𝗟𝗲𝘁'𝘀 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗸 𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝘇𝗲! 𝘋𝘐𝘠 𝘉𝘢𝘳 - 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘭𝘤𝘰𝘩𝘰𝘭 𝘥𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥? Always start with an online calculator, these are pretty good at giving you a starting point - but do not blindly follow them. They are general for a reason. Your guests and your wedding are unique.
A good rule of thumb is to assume that each guest will consume 1 drink per hour. So for a 2-hour cocktail hour and a 4-hour dance, for 100 guests, you'll want 600 'drinks'.
𝗙𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗙𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘋𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘴 𝘈𝘳𝘦 𝘐𝘯 𝘢 𝘉𝘰𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦? - Champagne: 6-8 glasses - Wine: 4-5 glasses - Liquor: ~18 Drinks - Kegs: Vary depending on size
𝗙𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘀 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁 - Open Bar: Guests will drink more because they aren't paying for it. - Self-Service Bar: Guests will drink more because they will most likely over-pour and make stronger drinks. - Summer Wedding: Guests will drink more, especially if outside & warmer weather.
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗧𝘆𝗽𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗹 - Spring/Summer Weddings: Guests will tend to drink more clear liquors and white wines. - Winter/Fall Weddings: Guests will tend to drink darker liquors and red wines. - Your Style: If you don't drink tequila, don't buy a ton of tequila. If you just want beer and wine, then just have beer and wine. - Your Guests: You know your guests better than a calculator does. If your crowd is a big Bud Light group - then get more Bud Light and less Bourbon.
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗧𝗼 𝗥𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 - Always get more bottled water than you need. At least 1 bottle per guest. (Unless you are having pitchers of water and cups). - Don't forget ICE! Especially if you are having mixed drinks, you will want about 1 pound of ice per person. - If you are hiring bartenders, and having mixed drinks, try to have 1 bartender per 50 guests. If just doing bottles and cans, this number can be more like 1 bartender per 100 guests.
At the end of the day, you know your guests better than any online calculator will. So use your best judgement, take these factors into account. And of course, feel free to ask your vendors. They are here to help!