Wedding party 1 of 5

Wedding season coming. Brides and their mamas and papas toil over what will be, for many, the biggest party they put on in their lives.

Don’t panic. Loving couples and anxious families have pulled this off for thousands of years. So will you.

During March, a five-part series on wine and weddings. The info works for smaller parties, too. You don’t have to be getting hitched to read on.

Key question: how many people are coming to your grand party and drinking? You can’t know exactly, of course, but there is a proven way to make a rough guess. Take the number of hours you plan to party and add one, then multiply that number by your number of guests.

For example, if you invite 100 people to a three-hour party, plan on pouring 400 drinks.

Say half drink beer and half wine. Your 50 beer lovers will consume 200 standard 12-ounce cups or bottles of beer. A 16-gallon beer keg serves 170 cups, so you will need one keg, plus some six packs.

Your 50 wine drinkers will drink 200 pours of wine. Five ounces is a standard, generous pour. There are five such pours in a standard bottle of wine, so you will need 40 bottles (200 divided by five). Usually that means 20 whites and 20 reds.

Throw in the bubbly as insurance against running out, you’ve got it made.

Paying for this may be hard, daddy. Figuring how much to buy, not so much.


• Most popular beers: Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite. Keg $100; 30-pack cans $24.

• HRM Rex Goliath Chardonnay. Fresh, lively, tropical fruits, vanilla, oak. $7

• Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Red Wine. Cola, strawberry, raspberry; smooth tannins; delicious mixture of five grapes. $8

• Kilda Chardonnay South Eastern Australia. Apples and citrus, creamy. $10

• Clif the Climber White. Ripe citrus, floral, crisp acidity. Blend of five white grapes. $17.