Your Guide to Wedding Estimates

Sometimes, trying to figure out how much of something you need for your wedding or event is just as difficult as deciding on its colour, style, design and format! Just to give an example – if you’re going to be serving your wedding cake, how much should you have and how much is too little?
Here are some guides for how to estimate certain items:

Wedding Cake Served At The Reception

Let’s take an average of 100 guests, for this amount you would either need 3 cake tiers of 6, 9 and 12 inches each or if you prefer a 4 tiered cake, you can do tiers of 6, 8, 10 and 12 inches, to be safe. Larger weddings of a little over 200 guests can work with 6 tiers of 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 inches each.

This may seem like a no-brainer of one per guest but remember you have to account for loss, guests who ask for “extras” or in the case of fragile favours, breakage can be an issue. A good idea may be to increase your favour budget by 5-10% just to allow for this.

Should you choose to use paper napkins instead of linen ones, you can average at least 2-3 cocktail napkins per guest for use by the bar. Cake served as reception dessert will require one cocktail-sized napkin per guest and if you’re having either lunch or dinner at your reception, gauge for about 1- 2 of these types of napkins per guest.

To save costs, three basic types of glassware will suffice – wine glasses, glasses for water, non-alcoholic beverages or mixed drinks and champagne flutes (if applicable). You can rent one wine glass or champagne flute for each guest but double up on the regular glasses. However, if you are particular and your budget allows, order red wine glasses, white wine glasses as well as specific glasses for each cocktail such as martini glasses, margarita glasses and so on.

A good starting point is to figure out what the majority of your guests will drink; for example, do you have a hard-liquor crowd? Light, social drinkers? Non-drinkers? Once you’ve determined at least 3 main categories- e.g. beer, wine and hard liquor, you can start averaging.

Just like wine, the average bottle of champagne will yield six flutes. A twenty-six ounce bottle of liquor will give you seventeen servings of at least 1.5 ounces. A larger 40 ounce bottle will give you 25 such servings. It’s wise to have at least 3 bottles of “chaser” or mixes per bottle of hard liquor.