitely the most important question. Until you know the answer to this, it’s almost impossible to predict how much wine you might need.
- Will you pay for all of the guests drinks throughout the night? – You may want to just pay for the first drink or two, or provide wine for the entire reception. There is no expectation and you shouldn’t feel any pressure to do this. Just provide what your budget allows.
- Will there be other alcohol besides wine available? – If you’re providing other alcohol besides wine, that’s important to factor in. If you’re purchasing two drinks for each guest and buy it all in wine and beer – you may end up with a lot of leftover alcohol!
- What is Your Budget? – Almost as important as how many guests is your budget. If your budget only allows one glass per guest, that is absolutely fine and you shouldn’t feel as though you have to provide more.
How Much Wine for a Party of 100?
As we’ve seen, it really all comes down to the individuals, but we’ll take a look at the “average” wedding of 100 guests and the wine you’ll need.
So we’ll say you have 100 guests who all drink wine. The average amount of wine given is around half a bottle per guest (0.5 of a bottle). You can change this depending on how much, or how little your wedding guests are likely to drink. Take it down to 1/3 (0.33 of a bottle), or up to 2/3 (0.66 of a bottle) accordingly.
We’ll do the first calculation based on each guest having half a bottle. All you do is:
100 (guests) x 0.5 (half a bottle of wine each) = 50 (bottles of wine total)
If you’re wanting to give your guests 1/3 of a bottle each (which is the ratio I gave at my wedding), it would be worked out like this:
100 (guests) x 0.33 (1/3 of a bottle of wine each) = 33 (bottles of wine total)
It really is as easy as that! You may want to add on a bottle or two extra. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my own wedding and weddings I’ve attended – there will be spillages. And it’s always best to be prepared for the inevitable. That way your guests will still get their quota, even if there a few spillages. Hey, there’s usually lots of drunk, happy people having a good time – it’s to be expected.
Wedding Wine Calculator
If you’d prefer for a calculator to work it all out for you and the “recommended” amount of wine depending on how long your reception is, you may want to try a wedding wine calculator. There’s a ton available online that will all provide a slightly different outcome – no two seem to be the same!
I’ve chosen the Majestic Wine Calculator to share with you as it’s quick, easy to navigate, and has recommended amounts of drinks per guest, per hour.
They suggest that for a 2-hour event, you should be providing 3 drinks. If this was the case, for 100 guests having 3 drinks, you’d need 30 bottles of white wine and 30 bottles of red wine (60 total). It’s a great calculator that I’d highly recommend using, even if you don’t follow the “recommended” amounts.
It also has lager, champagne, sparkling wine, and bitter options too – so you can really input all of your information in and get answers as quickly as possible.
I hope this article has helped to answer the question of how many bottles of wine for a wedding? It really can be a minefield, and just remember there shouldn’t be a set expectation from your guests as to how much wine they should have – they’re just there to share your special day with you both.
Whether you’re a big drinker, an irregular drinker, or don’t drink at all – plan your wedding drinks around what suits you and your partner best. Weddings can become so overwhelming, so don’t let something like arranging wine become stressful for you. It’s super easy to work out!
How much wine did you have at your wedding? Or how much wine do you plan to have at your upcoming wedding? Do you think there should be an expected amount? I think this is a really interesting topic and I’d love to know your thoughts. Please feel free to leave them in the comments below.
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