How much booze

one of the hardest things I found to plan was how much booze. Every 'booze calculator' seemed to be American and assumed that guests would stick to the same drink all day and night. We knew our guests would not be this 'boring'.

we really wanted to provide a free bar (without bankrupting ourselves, hotel bar not an option!) but as we had a marquee reception running out was alsonot an option as it would mean people leaving early.

so after researching over and over I eventually discovered a blog. It seemed like it was written by my double as she had 120 day time guests (snap) and her passport had expired so her future husband and his best man drove to calais for the wine (snap). She detailed all her soft drinks and how she decided what beer to buy (cans, bottles, kegs) and after a bit of doctoring to tailor it more to our guests and other advice we had been given, this is what we came away with:

120 guests plus 50 more for the evening. Mostly red wine drinkers, gin and ale and as it was likely to be cold in November we thought not many would go with white wine. We had also been advised to cater one bottle of wine per person for the day and again for the evening. We both thought this too much and it also would make it difficult to drive back from calais without hiring a van! We didn't want the wine to be left by people going for spirits so kept the bar shut until 7pm, evening guests arrived at 8pm.

We used the calais wine store and bought:

182 bottles of malbec

96 bottles of Chenin blanc

96 bottles of prosecoco (3 glasses per person for a welcome drink and 1 glass pp for the toasts)

in total we spent £900 in calais saving us aprox £1800! Definitely worth going!

We had about 8 bottles of prosecco left, 12 of white wine and about 30ish bottles of red left over.


most were ale drinkers so we went with 1 keg of lager aprox 88 pints and 5 kegs of ale about 380 ish pints. This we were told is usually enough for a party of 300 without any other alcohol! 

The lager went and the guests got through 2 kegs of ale but the rest was not touched, so we did go hugely overboard here.



6 litres of vodka

8 litres of gin

3 litres of rum

4 litres of jd


we had one full bottle of JD left and about half a litre of rum and of JD that we threw away the next day. Everything else got drank.

soft drinks:

48 x 2 litre coke and diet coke split 50/50

8 x 2 litre lemonade

12 litres of orange juice

48 litres of tonic

12 litres of soda water

a bottle of lime cordial

we had about 8 bottles of tonic left over and around 6 bottles of coke, 2 soda and 4 of orange juice.


for anyone who wants to visit my original inspiration for this amount go and see the "utterly blog"


hopefully this will help any future brides xx,


the spirits ran out about 2am and the bar staff had not been using spirit measures all night. Good measures all round! 


  • Thanks really helpful x

  • This is really helpful, I think I may have underestimated mine & definitely don't want to run out... and it wouldn't hurt to have a few bottles of vino left, they wouldnt go to waste! x

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