If you are planning to stock your own wedding bar, this is for you.


Today we are looking at how much alcohol you need if you are stocking the bar yourself. This is for the evening bar only, therefore, not the drinks reception or wedding breakfast. Additionally, I will also cover ice, water and napkins but don’t forget about your non-drinkers. Orange juice is popular along with extra mixers (coke, lemonade, etc.). Luxury and unusual cordials are making more of an appearance too and there’s plenty of choice!


First Of All, Let’s Start With A Few Basics

  • A 75cl bottle of wine holds 6x 125ml glasses or 3x 250ml glasses.
  • 1 champagne bottle hold 6x champagne flutes.
  • 11-gallon keg holds 88 pints.
  • 4.4-gallon keg holds 35 pints.
  • 1 litre bottle of spirits holds 40x 25ml measures.

I will do two examples in this blog; both based on 100 guests.

Remember, you know your guests (otherwise why are you inviting them?) so make changes as you see fit. These are just for guidance so you have a starting point.

It is normal to assume people will have 6-8 drinks during 4 hours. There will be people that have less and some that have more so this is an average to help you work out what you need.

Your Planning Angel | Self Stocked Bar | Blog


Beer and Wine Only

Obviously, there will be some soft drinks for non-drinkers and children but, in terms of the alcohol, it is limited to beer and wine.

  • 50 bottles of wine. Unless you have a preference, it’s best to get a mix of red and white with a few rose bottles.
  • 150 bottles of beer.
  • 2x 11-gallon keg (beer, ale, cider, whichever you think is appropriate for your guests).
  • 15-25 Juice (orange or apple).
  • 40-50 litres of pop (cola, lemonade, soda water, diet versions, etc.).
  • 200x 500ml water bottles (you may prefer water jugs filled with tap water).
  • 1000x cocktail napkins.

With ice, it will mainly be used for cooling as it is unusual for it to be in wine or beer. Therefore, check the size of your storage tubs and order based on them. You will also need some ice for the non-alcoholic drinks but not much; unless it’s a hot day.


Full Bar

Spirits are interesting. If you are offering them, try to keep to two or three types maximum because you don’t want people mixing their drinks as it’s all available. There is always one that has a few too many.

  • 15-20 litres of your chosen spirits.
  • 1x 11-gallon keg (real ale).
  • 150x bottles of lager.
  • 30 bottles of wine (mixed).
  • 60x litres of pop (cola, lemonade, diet versions, soda water, etc.).
  • 50lbs ice.
  • 20-40 juice (orange/apple).
  • 200x 500ml water bottles (you may prefer water jugs filled with tap water).
  • 1000x cocktail napkins.

With an open bar, it is better to over estimate as you don’t want someone having to do to the supermarket half way through the evening. Just make sure you get it from somewhere you can have on ‘Sale or Return’ so you can return any unused alcohol.

Likewise, for ordering kegs, you can have sale or return too. If you are unsure, check you can return any unused then order an extra one. Consequently, getting some of your money back to help with the after wedding blues.



Top Tips

Finally, I’d like to leave you with a few other top tips to help you along the way.

  • Think about how the bar will work. Is it a ‘help yourself’ or manned?
  • Make sure you have enough bottle openers, corkscrews, bins, ice buckets, fruit (lemon & limes), spirit measures, available.
  • If you are having a keg, make sure you have someone that knows how to use, look after it and change it.
  • Should you hire staff, make sure they are bar trained and experienced. You don’t want cork in your wine.

If you fancy having a chat to see if I could help you, just click here and tell me about your journey so far. I love helping people where I can so don’t be afraid to ask! That’s what Your Planning Angel is here for.


Mary Cushen Wedding Planner – Marquee and Dry Hire specialist
Your Planning Angel – Bringing the professional to all budgets


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