Every weekend in the United States there are more than 44,000 weddings happening, and one of the most difficult things to plan for at any wedding is how much alcohol you’ll need to hydrate (or, more accurately perhaps, dehydrate) your guests. With food things are fairly easy. You just assign one portion for each person who’s coming. But with beer brands, wine, and spirits, things can get complicated to plan.
Some people won’t drink at all. Some people will drink too much. Some people will drink only wine, and other will only enjoy some of the beer brands you have on offer. If you’re trying to plan the drinks for a wedding party, here’s some tips on what to get and how much:
What Kinds of Beer Brands Should I Get?
There’s a lot of good reasons to make a good impression with some craft beer brands. There’s an amazing amount of choice available. A whole 99% of the breweries operating are small or independent, and the nation has 2,397 microbreweries, 1,650 brewpubs, and 178 regional craft brewers. Not only do regional or independent beer brands make a good impression, but they’re infinitely customizable to your theme or the time of year. There are dark lagers for winter, pumpkin beers for fall, and light, fruity ales for summer.
Don’t Forget Alternatives
Some people won’t want any liquor, and no matter what types of beer you get, some just won’t appeal to some people. You’re also likely to have guests who’ll want to drink gluten-free, and beer isn’t for them. Consider getting some hard lemonades or ciders, mixing up some shandy (beer mixed with lemonade or a light soda), or even grabbing some non-alcoholic beers.
Think About Your Wine Demographic
Wine is very popular just now, and especially among millennials. When it comes to cost, only 5% of Baby Boomers will have bought a bottle that cost more than $20 in the last month, while 17% of millennials will. The younger your wedding group skews, the fussier they’re likely to be about their wine. The most popular types of wine in the United States right now are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, and Pinot Noir.
How Do I Keep Costs Under Control?
You can opt to simply serve a variety of beer brands or other liquor at your own cost. But if that’s out of your financial reach, you can still give guests a great experience by putting in a cash bar. It’s fully hosted, but your guests will pay for their own. This is sometimes a wedding no-no, though, so a limited bar is another way to go. Guests can get drinks, but only from a small menu, which helps to limit your expenses.
How Much Should I Plan to Get?
For champagne that’s only being used for a toast, you’ll need about one bottle for every eight guests. For calculating all the beer brands you’ll need, as well as wine, assume each of your guests will drink two drinks at cocktail hour and one drink every hour after that.
Don’t Forget the Extras
If you’re doing cocktails you’ll need mixers, garnishes, and add-ins. For some beer brands, you might want lemon and lime wedges. You’ll definitely need lots of ice. These are items it’s easy to forget about when planning expenses, so be thinking about them in advance.
Planning liquor for wedding is a big chore, but the rewards are worth it. If you’ve planned well your guests will have a great time and neither your expenses nor your party will get out of hand.