So you’ve popped the question or had the question popped to you. However it happened it has been agreed that getting married is a good idea and you want a bit of a do. You may want a small, low-key affair or are set on blowing the budget on something huge and lavish. Whatever the case, you and your guests are going to need something to drink.
The question we are asked all the time is “How much wine will we need for the wedding?“. Well, we are pleased to reveal to happy couples everywhere that we know the answer and, unlike the secret to a happy marriage, the answer is simple!
How much wine do we need?
The answer is:
(number of guests attending) divided by 2
So if you have 120 people coming to your reception you will need 60 bottles of wine. That is it. There is no need to subtract the number of children. No need to adjust for light drinkers or those of your friends who drink more than average (we all have them!) The maths behind this simple formula does all these adjustments for you.
Half a bottle of wine per person is loads. You might think that you know people who will happily drink more than that at a reception. You probably do but they will be balanced by people who don’t drink at all or only want one glass etc.
So, count up the total number of people that will be attending the ceremony including the happy couple, bridesmaids, best man etc. Take that number and divide by 2.
Surely it is not that simple?
It is, but we can give you a list of other things you might want to think about and try and factor in to your calculations. (We promise you though you will almost certainly end up back at the number you calculated above.)
- What sort of event is it? A morning brunch (literally a wedding breakfast), a smart luncheon, an afternoon tea or a sit-down meal with a band playing long in to the evening?
- How long will the guests stay? Generally you might expect guests to drink two glasses of wine in the first hour and one glass per hour thereafter.
- In what season will the wedding be? This may affect the food served as well as the wine to be offered. Often white wine or rosé is preferred in the summer while more red wine might be chosen for a winter wedding. Generally half white and half red is what couples opt for.
- The smaller the number of guests and/or the more choices you offer the more of a margin you will need to make sure everyone is happy.
- Will wine and soft drinks be the only drinks you are providing or will there be other drinks available such as cocktails, beer, spirits etc? If the full range of drinks are provided by you from a free bar the conventional thinking is that about half your guests will opt for wine, so you can reduce the number of bottles you came up with above.
- Are you thinking of fizz for the toast and then moving to wine or is the fizz going to keep on flowing? We recommend allowing a little over a glass of fizz per person for the toast alone, in addition to whatever wine you serve after the toast.
- Does your venue only provide drinks from their list or is BYO allowed. If you are going to provide your own drinks remember to check if the venue charge corkage and if so what the charge will be.
- Is there a theme for the wedding? Popular choices these days are to source as much as possible from the local region or at least have an ‘all British’ affair. Remember this can very much apply to the wine so check out vineyards close to your venue.
How to choose the wine?
At Furleigh Estate we offer a Wedding Tour & Tasting. Up to 8 of your wedding party are invited to come to Furleigh, visit the vineyard and winery and learn a little bit about how we make our wine. You will then taste three sparkling wines and three still wines under the guidance of a member of the Furleigh team. We can advise on which wines might be suitable for the food you are serving and the vibe you want to create while you taste the wines and make your decisions. At the end of the tasting we provide stoppers for any wines you have not finished so you can take the bottles away for other friends and family to try.
If you do not have time for the Wedding Tour & Tasting then a good option would be to buy one of our Wedding Tasting Packs. We have put together the three of our still and sparkling wines that are most popular for weddings. These are available to buy on our website. We will deliver the wines to your house with ideas for selecting the best wines for your wedding and suggested food pairings. Get the in-laws round, your parents, best man and bridesmaids. Make sure everyone has plenty of glasses. Give out the score-sheets and see what people think.
How early should we buy the wine? How should it be stored?
Ideally the wine should be stored in a dark place with an even temperature of around 10 – 15 C. Storing wine in a warm or humid place risks spoiling the wine which would be a disaster. If you do not have access to the perfect place to store your wine we suggest you choose your wine and then pick it up or have it delivered shortly before the wedding date as possible. At Furleigh Estate we offer storage in our temperature controlled warehouse for wedding parties who wish to choose and reserve their special wines well in advance.
Useful things to know
Pub measures of wine are 125 ml and 175 ml or multiples thereof. A standard bottle of wine contains 750 ml. So you get 6 small glasses and just over 4 large glasses in pub measures from a standard bottle.
A Magnum is the size of two standard bottles so contains 12 small glasses of fizz for example. For a small wedding party of 20 people two magnums of fizz would be perfect for the toast.
For fizz we recommend using 125 ml glasses. Non-drinkers will often take a glass of fizz for the toast. They will take a sip to drink your health and then leave the rest. Using 125 ml glasses means less is wasted.
Real life examples and the wine that was ordered
Toast with fizz followed by 4 hour reception serving only still wine
6 bottles of fizz plus 15 bottles of still wine
3 hour lunchtime reception with fizz only
50 bottles of fizz
Toast with fizz and canapes for an hour followed by dinner with wine and then dancing till late with cash bar (7 hours in total)
50 bottles of fizz, 50 bottles of red wine and 50 bottles of white wine.