My fiance and I are providing our own alcohol for our reception. At the time we talked about it, it seemed like a great idea, and money saver, but now that we need to start arranging orders, I have no idea how much to order!
Fearful of thirsty guests!
Dear Fearful of Thirsty Guests,
First off, Digital Crinoline is taking a break from the blog for a bit, but don’t worry, she’ll be back soon! In the meantime, I’m happy to take this one! Providing your own alcohol for an event can be a great moneysaver- but like all other things, it’s always important to consider the value/savings/time ratio. Is the savings worth the additional time and efforts needed to make this (and anything else for that matter) worth it? Or are you better off keeping it part of your catering order?
Things to keep in mind:
*Typically, you can expect one drink per person per hour
*Weather and seasons can affect the ( a warm weather, outdoor gatherings, you can expect more clear drinks and lighter wines to be consumed)
* number of hours you will offer bar service (cocktail hour, 4 hour reception?)
*Consult a drink calculator- I find Evite’s to be helpful:
*Consult your caterer for advice- many are willing to review your order list and make recommendations
*Purchase your alcohol from a supplier that allows you to return unopened bottles and alcohol that has not been chilled
*If you want to try to limit or control consumption, consider a specialty cocktail that is offered during cocktail hour- that way you know you only need a certain alcohol and mixer. If cost is an factor, the signature drink could be the only alcoholic beverage served, and otherwise, water and soft drinks are available. It also can be pre-made and served on trays as passed items, which reduces the initial line at the bar for cocktail hour.
For those of you hosting an at-home event, you may be responsible for more than just alcohol. Here’s a quick list of items not to be forgotten!
Bottle openers (beer, wine)
Glassware (for cocktails, wine, beer, soft drinks, water, tea)
Orange juice Soda water
Soft drinks (coke, diet coke, sprite, ginger ale)
Speciality mixers (for specialty drinks or signature cocktails, i.e. mojitos, margaritas)