Weddings by Mary- London wedding planner- The Dorchester

How much drink should we order for our wedding?

Top Tips to guide you through making your wedding drink calculations


1. Divide your Guests

Not wanting to come over as sexist here and appreciate there are ladies that are quite happy with a beer & chaps happy with a glass or two of champagne.

You know your guests preferences and if you split into male & female you’ll be able to drill quantities down a little further. Consider too how many of your wedding guests will potentially be driving. And those that may not drink alcohol through personal choice.

2. Know What you Want

Be crystal clear on what drinks you want to offer your guests.

Break it down further into what you wish to be served and when.

What do you want your guests to sip during the reception? Served during the wedding breakfast? And on offer at the evening bar?

3. More than Once

The crisp, chilled champagne for example, will this simply be for the wedding reception? Reserved especially for the speeches?

Or flowing throughout your entire wedding celebrations?

 4. Bottled or Barrels

Beer kegs are often a popular choice at marquee weddings. Bear in mind these will need to be set up & tapped ideally the day prior to ensure time to settle.

Consider too the location of these in relation to where the drinks are to be served from especially if offering during the initial wedding reception.

Know that if you serve beer for the reception drinks guests will more than likely wish to continue drinking throughout the day including wedding breakfast. I can guarantee there’s always someone who won’t / doesn’t drink wine. Iced cooled bottled beers make for a great & easy alternative. Especially if you’re looking to create a more casual feel for your summer marquee wedding. Iced crates with handy bottle openers attached are simple & effective.

5. Reception Drink

Allow at least 3 drinks per person for your wedding reception drinks.

If you’re planning summer wedding. And fingers are crossed for a beautiful sunny day, the first drink will be consumed rather swiftly after you wedding ceremony.

The following 2 at a slower, more relaxed pace.

The length of your reception drinks will also have an impact. And should certainly between 90 minutes to 2hrs, but no longer!


Remember to be crystal clear on which drinks you specifically want served and when.

6. Wine

Never one to assume but for the purpose of this piece on how much drink should we order for our wedding?

Let’s assume you will be offering wine for the wedding breakfast, as everyone does.

Base the quantity here at half a bottle per adult guest. Which equates to 3 glasses. Some will of course drink more. But others less.

Also consider what you are offering the guests to eat as you will want the wine to complement your choice.

If it is a hot day white & rose will feasibly be more preferable than red.

7. Evening Bar

When it comes to the evening bar. This is where you can get really overwhelmed & over complicate things too.

Especially as you want to have free flowing bar, offering your guests an array of drinks & cocktails.

Remember you will not please every guest. Keep it simple. Especially for a marquee wedding.

8. Non Alcoholic Drinks

Don’t forget soft drinks as well as plenty of bottled water.

Still & sparkling in glass bottles not only create a better look for the wedding breakfast but also avoiding plastic waste.

 9. Sale & Return Options

If you can purchase your wines & champagne on sale & return. There are specialist retailers that are perfect for this and most will deliver too.

 10. Final Top Tip

Make sure your caterer, or bar service company serving your drinks, are aware of any items on sale & return.

As much as it’s a great idea to open your red wine to let it breathe. If it’s all opened & not consumed it won’t be possible then for it to be returned.

How much drink should we order for our wedding?

Quantity Allowances Guide:

  • Calculate 6 glasses per bottle of champagne or wine
  • Based on 120 wedding guests this equates to 20 bottles required for 1 glass
  • There are approximately 88 pints in an 11 gallon beer keg
  • A single measure is 25ml. Equating to approx. 28 single servings in one 70cl spirit bottle

Couples opting for either my Full Wedding Planning or Bespoke Wedding Planning can rest easy knowing this task will be expertly handled for them.

Find out more about the Weddings by Mary Experience


I’ve spent most of my life in the wedding & events industry. Helping couples in love to celebrate in style is something I adore and am hugely proud of being able to do.

At the very heart of my job is a love of people. A chance to connect with couples is one of my favourite parts. Being a wedding planner means being able to balance the detail-focused organisation and expert problem solving with the chance to have a good chat and a laugh with couples over a cuppa or a glass of fizz.

Mary x