The booze bill calculation

21:35, Aug 15 2012

Trying to anticipate how much booze your guests are likely to drink at your wedding has to be one of the most fraught calculations around.

Every wedding site has a recommendation and none of them really seem to stack up.

(This is a perfect example, what the...)

There are also tools like this, which seem a bit off to me - but maybe because I'm part of the Kiwi drinking culture?

If you are going to have a knees-up and you know your guests like a wee drink or two, one of the worst outcomes is that you run out mid-way through the night.

Yes, yes I know. It is possible to have a good time without alcohol and it's not the be-all and end-all but it's still a bit stink and not desirable for most.

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Not knowing where to start, my only married bridesmaid pulled out the pencil and paper and revealed her highly complex formula for how they worked it out at their wedding. (Note: This obviously only works at weddings whereby you're supplying the alcohol yourself, but it's still a good theory to work out your potential bill if the venue or someone else is supplying it.)

First you need your guest list. From that list, remove anyone who is not really a drinker (under-agers, pregnant folk, teetotallers, etc). Of the drinkers, work out what *kind* of drinkers they are: e.g. heavy (will drink anything and everything in sight), moderate (will drink one type of drink for most of the night), light (will drink to toasts).

Not all wedding guest lists are created equal but certain conclusions can be made (such as both my and Future Husband's professions are known to attract people who like a drop or two) so therefore you'll know if you have a "drinking" crowd or not.

So we based our figures on this: around eight beers per drinking male, and around seven glasses of wine per woman. Yes, that may sound like a lot, but remember that's over (approx) 10 hours and also doesn't take into account women who will drink beer and men who will drink wine, so it kind of evens out.

Then we've factored in spirits. Our theory with this is: FH and I prefer to drink spirits and therefore we want to do that (it's our wedding, yada yada. Truth be told, I imagine the day working out like my 21st birthday, where I didn't have a chance to drink that much because I was too busy getting around and talking to everyone!). Also, if we buy too many bottles of spirits, they won't go to waste and we'll just absorb them over Christmas, New Year and probably the years to come after that. It's better to have too much than too little. It's not a target to try to reach; it's just about being prepared.

Also: bubbles! This was a crucial thing my bridesmaid mentioned about her big day. They ran out! Luckily, mother-of-the-bride had stashed extra bottles in a car so they cracked into them because all of the toasts (and there are a lot of toasts) saw them chomp through the bubbles.

I guess the theory is knowing your crowd: if they're big rum drinkers, then they'd like rum. If they're mainly beer drinkers, give 'em beer. If they're not big drinkers - lucky you, the bill will be a lot cheaper. But it's not about the money spent or the beer consumed - it is, of course, the memories (or those which are left!).

Every wedding day is different but this advice that was passed on to me has become a good point to sort out where to start with alcohol.

So, cheers! *clink*

How did you or are you planning alcohol supply for your wedding? Where do you start on figuring out how much drink you need to cover your guests?

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