How much does the average person drink at a wedding?

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When planning a wedding, it’s important to know what type of bar you want to have and even more important that you don’t run out of drinks on the night of. Here’s a quick breakdown of the different types of bars and a simple guide to deciding how much alcohol to buy for your wedding:


  • The Open Bar – The most expensive option includes unlimited drinks of all types and the B + G pick up the tab at the end of the night based on how much was consumed.
  • The Limited Bar – A selection of drinks that most often includes beer, wine and a signature drink which have all been purchased ahead of time.
  • The Cash Bar – The most controversial option where guests pay for their own drinks at your wedding. Mixed reviews on this one and I personally don’t prefer it.
  • The Dry Bar – If your family doesn’t drink, this is a great option for offering sparkling water, soda, cider and a few nonalcoholic mixed drinks.


Estimate that for a four-hour reception of 100 adults, each guest will consume one drink per hour equivalent to five drinks per person over the course of the evening. Keep in mind that some people don’t drink at all while others will consume more. I recommend going through your guest list and marking off the people you know don’t drink at all and also marking people you think will drink a little more. This will give you a better estimate as to how many drinks you need. The type of bar you select will determine what alcohol is provided. Always remember, it’s best to have too much alcohol than to run out half way through your reception.


Happy Planning,


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