How much should I spend on drinks for my wedding?

by DIY wedding planner on November 17, 2012


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I”m trying to come up for a budget for my wedding and i am stuck on how much money I should spend on alcoholic drinks. We had first having just beer but i would like to hear different opinions. We are working on a tight budget and it”s a little hard to divide the money up.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Messykatt November 17, 2012 at 5:28 am

Nobody can guess at this without knowing how many people are coming, but there’s nothing wrong with serving just beer, especially if you’re on a budget. Another option might be to add a champagne toast, or cheap red and white house wines. But none of this is necessary.

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Jenna C November 17, 2012 at 5:47 am

i think we are having an open bar with $200.00 limit. meaning, we pay for $200 worth of drinks and that is all, when people order over that, the free drinks have run out and they are paid for by whoever ordered them. we are on a tight budget too, but we are also having a keg and homemade wine that will be complimentary. the hard liquor is what we are spending the $200 paid tab for. we are mailing 200 invitations so approximately 100 people are estimated to be there.

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bb12creek November 17, 2012 at 5:47 am

This is a tough question and it really totally depends on what kind of a wedding reception you are having. If you are using a caterer do you best to find one (and a venue) that lets you take care of drinks on your own. My wife and I were on a limited budget and had our wedding at a lodge that we rented for the weekend. The caterer that we hired allowed us to buy our own drinks. There were 8- people at wedding and we bought wine and beer. We spent about $450 for wine and beer for a 30 person party the night before the wedding and for the 80 person reception and had cheap “last resort back up beer” available afterwards.

We had a summer wedding and ran out of white wine MUCH faster that the red. For beer we bought a keg of nice beer, some cases of nice beer, and then had a bunch of cheaper beer for later in the evening.

The first caterer that I looked at wanted to charge us $400+ for a keg of budweiser. This was not acceptable and we ended up not using them when they were unwilling to budge.

If you do your own drinks you could even hire a liscenced bartender to come and you would still be saving $. We allowed gusts to serve themselves as it was fine with the staff where we were. This might be hard for you to find.

Hard alcohol tends to be expesnive and people might make “frat party” style drinks and get KO’d too early. We stayed away from it, saved money and had fun. Those that really wanted it brought it themselves.

Hope this helps. It all depends on your venue really.

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missy79 November 17, 2012 at 6:07 am

In a typical gathering of people, you estimate 1 drink per person per hour.

1 bottle of beer = 1 serving
1 bottle of wine = 3 to 4 servings

You would know better if your guests are more of a beer crowd or a wine crowd. Make your purchase from a Binny’s or similar store and make sure that they will let you return any unopened product.

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