How to Buy Wine in Bulk for Your Wedding

White wine in glasses at a wedding.

When you’re supplying the alcohol for your wedding, it may seem like you’re doing complex calculations to decipher how much you really need. It may also feel like you have absolutely no idea where to start in the purchasing process. In order to best stock the bar and save you money in your budget, you can buy wine in bulk to serve at your reception. Learn how to do so efficiently below and take one more step towards your perfect wedding day!

Step 1: Figure out the Quantity

The first thing you need to do is figure out the quantity of wine you need for your wedding. This task leaves a lot of couples stumped, but it doesn’t need to be a challenge! It largely depends on the number of people on your guest list. For a wedding of 150 guests and a reception that will last three to four hours, 75 regular sized bottles is recommended. For receptions that last over four hours, that number jumps to a recommended 90 bottles. For smaller weddings with a guest list around 50 people, you can scale that number down to 25 to 30 bottles of wine.

Step 2: Decide What Kind of Wine to Buy

Someone pouring a red wine into a glass at a wedding.

Next, you need to divvy up the amount of bottles into different types of wine. Many couples like to keep it simple by going with one type of white wine and one type of red. You could also add a rosé and champagne in there, depending on your preferences and the season your wedding is taking place in. This really comes down to preference, and you want to have a selection that means you’ll have something that appeals to every taste. If you’re getting married at a warm or hot time of year, you’ll want to serve light and refreshing wines, like Sauvignon blanc or a crisp rosé. On the other hand, if your event is in the fall or winter, go with richer flavors like a deep red wine or a buttery Chardonnay.

Step 3: Check with Local Providers

A group of guests at a wedding with white wine.

Once you’ve zeroed in on the type and quantity of wine you’ll be purchasing, you need to figure out where you’ll purchase it from. Check with local liquor stores to figure out what brands they have that interest you. You’ll also want to check if they offer any bulk purchasing discounts. From there, you can gain an understanding of how much the purchase will cost you. At this point, definitely shop around to see where you can get the most bang for your buck. You may want to check with big box stores like Costco or BJs to see if they have even better bulk deals than your local liquor store. Exploring all purchasing options can really save you money, making it easier to stock up without a huge price tag.

Step 4: Learn the Return Policy

As you get ready to make your purchase, inquire with the store about their return policies. Many will allow you to return unopened cases of wine given they haven’t ever been chilled. This is a great option to keep in mind for after your wedding if you happen to overbuy, as it allows you to get your money back for liquor that went unused. You should plan to chill about half of the wine you purchase ahead of time for your wedding and ask the catering staff to put the rest on ice in a staggered manner, helping maintain the ability to return items if they go unused. Being strategic can save you some serious dough!

Stocking the bar at your wedding can be a huge cost-saver, and it doesn’t need to be a confusing or overwhelming process. Use this guide to make buying wine in bulk a breeze and you’ll be one step closer to a well stocked bar for your big day.

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