While most wedding venues require wine and spirits to be ordered through an in-house or externally-hired catering team, some couples are given the option to provide their own. In this case, there are a few things you should know before heading to the wine shop.
There's a lot more liquor waste than you might think.
During a wedding, guests have a tendency to lose track of their drinks or not finish one before starting another. As a result, a lot of wine and cocktails go to waste, making it important to be overstocked rather than under-prepared. No one wants to run out of wine or alcohol at a wedding. On average, it's estimated that guests drink about 1.5 bottles of wine per person during a sit-down dinner and have about 2 to 3 cocktails each. However, your catering crew should be able to provide a more realistic estimation for you.
A lot of wholesale liquor suppliers accept returns.
If you can, try to work with a liquor supplier who will accept unchilled and unopened bottles as returns after the wedding. Your caterer should be able to recommend a provider who fits this qualification, which can save you a lot of money in the end.
Guests are happy to toast with whatever's in their hands.
Many couples think it's necessary to provide each of their guests with a glass of Champagne for toasting, but most guests are happy to clink glasses of whatever they're already drinking. While you'll want to have a few bottles of bubbly at the bars for guests who prefer it, there's no reason to assume that all guests will drink it.
It's not necessary to offer a full bar at a wedding.
If you're worried about going over budget with wine and liquor, you might consider offering a bar with wine, beer, and two to three cocktail options. This is a good way to make it feel like a full bar without going overboard with expenses.