Now we all know the struggle when it comes to planning how to budget for your wedding bar. You think how many bottles of scotch should you buy? Should you consider Vodka? Maybe a few bottles of Prosecco? And the list goes on and on, especially if you’re friends and family love a little bubbly…*wink*.

We know how overwhelming the process can be, and that’s why we’re here to help you darling! Thanks to our lovely friends at ThirstyNest – the first gift registry for wine, spirits and drink ware, we’re here to dish the juicy details on everything wedding bar budgeting!

Read below for more from ThirstyNest’s founder, Jacki Strum:

If you open bar, they will come… and have a good time. We’re totally on-board for making your wedding your own, but the one thing that’s almost universally necessary is an open bar!

Here are our 4 steps to create the perfect wedding bar!

STEP #1

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Set a budget. Just like the rest of your wedding day decisions, the first step is to create your budget. A good general rule of thumb is one serving per guest per hour. 100 guests x 5 hours = 500 servings. Your budget will affect what those servings are made up of! A bigger budget = more expensive booze and more variety when it comes to beverage options.

STEP #2

kaboompics_white-and-red-wine

Know your audience. Does your family generally polish off a bottle of Scotch after Christmas? Or are they more conservative, sticking to one glass of Chardonnay during hors d’ouevres? You should serve what makes the most sense for your guests! In some instances, a full bar might not be necessary, while for other groups, it would be a cardinal sin to not have whiskey within a bridal bouquet throw. If booze is important to your family and friends, you might have to invest more in your open bar!

STEP #3

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Decide where and when. Take into account your venue and time of year when deciding the makeup of your bar. Outdoor summer weddings call for refreshing rosé and spritzers, while an indoor wedding should stock some bold red wines and Old Fashioned cocktail ingredients. In addition, nighttime weddings tend to require more alcohol. If your budget is smaller, consider a daytime wedding (and therefore smaller bar!).

STEP #4

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Do the math. Once you’ve decided on the above factors, you can look into the components of the type of bar you’d like to create. Our equation overview is below!

1 bottle of wine = 4 servings1 beer = 1 serving

1 bottle of liquor = 16 servings

**All breakdowns are based on a 5 hour wedding for 100 guests.

Option Wine & Beer:

70% Wine, 30% Beer

  • 7.5 Cases of Wine (12 Bottles per Case)

○ 2 Cases of Sparkling (Recommendation: Prosecco or Cava)

○ 2 Cases of White Wine (Recommendation: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or

Steel Aged Chardonnay)

○ 1.5 Cases of Rose (Recommendation: Dry, Provence Style)

○ 2 Cases of Red Wine (Meritage/Red Blend or Cabernet Sauvignon)

  • 150 Beers

○ Pale Ale Style and a Darker Option

Option Wine, Beer & Light Bar: 50% Wine, 20% Beer, 30% Liquor

  • 5 Cases of Wine (12 Bottles per Case)

○ 2 Cases of Sparkling (Recommendation: Prosecco or Cava)

○ 2 Cases of White Wine (Recommendation: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or

Steel Aged Chardonnay)

○ 1.5 Cases of Rose (Recommendation: Dry, Provence Style)

○ 2 Cases of Red Wine (Meritage/Red Blen

d style or Cabernet Sauvignon)

  • 100 Beers

○ Pale Ale Style and a Darker Option

  • 10 Bottles of Spirits

○ 3 bottles of Vodka

○ 3 bottles of Gin

○ 4 bottles of Whiskey

Option Wine, Beer & Full Bar: 50% Wine, 20% Beer, 30% Liquor

  • 5 Cases of Wine (12 Bottles per Case)

○ 2 Cases of Sparkling (Recommendation: Prosecco or Cava)

○ 2 Cases of White Wine (Recommendation: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or

Steel Aged Chardonnay)

○ 1.5 Cases of Rose (Recommendation: Dry, Provence Style)

○ 2 Cases of Red Wine (Meritage/Red Blend style or Cabernet Sauvignon)

  • 100 Beers

○ Pale Ale Style and a Darker Option

  • 12 Bottles of Spirits

○ 3 bottles of Vodka

○ 3 bottles of Gin

○ 4 bottles of Whiskey

○ 1 bottle of Rum

○ 1 bottle of Tequila

At the end of the day, don’t stress! No matter what option you go with, everyone will have an amazing time. Cheers!

Did you enjoy that lovebirds? We definitely hope it helped a bit with your wedding bar budgeting. We’d love to know…how has your planning been going? Let us know in the comments below. 

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