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Wedding Wine Calculator - how much and which type?

wedding wine calculator
We estimate a minimum of 1 bottle of wine per adult guest calculated as follows:

Depending on your wedding budget Champagne or high end sparkling wine will be required for the welcome drinks and toasts.
  • 2 x glasses for welcome drinks as there is a period of waiting around unless you have an open bar available.
  • 1 x glass is usually sufficient for toasts.
wedding wine calculator
A bottle of wine or Champagne usually allows for 6 small glasses. 
Round up to a full case to avoid shortages. There are usually 6 bottles of Champagne per case and 12 bottles of wine per case.

Example calculation for adult guests:

Welcome drinks (sparkling wine) - 100 x guests = 34 bottles 
Toast (Champagne)  - 100 x guests = 17 bottles 


wedding wine how much
The Meal

It is usual to allow for half a bottle of wine per adult guest ie
  • 100 x adult guests = 50 bottles
An even split of half red and half white wine is usual. However the meal or season can dictate whether you have more red or white wine. Colder months usually have more red wine, warmer more white.

As you can see this calculation works out close to 1 bottle per adult guest  - order a few extra bottles so you do not have a shortage ie 110 per 100 guests.

This is a simplified estimate. Obviously, some of your guests will drink more, which is why you have a bar, open or paid for to accommodate them.

Don't forget to consider NON -alcoholic wine.

How to select wine for your wedding

To begin, we must acknowledge that it is impossible to give universally applicable advice on wine selection. Which wines you select for your wedding and how much you order are determined by a variety of factors; here are a few points to consider when selecting wine for your wedding:

Your Visitors:

Which type of wine do you prefer? How about your family and friends? Which type of wine do they prefer: red, white, rosé, sparkling, or dessert? Would your guests appreciate a glass or two of really nice wine to sip while they socialize? Or are your guests unconcerned about wine?


What are your dinner plans? The more robust and flavorful the dish, the more complex and full-bodied the wine can be. Therefore, if you're serving beef in a hearty sauce, pour on the Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux. If you're serving delicate white fish, pair it with a light-bodied white wine - a Sauvignon Blanc would be ideal.

White wine recommendations: Don't overlook Sauvignon Blanc, a super-versatile white wine that pairs beautifully with seafood, chicken, eggs, vegetables, and salads.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine in America, and is best paired with hearty meats.

Don't forget about rosé: dry rosé is crisp and fruity, lacking the sweetness of white zinfandel and other blush wines, and pairs beautifully with salads, poultry, pork, tuna, salmon, and even sirloin. Rosé is ideal for warm or cool weather, day or night, and is a popular choice for weddings.


Is your reception scheduled for late summer or early winter? The season may influence the wine you serve your guests—are you attempting to warm them up or cool them down? If you're hosting an outdoor reception and the weather is forecast to be warm, plan accordingly and serve a refreshing, lighter wine such as Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc rather than a full-bodied Chardonnay. You could offer a Grand Cru Beaujolais or a Pinot Noir to red wine drinkers. Consider a dry rosé as well.

The following are some tried-and-true wine recommendations:

Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine, and Pinot Noir, a red wine, are two wines that pair exceptionally well with a wide variety of foods and can be served year-round. Both of these wines have a lighter body and a less fruity flavor profile than Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot. They're also fantastic as aperitifs.

Unless you are certain that your guests will appreciate your adventurous wine selection, stick to what people know and love — a white wine such as Chardonnay or a Chardonnay-based wine and a red wine such as Merlot. If you prefer to stray slightly from the norm, try a light, food-friendly white like Sauvignon Blanc or a red Zinfandel.

Which varieties are you interested in serving?

You may wish to meet the expectations of your guests. Many of your guests who consume wine on a regular basis may restrict their selections to brands they are familiar with. If you want to ensure that your guests have a wine they are familiar with, choose Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc for your whites and Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for your reds.

Want to try something new?

Wine is meant to be enjoyed and celebrated, so why not experiment with something new? Why not treat your guests to something new? Before the event, host a wine tasting with your friends or visit a local wine bar to sample some new varietals. Consider a Riesling, Muscadet, Pinot Gris, or Semillion in the white category. When it comes to reds, try a Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah, or Rioja.

Champagne and Prosecco

Weddings, like champagne and sparkling wine, are all about celebration. Ensure that you have enough champagne on hand to toast at least one guest at the reception. On our Tips and Advice page, you can learn more about selecting champagne for your wedding toast.

How much am I purchasing and how much am I going to spend?

You do not have to spend a fortune on wine to have an excellent wedding. Because the wine world is experiencing a quality boom at the moment, there are plenty of excellent, affordable options to choose from. Premium bottles start at $7 and go up to more than $30 per bottle.

Wine will most likely account for about 15% of your total reception budget. If you arrange for the wine to be provided by your caterer, it will typically be included in the bar bill. If you purchase from your caterer, anticipate paying approximately twice the retail price for each bottle served. This is standard practice for restaurants and caterers alike; the increase covers service and contributes to food costs.

Couples who choose to serve their own wine should anticipate a corkage fee from the caterer; this fee covers the cost of opening and pouring. Purchasing your own wine, however, can save you money: A $20 bottle marked up by a caterer will cost you $40, whereas your own $20 bottle marked up by a $15 corkage fee will cost you $35. Additionally, the majority of retailers offer discounts on cases of wine and champagne.

Are you going to purchase wine from the caterer or will you pay a corkage fee to bring your own? This is entirely dependent on your budget and personal preferences. In some instances, caterers will offer an excellent selection of high-quality wines that may perfectly suit your needs. In other cases, corkage fees can vary significantly, and if you can locate a wine you enjoy at a reasonable price (contact a local wholesaler), it may be worthwhile to purchase by the case and pay the corkage fee.

The finishing touch

Additionally, your wine selection can allow you to further personalize your wedding. For instance, you could serve the wine you drank on your first date or the one your parents drank on the day of their wedding. Depending on the location of your reception, you may wish to select a wine from a nearby vineyard or from a favorite vacation spot or honeymoon destination.

Custom Wine Labels

Numerous websites allow you to create custom wine labels to display on your wedding wine bottles. These labels can be customized with your name, a photograph, the date, and a message for your guests. Your bottle of wine or champagne transforms into an elegant centerpiece for your wedding décor. You can give your guests full-sized wine bottles or mini-bottles as wedding favors. Additionally, you can personalize your wine bottles to give as gifts to your bridal party, special guests, and wedding staff. It's an excellent way to include them in your celebrations beyond the reception.

   Wedding Planning Guides


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