alcohol and reception

MrsM3MrsM3 Posts: 138

Hi everyone

Wanted some advice.  we are holding our reception in a marquee in a field and we are hiring a massive trailer fridge.

I have 120 day guests and an extra 60 in the evening (no children)

I wanted to supply champers on arrival and for toasting.  We were also going to try and supply as much wine, beer and soft drinks as possible, but obviously without bar facilities, this is hard to predict and I worry about running out!

I have two questions -

1. has anyone experience of doing this, if so, how much should I be looking at supplying?

2. Also, someone suggested that on the invite i put a little poem or something about bringing a bottle?  What do people think of this?  If we were having it at another venue we would not have been able to have a free bar anyway, so it's not too different to buying your own drinks right?

Help would be appreciated... I am worrying! image



  • Oooooh I love the sound of everyone bringing a bottle with them image Sounds so lovely and personal - and always a good talking point!


    I'm sorry I don't have any experience myself with this, however found a helpful article online which might be a good guide:

    If you’re doing a champagne toast and don’t expect to drink any more champagne afterwards, one bottle for every 8 guests is sufficient. Toast glasses don’t need to be completely full so be sure to instruct your servers to fill the glasses up only 1/3 or 1/2 of the way. So, if you have 100 guests, you’ll want to have 13 bottles of champagne.

    A good rule of thumb for the amount of beer, wine and liquor to buy is to assume each guest will consume about two drinks for the cocktail hour and one drink per hour every hour after that. You’ll need to calculate how much of each item you’ll need. If you have 100 guests, purchasing 15 cases of beer (12 bottles per case = 180 bottles) will most likely be more than sufficient as not everyone will want to drink beer. In general, evening receptions tend to consume more red wine than white wine. Each bottle of wine is 5 glasses of wine, so if you think your guests will consume red and white wine evenly then 12 bottles of each will be sufficient (5 glasses per bottle x 24 bottles = 120 glasses). Of course, if you know your guests are big wine drinkers you’ll need to adjust accordingly.

    Source -

    Hope that helps a bit image xx

  • MrsM3MrsM3 Posts: 138

    imageThank you so much Efferous, that really does help!

    It's daunting! imagexx

  • heliganedenheliganeden Posts: 1,848

    I'd be very happy to be asked to bring a bottle to a wedding - I don't think a poem is needed, just keep it to the point and word it politely image 

  • Nat 1479Nat 1479 Posts: 145

    Given your venue, I think BYOB idea is fine! Though it is a nice touch for you to supply some bubbly! 

  • mrsW2be2014mrsW2be2014 Posts: 101

    Hi Leanne

    We did this, because our venue wasn't licensed and didnt charge corkage we were able able to buy in all the wine, beer, soft drinks/mixers, pimms (for the welcome drinks) and prosecco (for toasts) and then just told people in advance that we'd be providing a free bar with all of that (plus his and hers cocktails in the evening) but if there was any specific spirit they liked to drink they could bring a bottle and put it behind the bar.

    We didnt put it on the invites though as it was more aimed at our boozy friends rather than great aunties etc, we just mentioned it various friends in the lead up. It worked really well and people were happy to bring a bottle of their fave rather than pay pub prices for a spirits (which would have have been our other option as we couldn't afford to stock a full bar for free and if we wanted to do a cash bar we would have needed to bring in someone who was a license holder ie. a pub). We did end up with rather a random selection though inc lots of jager!

    I was worried about running out too and although our friends can certainly knock it back and the party went on until 4am there was loads left over the next day. Fortunately we were able to buy all the wine on sale and return and also got kegs of beer from the local pub which could be returned if unopened so I'd definietely look into whether that is an option then you can over guestimate when you order but know you wont have pay for it if it's unused


  • I thinking BYOB is a great idea!  I definitely wouldn't mind if I was invited to a wedding and this was the case image

  • Great idea! image  If it was me, this is what I would provide..

    Half bt fizz pp, 2 glasses for arrival and 1 for toast (125mls)  If I had a lot of beer drinkers I would reduce fizz to 1 glass for arrival and replace with bottles of local beer.

    For the meal, half a bottle of wine pp is 2 x 175ml glasses.  Again you could add beers to this but I personally wouldn't reduce the wine as people will get through it!

    For the evening, again 1/2 bottle wine pp and some kegs should be fine if guests will also be able to bring additional drinks.

    For the BYOB, I would maybe say something along these lines?

    "We will be providing fizz, wine and XYZ beer and soft drinks/mixers, however, if you have a particular tipple you enjoy please feel free to bring it along."  Something like this would let your guests know they don't have to bring anything if they don't want to.  I agree with Heli that you don't need a poem, as trying to rhyme the message could cause confusion.  

    For the BYOB I would have a think about logistics.  For example, you don't want 120 people turning up in their wedding garb carrying around a plastic bag of booze because they have no where to put it or they don't want to share it!  

    I would have 2 options to where guests can leave booze.  At the bar area, AND having large ice buckets on each table so guests can keep their favourite drink close to them if they prefer.  It's a wedding so I wouldn't want guests carting round bottles like it's a student party.  I would have friends or ushers to help people on arrival to direct guests to the areas they can chill their booze and maybe some cool chalk board signage as well?

    I think it's a great idea, and I would be more than happy to take my favourite gin, or supply bottles to to contribute to the general party!  

    Don't forget glassware, ice and mixers and bowls of cut limes and lemons would be a great idea as well.  The key in my opinion is that guests will know what will be provided and where they can chill it.  



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