Reception Drinks - Tips & Advice

Written by Decadent Details Events Assistant, Stephany LaCruz

Hello Our Beautiful Readers!

We love when the weather gets warm enough for us relax on the patio with a nice glass of wine or cool beverage!  We hope you are staying cool this summer and relaxing while enjoying your favorite drink! If you are planning to serve alcohol at your wedding, we thought we would share some tips and general wisdom. Remember this is just a guide, you know your guests and who will be drinking and who won't, so adjust accordingly. 

As we said in our blog last week, your guest count will determine many things in your budget and one of those is your alcohol budget.  Rule of thumb: 1 drink per person, per hour.

Before you decide on the kind of bar you want to host, first do the math. 

How many drinks are in 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 bottles in a case?

  • A case of wine contains 12 bottles.
  • A case of beer contains 24 bottles or cans.

Next, know the types of bars. Remember, to consider this in your budget when selecting a venue. If you are looking at a venue where you have to purchase from their bar, know what options are available. 

The Open Bar

  • An Open Bar is a very gracious but expensive approach. With an open bar, guests can order any drink they wish and you'll more than likely have sticker shock when the party it over. Because there's no limit, your guests can drink like fish. If you have guests who tend to party hard, tell the bartender in advance. 

The Limited Bar

  • With the limited bar, you select drinks such as beer and wine only or signature drinks for example and set specific times the bar will be open such as the cocktail hour, the toasts, and an hour or two after dinner. Instead of having an actual bar guests can go up to, consider hiring waiters to pass drinks on trays. Yes, you will have to hire wait staff, but you'll probably save money on alcohol and fewer guests will over consume. If you choose to limit the amount of time the bar is open, make sure the waiters are refilling water and tea glasses. 

The Cash Bar

  • Don't have a cash bar unless you have a great reason (there really isn't one). Guests shouldn't have to pay for anything at your wedding. You wouldn't invite people over to your house for dinner and charge them for the meal. Trust us if you really want to have alcohol at your party, find a different way to cut the overall budget. 

A Dry House

  • If you choose not to serve alcohol for what ever reason, serve sparkling water, soda, juices, and nonalcoholic versions of mixed drinks instead. For the toasts, use token champagne or sparkling cider. Just because you choose not to serve alcohol, doesn't mean you can't have fun with the drink choices. 

More drink for thought....

  • Having a wine and beer bar only? Purchase - 60% beer and 40% wine
  • Having wine, beer, and liquor? Purchase - 35% beer 30% wine 35% liquor
  • Having a full bar, don’t forget the mixers, lemons, and limes
  • Don't forget your bartender - although they are compensated by their company,  tips are always appreciated.  
  • Use the power of internet,  there are many amazing wedding alcohol calculators you can use which will help in determining how much of each alchohol is needed. 

Whichever option you decide for your wedding reception, keep in mind which will be the best for your budget. If you need help with locating a great bartender or figuring out what signature drink fits with your style, contact Decadent Details. The Ladies at Decadent Details hope you have a great rest of the week.

Until Next Week Our Beautiful Readers!