How Much Wine Do You Need for a Wedding?

how much wine do you need for a wedding

When you’re planning your wedding and you take a look at all you have to do, sometimes it seems like it’s all about numbers.

It can be stressful to keep them all straight, and you definitely can't overlook the most stressful number: how many bottles of wine do you need at your reception to keep your guests happy?

We can scratch that “wine bottle” number off of your to-do list right now. This is your definitive answer to just how much wine you need at your wedding– and that takes into account your “fun” Uncle Bob and “really fun” Aunt Joan who seem to always have a glass in their hands no matter the occasion.

Follow these formulas and getting the right amount of wine for your wedding will be the least stressful wedding number you’ll deal with during all your wedding prep.

What’s the wedding wine formula?

The formula for how much wine to buy for a dinner party works out to about one bottle per person. The math for how much wine to buy for your wedding is a little bit different, and thankfully you end up needing less wine for your wedding.

Here’s the formula:

1. Take the number of guests
2. Divide that number by 2.5.

Pretty simple, right?

So for example, let’s say that you have 100 guests:

1. 100 guests
2. 100 / 2.5 = 46.5

100 divided by 2.5 is 46.5 bottles of wine, so 47 bottles is the number you’ll need.

In terms of cost per bottle, this is one area where you don’t need to splurge for the most expensive wine. There are so many great bottles of wine available for $20 or less, and your guests will love them. If you spend $20/bottle and buy 47 bottles, you’ve spent just $940 on wine for your wedding.

If that sounds like a lot, compare it to other wedding expenses and you’ll see how inexpensive it really is. The average cost of flowers for a wedding is $1,400. Sure they look pretty, but you can’t drink flowers. And that beautiful dress you’re going to wear for just a few hours when you say “I do”? The average cost of that dress is $1,050. It’s gorgeous, but it’s not going to make your guests as happy as wine will. When you see those comparisons, it’s easy to realize that $1,000 on wine isn’t too much to spend.

Tips on buying wine for your wedding

As you’re getting ready to purchase all the wine for your wedding, here are a few things to remember.

  • Buy a few extras

Even though the formula for number of bottles is a good one, it’s always best to round up by a few bottles. Remember Uncle Bob and Aunt Joan, your “fun” relatives who really like them some wine – especially if it’s on someone else’s tab? Most of the time, their extra drinks will be balanced out by other guests who don’t drink at all.

However, unless you’re planning on having a biblical miracle of water into wine taking place if you run out of the vino, it’s a good idea to have a few extras on hand.

  • Buying different types of wine

When you’re trying to decide between red, white, sparkling, or rosé, the best thing to do is just split the number of bottles you need evenly between all of the different types of wine you want to serve. So for instance, if you’re buying 50 bottles and you want to serve red, white, and rosé, you’ll want to buy 17 bottles of each kind. (That definitely adds up to 51 and not 50, but you can revisit that first tip about buying extras to see why 51 makes sense.)

You can also consider your menu and wedding venue (indoor or outdoor) when you’re trying to decide about what types of wine to serve. 

  • Personalize the bottles for an extra – and free! – special touch

You can order personalized wine bottles you’ll serve quickly and easily. Why bother? Because it’s that special something more that will have your guests talking about your wedding for a long time after it’s over. Personalized bottles can also double as decorations around your wedding, cutting your costs in that area.

You can use pictures of you and your new husband through your dating years, or your engagement pictures if you had some taken. You might just choose to etch some beautiful quotations on love and marriage into the glass bottle. Whatever you choose, you’ll have decorations for your reception, drinks for your guests, and unique keepsakes to treasure forever.

Champagne toast

If you're looking for a guesstimate on how much champagne to buy for your wedding, a quick solution is to divide your number of guests by seven. (That’s because you’ll give each guest approximately seven ounces of Champagne.)

1. 100 guests
2. 100 / 7 = 14.29

So if you’re having 100 guests, you’ll need to buy 15 bottles of champagne, because you need just a little more than 14 for each guest to have the right amount.


There will be plenty of things to stress about in your life. Wine should be taking your stress away, not adding to it.

These quick and easy calculations will take the stress away completely, especially if you do them while enjoying a glass of wine.

Tags: Wedding, Wedding Reception, how to