Top 11 Tips to Buy Alcohol in Bulk For Your Wedding

Wedding Drinks

A wedding reception without alcohol may become monotonous. Liquor is one of the essential tools for keeping your wedding guests entertained at your wedding.

Moreover, it’s not just about arranging alcohol at the wedding; you must arrange enough alcohol at your wedding to have happy guests for life. Of course, getting it set through your venue will be a costly affair. Purchasing your own alcohol for a wedding may appear to be a daunting task. However, it can be a breeze if you follow the tips below.

In this post, we’re going to share the top tips to buy liquor in bulk for your wedding.

So, let’s get started…

Table of Contents


1. Total number of guests

Count the number of people who will be attending your reception. You’ll need an accurate headcount to know how much alcohol you’ll need at your wedding reception. Know that rough estimates don’t work that well, especially when it’s a wedding party where you’ll have too many guests.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss to include an RSVP form in your wedding invitations so that you know who will be attending your reception.

2. Determine the duration of your reception

Another important aspect that you need to consider is to determine the duration of your reception. Determining the duration of your reception will help you determine how much alcohol you will require.

Wondering how?

Here is how…

Usually, a standard duration for a wedding reception is 5 – 6 hours. If your guests consume two drinks per person during the first hour of your wedding reception and one additional drink for each subsequent hour, this way, it will be around 6-7 drinks total per person.

Pro Tip: Set a start and end time for the reception so that people do not arrive too early or stay too late.

3. Create a budget for bulk liquor purchases

Although buying liquor in bulk is cheaper than buying it individually, you should still set a budget for your liquor purchase. Establishing a budget will assist you in determining how much money to set aside to purchase a large quantity of liquor.

4. Choose whether you want an open bar or a limited bar

Choosing between an open bar and a limited bar is crucial. Both are two different options and can significantly impact your wedding budget. An open bar is a costlier option, as it allows your guests to order any drink at the bar at no cost. Whereas a limited bar offers a limited selection of drinks and only serves them during specific times.

An open bar can easily consume 15-20% of the total wedding budget. If you have a budget constraint, choosing a limited bar is a good idea. With a limited bar option, you can have waiters serving the drinks to keep the amount of alcohol distributed under control.

5. Consider the date and time of the reception

This is again a critical point to consider when you buy your own wedding alcohol. The day and the time of the reception will influence the type of alcohol and the amount consumed. Usually, people drink differently for a Sunday daytime wedding than for a Friday night wedding reception. More often than not, people prefer drinking lighter drinks, such as wine and beer, at daytime weddings. For nighttime parties, especially on a Friday or Saturday, people consume more liquor and beer.

6. Location of your wedding

Your wedding reception location will also have an impact on the types of alcohol you serve. People are more likely to drink alcohol if your reception is held in a rented wedding hall and more champagne and wine at a destination wedding reception.

7. Decide the type of alcohol

You cannot simply buy anything in the name of liquor for your wedding. You have to plan the amount of each type of alcohol you want to serve at your wedding. Usually, a wedding reception liquor is purchased in the proportions of 45:30:25 (45% wine, 30% beer, and 25% liquor). However, if you believe your guests are more likely to consume more beer or liquor, adjust the ratio accordingly.

8. Use a liquor calculator

The easiest way to find out how much alcohol to buy for a wedding reception is to use a liquor calculator. There are several online apps and platforms that allow you to calculate liquor.

Here is a simple calculation:

For 50 guests, you will need 32 bottles of beer, 12 bottles of wine, and 2 bottles of liquor.

For 100 guests, you will need 60 bottles of assorted beer, 24 bottles of wine, and 3 bottles of liquor.

Accordingly, you can determine the number based on your number of guests.

9. Find out a reliable liquor supplier

Once you’ve determined how much alcohol you’ll need for your wedding, it’s time to find a reputable liquor supplier. It is critical to choose a reputable supplier to ensure that you only purchase high-quality liquor.

It is better to go with a wholesale supplier in this case. They have liquor from all brands, and their prices are lower than those of retailers.

Pro Tip: You can scour through the internet to find one, or you can simply ask for a reference.

10. Ask for a discount

Most liquor suppliers give discounts when you buy alcohol in bulk for your wedding. Don’t hesitate to ask for a discount on alcohol; it will help you save some dollars on your purchase.

11. Place your order

When you’ve found the best alcohol supplier as per your requirements, it’s time to place your order. It’s advised to ask your supplier to deliver the alcohol to the reception venue. This way, you’ll save money on the transportation of alcohol. Make sure you talk to your venue manager in advance about the arrival of alcohol. Also, ask them to store it in a place that is inaccessible to others.

Wrapping it up…

So these are the 11 tips you can follow when buying alcohol in bulk for your wedding. Following these tips will make buying alcohol for your wedding a breeze for you. If it all seems too much to you, then the best is to consult with your wedding planner. Wedding planners are professionals; they can help you calculate the right amount of alcohol for your wedding. If you don’t have a wedding planner, then consider hiring a professional bartender.

Professional bartenders can help you decide how much alcohol to buy for your wedding. Furthermore, they will serve a measured amount of alcohol each time they make a drink, ensuring that there is no alcohol waste and that it lasts all through the reception.