Deciding on Alcohol for Your Dream Wedding

Should you include alcohol in your wedding? While alcohol is a common addition to a wedding reception, it is not mandatory. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at different aspects of wedding wine, from estimating the quantity to putting together the perfect wedding wine list. So, we have you covered whether you choose a spirited celebration or a dry affair.

To Drink Or Not To Drink.

Deciding whether to serve alcohol at a wedding is a deeply personal choice. It is essential to consider your preferences, cultural traditions, and the comfort of your guests. Some couples envision an evening filled with champagne toast and signature cocktails. Others opt for a dry wedding, focusing on an alcohol-free celebration that is still fun and memorable. 

When Should I Buy The Wedding Alcohol

If you need to add alcohol to your wedding, the next question that arises is when should you buy alcohol? Experts recommend storing your wine four to six weeks before the big day. This deadline allows you to finalize your guest list and estimated usage and ensures that you have enough time to deal with any unexpected changes or adjustments. If you plan ahead and check with your wedding planner or caterer, they can help make the planning process more accessible and minimize any last-minute stress.

Calculating Demand For Alcohol

Figuring out how much alcohol to serve for your wedding can be daunting. A general guideline is to predict one drink per guest per hour. Adjust for factors such as the length of reception and the number of guests. To ensure accuracy, check with the caterer or bartender, who can give you valuable insight based on their knowledge and previous experiences.

The Wedding Wine List

Creating a comprehensive wedding drink list can help you plan and ensure you have everything you need. Here is a sample list to get you started:

  • Wines (red, white, and sparkling).
  • Champagne toast
  • Beer (including light beers and craft mixes).
  • Spirits for mixed drinks (such as vodka, rum, whiskey, gin).
  • Mixtures (soda, energy drinks, water, etc.).
  • Garnishes (lemon, lime, mint, etc.).
  • Non-alcoholic beverage options (mocktails, specialty sodas, infused juices, etc.).
  • Ice, coolers, and barware

How Much Wedding Alcohol to Buy

Proper planning is essential to avoid running out of wine or being left with too many bottles. Rough math means that for a wedding of 100 guests, you’ll need approximately:

- Wine: 25 to 30 bottles (assuming five bottles per barrel).

- Beer: 160 to 200 bottles (assume two and a half bottles per guest).

- Spirits: 10 to 15 bottles (considering mixers and individual preferences).

Of course, this number can vary depending on factors such as the length of the reception, your guests’ preferences, and any specialty drinks or cocktails you plan to serve.

The perfect wine selection

peple enjoying wine at a party

Choosing suitable alcohol for your wedding reception can elevate the overall experience for your guests. Consider offering a well-rounded selection to match different tastes and preferences. A typical wedding alcohol list can include a variety of wines (red, white, and rosé), a selection of craft beers, and a variety of spirits such as vodka, gin, whiskey, and rum. In addition, you may want a signature cocktail or two, adding your own hand to your drink offering.

Who buys the wine?

Traditionally, the couple or their families are responsible for buying alcohol. However, in many cases, venues and caterers will offer packages that include alcohol, making the process easier for you. Discuss your preferences with a wedding planner or venue manager, as they can guide you through the available purchases and help you make the best decision based on your needs and budget.

An alcohol-free wedding

For some couples, an alcohol-free wedding is a conscious choice for personal reasons or cultural traditions. If you decide to have a dry wedding, there are ways to give your guests a sweet and memorable experience. Focus on fantastic food, delicious non-alcoholic beverages, and fun entertainment to ensure your guests have an unforgettable time to celebrate your special day.


When it comes to adding alcohol to your wedding, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. What matters most is creating a celebration that reflects your unique love story and brings joy to your guests. Whether you decide to entertain guests warmly or keep it simple, careful planning and thoughtful consideration will help you make the right choice. Estimate quantities, look at exciting beverage options, and communicate with your wedding planner or caterer for a seamless experience. Cheers to a beautiful wedding day filled with love, laughter, and unforgettable memories!