We're often asked about numbers. The main thing is not to run out.
The timing and style of the wedding plays a big part, and whether wine is the main drink on offer of course. If it's a noon or lunchtime wedding, then an afternoon reception, a late sit-down dinner and even later dancing, you can expect your guests to get through rather a lot of wine. Are the guests staying on site or locally, or using taxis, or will some be driving? Is it a Friday or Saturday, or another day?
Sparkling wine or Champagne
In general, allow 2-4 glasses of sparkling wine (or Champagne) per head if guests are standing around and chatting for a while and drinking fizz, mainly. That's around a third to half a bottle per head but best to allow for half a bottle, especially if you need to keep some back for the speeches.
Rosé for summer
For summer weddings, don't rule out Rosé - this can double up too if you're planning pre- or post- wedding day events, like on the day before the big day, and certainly for the lunchtime after.
For the starter, and 90% of the time people choose a dry white for this, allow 1-3 glasses per head. If some guests stick on white through the meal or during stand-up food all the way through, allow a little more, but half a bottle per head is normally ample. You could settle for a third of a bottle per head, max.
This depends a lot on the style of the wedding and the duration. We'd allow half a bottle per head for most sit-down dinners, and again there are so many factors. Is the wine being poured or are bottles on the table. Beef, lamb or a lighter chicken dish?
Make sure you keep some wine - probably sparkling or Champagne - for speeches. Nobody wants to toast the bride and groom with an empty glass.
If your guests drink Château Bauduc throughout, and no spirits or beer, they won't have a hangover. But we don't guarantee it.
If you're obliged to pay corkage to the chosen venue or to a caterer, or to have to pick from a wine from a pre-selected list, you might still be better off paying corkage. People sometimes prefer not to go for corkage above £10-£12 a bottle, but at this rate it can still be better value to buy a terrific wine for €7-8 a bottle (from France) and then pay corkage, rather than lumping for an ordinary house wine at £20.
Our advice if you think your guests will get through a lot of wine is to negotiate a corkage rate per head, rather than per bottle.