How to Buy Alcohol for a Wedding

Getting married is easy. Planning a wedding is far from it. Especially figuring out how much alcohol to purchase for the party! You’re waiting for RSVPs to arrive, now you have to become a mathematically wizard to figure out the perfect amount of adult beverages to purchase. Not an easy task!

My wedding is about 50 days away and I’ve been given the assignment of determining the beverage situation and it’s a daunting task. My fiance’ has done most of the work and I’m grateful for everything she’s done. However, at any event, not just a wedding, running out of alcohol is NOT something you want to happen. Especially when your wedding is expecting 200 guests.

Funny enough a few years ago, at my cousin’s wedding, after the first hour they almost ran out! My Uncle came up to me and said sternly,

“Joshy, we cannot run out of alcohol, go to the store and keep this party going!”

Having experienced firsthand that running out of booze is a real problem, I’ve been determined to ensure that doesn’t happen to us on our wedding day. 5 hours later, I finally figured it out.

Here are 5 recommendations on how to guarantee you won’t run out of alcohol at your wedding.

1. Use Beverage Calculators.

If picking out the drinks isn’t hard enough. How much do you purchase? Well luckily for you, the year is 2022. There are many calculators out there to help you determine what you’re going to need! I used Bevmo and the Total Wine Drink Planner.

They were almost completely identical, except for one major item. Wine. Total Wine recommended that we would need 120 bottles of wine for 200 guests. Bevmo suggested that 60 would be sufficient.

Our decision was to error on the side of caution and purchase closer to 120 bottles because Total Wine has a great return policy. So anything that we don’t use, we can return for a full refund!

One area for improvement for both of the calculators is that they don’t include Hard Seltzers so make sure you account for those as well!

2. Write Out All Drinks.

Sit down with your significant other and pick out exactly what you want to have at your wedding. If you’re having a signature drink for the bride and groom, you want to make sure that you order extra because those are typically more popular.

For Wine we decided on 30 bottles each of:

  • Pinot Noir
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot Grigio

For the Champagne Toast, we are going to get 40 bottles because every guest is going to have a glass. Except for the children :).

3. Compare at least 2 Stores.

Living in Florida, I decided to compare Total Wine & ABC Liquors. I’d definitely suggest comparing a local liquor store to a large chain and see who has the best deals. Whatever you do, DO NOT ADD your choices to the shopping cart. Use a “Wish List” or “Shopping List.”

Since you’re going to be ordering large quantities of drinks, the stores may or may not have enough supply. If you use the shopping cart, you’re going to get pesky errors that are going to screw everything up. Trust me, don’t do it!

Using the list feature allows you to place everything you’re going to need, share it with whoever is helping you with your event and won’t limit your quantiles.

After comparing the 2 stores, my choice is Total Wine because of their better selection,  higher quality products, for low prices.

4. For Spirits Purchase the 1.75L Bottles.

First off, 1.75L versus 750ML is more than double the size. Also, it’s going to save you money. From my calculations, it’s going to save you about $4.29/bottle, which doesn’t sound like a lot. Keep in mind you’re purchasing a lot of alcohol, so a dollar here and there adds up quickly.

For wine, you can purchase larger bottles than 750ML, but what I found is the quality of the wine is not going to be as good. So for wine, stick with the normal size bottles.

5. Pick a Caterer that Supplies Mixers.

It took me about 4 to 5 hours to figure all of this out, so the last task you want to do is determine how much to buy of sodas, juices, coffee, blah, blah blah.

Your Guide,

Joshua Krafchick, “Unconventional Money Guy”

Additional Blogs About Getting Married:

1. A Prenuptial Agreement May Save Your Marriage

2. Does Marriage Affect Your Money?

3. Planning an Epic Elopement

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