Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



How Much Do You Need

Planning your wedding takes a lot of planning and you will be asked 1,783,476 (more or less) questions about how much of this and how much of that. Be patient. Take a few minutes to read this article and we will give you some guidelines how to de...

Planning your wedding takes a lot of planning and you will be asked 1,783,476 (more or less) questions about how much of this and how much of that. Be patient. Take a few minutes to read this article and we will give you some guidelines how to determine how much you need.

Food and Drink

If you have hired a caterer they should be able to help you figure out how much food and drink you need if you can give them an idea of how many people will attend. If you are not using a caterer for your reception and rehearsal dinner this information will help you plan when ordering food.

* Punch recipes incorporating one bottle of spirits and 3 liters of juice/mix will yield 30 servings. Plan on 1.5 servings per person.

* How many hors d'oeuvres you will need depends on what kind you serve and the duration of the party. Serving a good variety is always more appealing for guests. If you are planning a two-hour party, consider having eight choices. You should plan on 2 to 3 portions of each type per person.


* If you are hosting a luncheon with a sandwich buffet you can use these guidelines for ordering food. For 24 people you will need 4 1/2 lbs. of lunch meat, 2 1/4 lbs. of cheese, 4 1/2 quarts of salads, 1 1/2 lbs. of chips, 72 slices of bread, 2 dozen rolls, and 4 dozen cookies. You can select various combinations of meat, salads, cheese, bread and chips but they should total the amounts listed.

* A reception, cocktail party or open house should be planned for a limited time unless you plan on serving a meal. If your party lasts longer than three hours you should plan on serving a meal. The average cocktail party or open house with hors d'oeuvres last two to three hours. If your invitation has no ending time your guests will expect a meal. If your not planning to serve a meal at your afternoon party it should start no earlier than 1PM and end by 5PM. An evening party without a meal should start no earlier than 6:30.

* Plan on three drinks per person for a cocktail party lasting three hours. Plan on 3.5 drinks per person for a dinner of about four hours. For an all-evening dinner party of five or six hours plan on four drinks per person. If your guest list is primarily twenty somethings up the counts by one-half drink per person.

* If you are calculating the number of bottles you need to give your best guess what your guests will prefer. This is just guessing but try to calculate the number of wine drinkers, beer drinkers, non-drinkers and the number who prefer hard liquor. Remember the purpose of your party is to enjoy some great conversation with friends and family and not get everyone drunk. Have a host keep an eye on your party to attend to anyone who is going beyond their limits. Arrange for volunteer designated drivers a few days before the party. If you are short of volunteers have the information ready for taxi or public transportation when you need it.

o An average bottle of wine yields 5 servings

o An average bottle of champagne yields 6 servings

o A 26 oz. bottle of spirits yields 17 servings.

o A 40 oz. bottle of spirits yields 25 servings.


o A case of champagne yields 72 servings.

o Plan on three bottles of mix for every bottle of spirits.

o For basic mix and non-alcohol drinks you will need cola, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, orange juice, vegetable cocktail (v-8 juice), bottled water, cream and a variety of soft drinks. You could also include soda water, tonic water, grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice and bitter lemon.

o For mixing cocktails you will need Worcester sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, celery sticks, maraschino cherries, olives, lemon and sliced oranges. If you want fancier drinks you should pick up a drink menu guide and keep it handy. Read through it before you go to the store to pick up a few specialty drink ingredients.

o Allow at least 11 lbs (5 kg.) of ice for every 10 people.

As a sidebar, most states allow returns of unopened bottles of liquor. It may be a better to buy more than you need ahead of time if you can return unopened bottles.

* You will need some bar tools if you are serving your own drinks at your reception or cocktail party. They include an ice bucket, corkscrew, bottle opener, can opener, ice tongs, shot glasses, small sharp knife, cutting board, stir sticks, cocktail napkins, cocktail shaker, toothpicks and a long handled spoon to mix drinks with.

* For a cocktail party or wedding reception you will need three types of glasses: a tall tumbler for soft drinks and beer, a multi-purpose glass for wine and mixed drinks and flutes for champagne. Order at least one of each type of glass for every guest plus a few extra of the tall tumbler glasses. You also may consider having glasses for martini, margaritas or other specialty drinks. If it seems this bar thing is getting away from you consider hiring a professional bartender.



Allow 12 square feet (one square metre) per person inside your yard. This also includes room for tables. For example, if you are having 200 guests, you will need a tent measuring 60 X 40 feet (18 X 12 metres). Allow extra space for the caterer to set up the serving table and/or buffet tables. There should be one buffet table for each 75 guests.

How many people will attend

If your family and friends are like most other people they are always late at returning RSVP requests. If they haven't responded to your invitation to let you know if they will be attending it is reasonable to call them to find out if they will attend or not. The caterer will need to know your final guest count about a week before the event. Start calling non-responding guests about two weeks ahead of the event.

What To Read Next
Get Local