How Much Alcohol to Serve at a Party

Sometimes it's as simple as numbers in, numbers out. Who said math couldn't be fun as an adult? 

There is always a moment before a party where you wonder if you've pulled together too much or too little alcohol, where you're unsure if you'll be forced to make someone drive for ice (because hellloooo sun), and where you're hoping the bar setup doesn't look straight out of Animal House. I might not be able to help with the latter two, but the first one, we'll cover today. This calculation is adapted from Lauren Conrad's out of her latest book, Celebrate. It has been adjusted after my previous party experiences using her original. 

It goes as follows:

(AVERAGE # of DRINKS x # of GUESTS) x 1.30 = Total Drink Count

Depending on the party, the average number of drinks may change. For example, at a dinner party each guest might consume 1 or 1.5 drinks per hour versus a bbq where they might consume 2.5 to 3 per hour. The average mixed cocktail contains 1.5 to 2 ounces of alcohol, but if it's more of a wine/beer situation, know that a bottle of wine contains about four glasses each. Since I never pour that carefully, I usually estimate about three healthy glasses and know that if it is all running low, I can squeeze an extra glass in there. A fifth of alcohol contains just over 25 ounces. To calculate the average number of drinks, determine how much each person will consume per hour and the number of hours spent drinking; multiply these together. The 1.30 is a 30% buffer for any last-minute guests or friends staying extra late and drinking after the party ends. Just a tip, better to have a little extra booze left over than run out in the middle of the party. 

A Quick Example: 
I'll certainly be using this for my upcoming party, and I can rest assured I won't be scrambling for last minute drinks (thank goodness). I estimated my guests would drink about three drinks an hour, for a duration of about three hours, so nine drinks per guest. 

(NINE drinks x 17 guests) x 1.30 = 198.9 or about 200 drinks. 

I know I will be serving about 200 drinks to all my friends and family - lots of fun to be had! I wanted a variety of drinks, so I am serving:

+ Grapefruit Punch
+ Wine
+ Beer
+ Champagne
+ Soda and Pink Lemonade

With the 30 percent buffer, I'll be shopping for about 23 guests instead of 17, so after the necessary math, my shopping list is:

+ 12 Bottles of Champagne
+ 10 12-Packs of Beer
+ 2 Bottles of Grapefruit Secco
+ 2 Bottles of Pino Grigio
+ 2 Bottles of Sparkling Water
+ 2 Boxes of White Wine
+ 1 Bottle of Pink Lemonade
+ Assortment of Sodas

Note: I overestimated in some areas, because I would rather have extra to use at a later time than not have enough at the party now. Who said math couldn't be fun as an adult? 

+What do you think? Helpful or not helpful?

Links I Love

Happy Hump Day! 

My short vacay is over (sad), and I'm headed back to Wilmington after this is posted. I touched on my entire emotions around this trip here, so it's safe to say it's bittersweet to leave. I know this new phase will be fun, and I'm so excited to be back on The Guide sharing some of the details. Buuuuut first, our favorite series is back with nine links I'm loving from around the web...

1. Eight tips for handling difficult situations and anxiety. 

2. These low tumblers are gorgeous, and surprisingly affordable.

3. How to feel confident in 10 minutes. 

4. Making friends at work the right way. 

5. I know I'm late to the game, but holy moly obsessed with this podcast. 

6. These pancakes. 

7. After yesterday's post, here's why you should be celebrating your success

8. All my favorite party finds. And a really cool company idea. 

9. I laughed at this title, but this was a fun and informative read. 

Have a great Wednesday! Xx. 

A Fun Entertaining Tip

Three things I always have on hand for a last minute party. 

I have a habit of inviting people back to my place to toast someone's promotion, to celebrate a birthday, or just when I want to liven up an exhausting or not so great day. Because of this, I always keep a few things on hand to make sure my guests are relaxed and in the party mood, and I don't have to do any last minute running around. I've already talked previously here on keeping my house party ready, so in those 10 minutes, I know I can have all of my essentials chilling or defrosting for what is going to be a great time. Without further ado, here are my three party essentials for the best impromptu celebration...

1. Champagne. Would this really be a Great Vibes party tip without champagne? Of course not. Here's why: nothing says quintessential party like popping a bottle of champagne and toasting each other in pretty glasses. It's classic and simple. I always keep one chilling in the refrigerator and one nearby to cool down quickly if the party is larger than I expected or goes longer than originally planned. 

2. Vanilla Ice Cream. Vanilla ice cream creates an excellent base to stir in anything you have on hand in your cabinet, like sprinkles or chocolate chips or caramel sauce. Serve it up in small ramekins or big bowls depending on the tone of the get together. My favorite is to pull out all the mini bowls I have (I love bowls, so I have a collection), do one scoop of vanilla with lemon zest and top it with chocolate chips. It looks pretty, tastes delicious, and is super super easy to make. 

3. Frozen Waffles. Stay with me here. These are the newest addition to my party arsenal, and oh my goodness, what a game changer. Aside from throwing an Eleven vibe, these help make a party really lighthearted and fun. They heat up super easily in the oven while the ice cream is defrosting on the counter, and you're popping the cork on that bottle of champagne. While yes, serving them the traditional way with maple syrup is delicious, they also are excellent quartered and used to make ice cream sandwiches with the aforementioned essential.

The next morning, have yourself a Bloody Mary beside a waffle topped with a fried egg to feel like you're living your best life without breaking the bank at brunch or having to do too much work (I recommend the Bloody Mary mix from Whole Foods - not expensive, great ingredients, delicious beyond belief).  

Cheers to a summer of fun! Xx. 

+ what's your go-to entertaining essentials?

Weekly Inspiration

We have birthdays and graduation parties this week, so we're inspired by all things party party party. Here are five things to inspire your Monday! xx. 

pops of color

these 3D menus make such a fun statement.

this glassware

can you imagine these glasses filled with punch?


the prettiest chocolate bark

almost too pretty to eat.


these blankets

my graduation party is outside, and I love the simplicity of having several large blankets spread out.

tequila cocktails.jpg

this spicy jalapeño tequila 

umm yes please. no other words necessary.

A Note on my Absence

I'm pretty sure we don't talk nearly enough about exhaustion like it's something real. Not the simple I've-been-up-all-night exhaustion, but the kind that seeps into your bones, makes you unable to leave your bed for weeks, depression kind of exhaustion.

When we started talking about unhealthy relationships, I realized the unhealthy relationship I was having at the time was with myself -- I was living for everyone else but myself, and even the days I checked in to see what I needed, I just couldn't make myself happy. The last 18 months, I've seen death and tragedy, lives turned upside down, big dreams lost, and I was having trouble identifying all the little facets that make me, me. 

Luckily, this is still the perfect space for me. It commands sparkles and champagne where there is something worthy of celebration (like getting out of bed or drinking a glass of water - hey, it's the little things) and pastel pink in a world of dark. The Great Vibes Guide is truly a guide to Great Vibes and all the ways that we as humans can tune out the negative self-talk, anxiety, and fear, and find a little bit of cheers. I'm so happy to be home again in my little space on the web, and thrilled that you've stuck around. 

Cheers to Great Vibes! XxEm