Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

But how much booze??? 23 July 2009

Filed under: foodndrink,Uncategorized,weekend away wedding (WAW) — hoopfulbride @ 12:00 pm

Now that we have decided on our poison for the night, Rooster and I have been trying to figure out how MUCH of the stuff we need to order… It’s a problem: we DEFINITELY don’t want to run out, but we don’t want to overspend for obvious budgetry reasons… you would think this would be neatly summarised somewhere!

As a starting point I remembered a guide in the Martha Stewart Winter 2009 wedding mag, so we dug through the piles of wedding mags (I went through a bit of an obsessive-compulsive stage: pre- apracticalwedding, eastsidebride, accordionsandlace, et al days) and found the guide:

For a party of 100 guests, Martha recommends

  • 2 bottles gin
  • 2 bottles rum (light? dark? dunno)
  • 2 bottles bourbon
  • 2 bottles scotch
  • 2 bottles whiskey
  • [um, so that’s 6 bottles of whiskey altogether, but there’s a selection from each major whiskey-making region just so the guesties can have a choice! I don’t think our guests are that sophisticated… or we won’t let them be…]
  • 4 bottles vodka
  • 1 bottle dry vermouth
  • 1 bottle sweet vermouth
  • 7 bottles red wine (ONLY SEVEN!!!! For 100 guests!!! Jeepers…)
  • 10 bottles white wine (TEN??? ditto)
  • 4 bottles “blush” (which I shall call “rose” – it’s supposed to have an apostrophe on the “e”, but I’m not tech-savvy enough to figure that out)
  • 2 cases of regular beer plus two cases of light beer

OK, Martha, before I comment on the gross weighting og spirits over wine (perhaps it’s an a-merican thing, but our Saffa friends would run out of wine in the first hour), I have one vital question: Where are the bubbles???

I don’t think I can contemplate a wedding without bubbles. Seriously. And this came from  “Wedding Magazine”!

The Internet (overwhelmingly) recommends using the evite drinks calculator. Pretty nifty, you type in the amount of guests, how many hour the party should last and the numbers of “light drinkers” (um, 20 children), “heavy drinkers” (wonder how they define heavy…) and “average drinkers” (well, average compared to whom?) and they kindly tell you the recommended booze list. Which is lots of fun. Especially if you keep remembering exactly WHO has been invited to the wedding and upping the “heavy drinkers” number… and then remembering that we’re handing out Turbovite (energy vitamins) so it’s unlikely that the party will end at midnight…

According to evite (and my over-estimations), we need 700 bottles of beer, 140 bottles of wine and 35 bottles of liquor…

Obviously, there’s still no bubbles (problem)! And, I think (especially SAfrican) people will be less inclined to quaff millions of bottles of beer at a wedding as opposed to, say, a 30th birthday party. Especially if the wine is delicious (which ours is, obviously). And how do we break down the red-white divide (we are not serving rose)?

There was a fairly useful suggestion on the you&yourwedding discussion board (I thought the Brits’ drinking habits might mirror ours more closely):

  • The advice I received from my sister’s friend (who runs a restaurant) is as follows:
    two glasses champagne per person for the reception
    1-2 glasses pp for toasts
    2-3 glasses (half a bottle) of wine for the meal
    3-4 glasses of wine/beer during the evening
  • He suggested calculating at 5 glasses of wine per bottle to allow for any spillages and bad corks.

This seemed like jolly good advice indeed (those Brits), but after some debate it appeared the calculation required was somewhat difficult. Especially on the champers side as we are serving cocktails during canapes (lemonade and white rum and pomegranate and vodka) and only offering glasses of champers when people arrive at the reception area…

We started talking around: concensus at our pre-marriage counselling was not more than two glasses of bubbles per person, one bottle of wine per person and the red:white split should be 2:1… They all looked at us like we were a bit lush when we also asked about spirits (limited) and beer…

Then, while lying in bed idly paging through the Wedding Album wedding magazine (a BEAUTIFUL SA publication. Very artistic and inspirational as opposed to instructional), they had all the advice we needed (from professional SAfrican barmen to boot – so they know our audience):

  • about 1 bottle wine per person
  • In summer the ration should be white 2:1 red; in winter 1:1, or even white 2:3 red.
  • 2 glasses bubbles per person

Whilst there’s no mention of beer or hard tack, we think we might have figured it out based on all advice above as well as our own estimates and needs (i.e. I don’t mind having leftover bubbles… or that wine for that matter)! We also took into account the fact that we may want to dip into the booze supplies prior to the actual wedding (it is a W-A-W) and the fact that nobody has to drive anywhere if they don’t wish to so few people will hold back just for the sake of being responsible…

Here is the (draft) boozelist for Rooster and Saartjie’s wedding of 200 people:

  • 7 bottles vodka (for mixing with pomegranate juice for canape cocktails)
  • 7 bottles white rum (for mixing with lemonade for canape cocktails)
  • 108 bottles (9 cases of 12) Bubbles!
  • 108 bottles of Red
  • 60 bottles (6 cases of 12) of Sav Blanc
  • 60 bottles of Chard/Semillon/Viogner blend
  • 2 x 30l kegs of beer
  • 6 bottles of brandy for mixing with coke (SA classic drink)
  • 6 bottle of dark rum for mixing with ginger beer and mint (my fav late-night wedding drink)
  • 6 bottles of tequila for passing round the dance floor
  • 6 bottles of Jagermeister for passing round the dance floor

How did you figure out your drinks list? Think we’re over- or under- estimating?

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