Beverages for your wedding: How much should you buy?

Per person
Welcome Drink
1 glass
12 bottles
White Wine
2 glasses
24 bottles
Red Wine
Main Course
5 glasses
50 bottles
Dessert Wine
1 glass
12 bottles
3 cans
8 cases
3 cans
8 cases

Are you planning a wedding and handling the beverages yourself? Have you struggled to figure out how much you should purchase, including beer, water, and wine? You're not alone. One of the most challenging aspects of wedding planning can be estimating beverages. Even if beverages are included in the per-person price, there may be additional purchases for the reception, for example.

Individual guests can consume varying amounts. Some don't drink alcohol, while others only drink beer, and some prefer wine.

Below, you'll find a guide on how much you should purchase of beverages and the types of beverages most commonly served at weddings. With Wonderfulday's smart tool, you can tailor the following rules of thumb to fit your event and the number of guests.

How much should we purchase?

Naturally, it's up to you to decide how many beverages you want to purchase. However, it's never fun to run out of beverages, so always remember to buy a little extra if you're unsure.

Below, you'll see rules of thumb for how much to calculate for beverages per person at a wedding.

  • Welcome Drinks: Approximately 1.5 glasses per person. Typically sparkling wine/champagne.
  • Starter: Approximately 1.5-2 glasses per person. Usually white wine is served with the starter.
  • Main Course: Approximately 3 glasses per person.
  • Dessert: 1.5 glasses of dessert wine and/or 1 glass of Bailey's or another liqueur per person.
  • Soda/Beer: Approximately 2-5 glasses per person. Can vary greatly depending on the group.

With Wonderfulday's smart calculation tool, you can easily calculate how much you need to purchase of different beverages and customize the selection to fit your big day.

How much is in different bottles?

The quantity can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but below gives a general insight into the quantities of different types of beverages.

  • Red and rosé wine contain approximately 5-6 glasses per bottle.
  • White wine contains approximately 8 glasses per bottle.
  • Dessert wine/sherry contains approximately 15 glasses per bottle.
  • Champagne contains approximately 7 glasses per bottle.
  • Cognac and other liqueurs contain approximately 15 glasses per bottle.

What temperature should beverages be served at?

  • White wine and liqueurs are served at approximately 8-10 degrees and should be stored in a refrigerator.
  • Red wine, cognac, and other liqueurs are served at room temperature, typically between 17-20 degrees.
  • Champagne and dessert wine are served at 12-15 degrees.

What are the benefits of hiring a professional bartender?

One advantage of hiring professional bartenders is having one less thing to worry about before your big day. When you hire professional bartenders, you'll collaborate to create a drinks and cocktail menu and typically secure a 4-6-hour serving time with unlimited service.

Bartenders typically handle bar setup, equipment, and post-event cleaning, giving you peace of mind to focus on all the other tasks leading up to and on the day itself.