If you’re planning a wine-themed wedding or prepping your wine for the wedding bar, chances are you’ve wondered: how much wine do you need for a wedding? You don’t want to run out of wine, and you don’t want to spend more money on extra wine that may not get uncorked. Luckily, wine is one of those things that can be saved and stored for years to come — and gets better with age. :) But you still want to know: how much wine for wedding receptions is enough before you start buying wine for your wedding, shower, or party.
We’re bringing in the expert on wine to help you calculate exactly how much wine you need for weddings of 100, 150, or 200 guests. We’ll also tell you how much wine you need for an event of 20 guests for a bridal shower or small backyard wedding. In addition, you’ll know exactly where to buy wine glasses (cheap!) for a wedding reception that your guests can bring home as favors. Let’s get started!
How Much Wine for Wedding Reception
There is a lot of planning that goes into organizing an event. Arranging the location, inviting guests, selecting food, and of course, buying wine.
Buying wine for an event can be tricky as there are many factors that go into making your decision. Which types of wine to buy, how much of each type to buy, etc. And what about the biggest concern – what if we run out during the event?
Planning an event is a mix of social science, a bit of simple math, and a little common sense. Here are a few tips that will help alleviate your worries.
The Social Science
Two things that are most important in determining how much wine you need are the facts about your event.
1. The number of guests
How many guests are in attendance that will be consuming wine? Be sure to include a specific number because you don’t want to over or under estimate here.
2. The duration
A wedding that is 4 hours will serve significantly less wine than one that is 7 hours in length. The duration of the event will be a huge indicator of how much wine you need to have for your wedding.
Now let’s add a few social facts about wine.
• Alcohol consumption studies indicate that 35% to 40% of people prefer wine over other beverages.
• At an event, studies show that on average, people will drink 2 glasses of wine in the first hour and one glass every subsequent hour.
• Red and white wine have similar consumption patterns.
The Simple Math
We only need simple arithmetic here.
How Many Glasses of Wine is in One Bottle?
• One bottle of wine is equivalent to 750 ml.
• 750 ml is equal to 25.36 ounces.
• The standard serving size (glass) of wine is equal to 5 ounces.
We now know that one bottle of wine contains a little over 5 glasses in it.
Combining the Facts
Let us assume it is a 4-hour event for 20 guests.
• Approximately 35% to 40% account for 7 to 8 guests that prefer wine.
• Consumption in the first hour at 2 glasses per guest would be the equivalent of 14 to 16 glasses.
• Consumption during the next 3 hours at 1 glass per guest per hour would equate to 21 to 24 glasses.
• The total consumption in four hours would be 35 to 40 glasses.
• At 5 glasses per bottle this would be equal to 7 or 8 bottles of wine.
• With an equal preference for red and white wine, it would amount to four bottles of each type.
For a party of 20 guests, you would need 7 to 8 750ml bottles. Buy the same quantity of red/white wines if you’d like to serve both.
Here is how much wine to buy based on a wedding reception that lasts 6 hours in length, then a calculation for 4 hours in length. We’re also including a calculation for how much wine to buy if you’re also serving beer and spirits.
How Much Wine for Wedding of 100
For a wedding of 100, you would need to buy 140 bottles of wine (if you’re serving ONLY wine). For a 4-hour wedding reception, plan on buying 100 bottles of wine.
WEDDING OF 100: 140 Bottles of Wine (If you’re ONLY serving wine)
or 65 Bottles (if you’re serving a mix of wine, beer, and spirits)
WEDDING OF 100 (with shorter / 4-Hour Reception): 100 Bottles of Wine
How Much Wine for Wedding of 150
For receptions of 150, you need 210 bottles of wine. If the wedding is a 4-hour event, plan to buy 150.
If serving a mix of cocktails and beer along with it, plan on 97 bottles.
WEDDING OF 150: 210 Bottles of Wine (If you’re ONLY serving wine)
or 150 Bottles (if you’re serving a mix of wine, beer, and spirits)
WEDDING OF 150 (with shorter / 4-Hour Reception): 150 Bottles of Wine
How Much Wine for Wedding of 200
Wine for a celebration of 200 guests would need approximately 280 wine bottles for a 6-hour party. For 4 hours, have 200 on hand.
Serving beer and cocktails, too? Plan on buying wine for your wedding for guests at approximately 112 bottles for the reception.
WEDDING OF 200: 280 Bottles of Wine (If you’re ONLY serving wine)
or 200 Bottles (if you’re serving a mix of wine, beer, and spirits)
WEDDING OF 200(with shorter / 4-Hour Reception): 112 Bottles of Wine
Wine For Wedding Toast
If you’re planning on doing a wedding wine toast for your guests, here’s how much wine you need for wedding guests.
Make sure your wine toast has enough! You will want 8 bottles of wine for 20 guests to toast.
A toast for 100 guests equals 40 bottles of wine.
A toast for 100 guests equals 60 bottles of wine.
A toast for 100 guests equals 80 bottles of wine.
How Early Can I Buy Wine for Wedding
When planning ahead for your wedding bar, you’re probably wondering… how early can I buy wine for wedding receptions? Here’s some good news: you can buy it as early as you’d like!
However, storing the wine may pose a problem, since you don’t want to ruin the bulk wine you’ve ordered for your wedding.
How to Store Wine Before Your Wedding
If you don’t have access to a space ideal for storing wine — like a large wine refrigerator, or a storage space that is consistently cool and dark — we recommend buying it as close to the wedding date as possible so it doesn’t spoil. If you’re storing wine in a basement, make sure it’s not too damp. A little moisture is OK, but too much could spoil your wine.
Heat is the worst thing for wine, so your wine bottles need to be stored away from sunlight in a dark space.
You can save space by storing your wedding wine horizontally to keep the corks from drying out. However, this is not necessary and is usually done simply as a space-saver.
Wine Glasses for Wedding Reception
To buy wedding glasses in bulk — wine glasses make a great take-home favor for guests! — you can buy them in bulk here.
You can even get a wine glass in a box, all pre-wrapped for you, at only a little over $1 each from here.
Wine for Outdoor Wedding
If you’re serving wine for an outdoor wedding, these stainless steel wine tumblers are marked down at a huge discount right now and make a fun take-home gift. They even come with a lid! Guests will definitely use this favor again (it’s also great for keeping ice water cold, or coffee piping hot!)
For personalized wedding wine glass favors, try these with a heart design, or wine glasses for wedding favors cheap from Beau-Coup.
You can also buy wine glasses for cheap from Dollar Tree. Yup, $1 each! You can even buy online and pick up in-store to save time and money on shipping.
Lastly, if your wedding venue or outdoor space prohibits glass, here’s an option you’ll love.
Now you should have a good idea of how much wine you need to buy for an event.
As a word of caution, it is always a good idea to have extra wine to avoid running out during the event.
Now that you know everything about wine for weddings including how much to buy, how early to buy it, and how to store it, let us know if you have any questions in the comment box below! Special thanks to Stags’ Leap for their expertise on wedding wine! Check out their wine collections here.
This is a post in collaboration with Stags’ Leap.com.