How Much Food and Drinks To Serve the Party

One issue that is bound to come up when planning a wedding or event is how much food and drinks are necessary to serve the party?  The worst thing that could possibly happen when hosting an event is running out of food, drinks, or unthinkably both!  Not a good situation.

Food, cocktails, and photo booth are essentials for celebration and guests are looking forward to treating themselves in honor of a special occasion.  Many people will cut back on caloric intake to make sure they can squeeze into a little black dress or just to look their best for a special occasion.  Perhaps they are expecting to indulge a little as a reward of their hard work and resistance when your event date finally comes and righteously they should.  Now, consider the disappointment when they excitedly walk over to the hors d’oeurve tray to find that they have ran out.

How do you feel when you are hungry?  Anxious, irritable, and not functioning at your maximum capacity?  It’s really hard to enjoy things in life if you are hungry.  No matter how fabulous an event, if your audience is hungry they will not get as much enjoyment out of it as you had hoped and it can really cloud their memory of the entire event. The first thing that will usually come to mind is that the food ran out and your guest left hungry.

So, how do decide the right amount of items to have so you can serve your guests and ensure they will leave happy, well at least fed?  Planning the right amounts are part science and part art.  Things to consider are:

How many adults are attending?

How many children?

How long is the event?

How long is your photo booth rental?

What type of party is this going to be?  Cocktail party?  Dinner party?  Dessert party?

Are you having bar tenders, if so how many?  Will there be drink stations?  Are you having a signature cocktail?


When it comes to food always buy MORE!  For instance if you are serving sandwiches at a luncheon, plan for one and a half sandwiches per guest.  When serving appetizers prior to a full meal you can expect guests to eat about 6 pieces per person.  If no meal will be served double the amount and even add a few extra pieces just in case you run into situations where a guest hadn’t gotten a chance to eat prior to your party.

Are you a visual learner?  Here is a great little chart we came across from Heather over at, she loves charts too!  You can even Pin it so you can refer back to it when needed.  Love that Pinterest!


What type of drinks do your guests like to partake in?  Consider this before you stock up on wine to find out that they are all beer drinkers.

It’s great to have a nice variety for your guests to choose from.  That’s not to say you need to have a fully stocked bar, but depending on the number of guests it’s nice to have a few different beer options, wine options, as well as cocktails.

Here is a handy dandy little Party Food and Beverage Calculator from that you can use to enter how many guests you are expecting, and if children are invited as well.  By entering those two amounts it will generate a nice list for you with amounts you need for wine, beer, basic liquor, optional liquor, juice and soda, seltzer and tonic, juice boxes, appetizers, and more.  Click here to check out the calculator.

If you are planning your wedding they also have a wedding wine and liquor calculator too.  You just enter the number of guests, what you are serving, and the time of day you are celebrating and it will give you a nice little estimation for your drinks.  Click here to see the wedding calculator.

Author:  L. Fulton-Events by L

Credit:  Pinterest pinned by Kerry Rossow, RitzyBee,,, pinterest pinned by Regenboogboom


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