How Much Soda To Buy For A Wedding [The Calculation To Use]

Calculating the amount of soda you need for your wedding can cause a real headache and a lot of stress. How on earth are you supposed to know how much you need? Besides, getting too little or too much just will not do. Both scenarios are equally problematic. Well, thankfully, the following method will help you know exactly how much to buy.

So, how much soda should you buy for a wedding? It is recommended to allow 1 liter of soda per person per hour at a wedding. Thus, take this number, and then multiply it by an estimation of how many non-alcoholic drinkers you have and the duration. Consider this calculation includes an extra drink in case your guest wants more.

Remember, this is not about being 100% precise.

It’s about striking a balance between having enough and not having too much.

And when you come to think of a 2l bottle of soda; that’s about 4-6 servings of (12-16 ounces/350ml-450ml).

Over the course of an hour that’s probably about right.

Especially at a wedding when things can get hot and people typically drink more.

But let us now delve deeper into the calculation and how we arrive at this suggestion.

This way, you can even strategically plan exactly what you need, regardless of the intricacies of your particular wedding.

How Do You Calculate Soda For A Wedding?

You calculate how much soda you need by calculating an estimation of the total number of soda drinkers, by how long your wedding is expected to go on – with some leeway for additional drinks to ensure you have enough.

Here is a very simple formula that you can use to get an idea:

of soft drinks = # of guests * (party duration in hours + 1).

So, here is a couple of examples:

Drinking Wedding Guests
1 Hour2 Hours3 Hours4 Hours
1011 liters21 liters31 Liters41 Liters
1516 Liters31 Liters46 Liters61 Liters
2021 Liters41 Liters61 Liters81 Liters
2526 Liters51 Liters76 Liters101 Liters
3031 Liters61 Liters 91 Liters121 Liters
3536 Liters71 Liters 106 Liters141 Liters
4041 Liters81 Liters 121 Liters161 Liters

Of course, these are just estimates, and this is designed to ensure you have enough.

Also, consider that this is in liters – and that each serving per drink is assumed to be 16 oz (454 ml) per drink.

Lastly, notice how I have not recommended # of bottles, because chances are you may be considering cans too.

In fact, cans are probably more optimal.

While bottles are typically found in 2 litre sizing, they do need to be poured. Either by the guest themselves or a bartender. Plus you need cups…

Cans are much more versatile, but you will need to do a little further maths if you do opt for them.

But it’s not too difficult.

All you need to do to find out how many cans you need is divide the size of each can by the total liter amount recommended by guest and by duration above.

But we will get into that shortly.

Before then, there is one more crucial thing you need to consider.

What types of soda to buy.

What Soda Should You Buy For Your Wedding

Once you know how many bottles you need in total, you then should divide that number across the different soda options and drinks, at a ratio that seems right to you.

Nevertheless, it is generally recommended to stick with the classics and to not try and stock every ‘flavor’.

But doing that, you’ll need to purchase a lot more soda and you’ll likely have a lot left over.

It’s also typical that everyone will likely drink just one or two, leaving you quite light for those particular drinks and having a lot of other unwanted flavors left and available.

So, with this in mind, I would recommend you stick to the following:

  • Diet Coke/Diet Pepsi/Pepsi Max (Cola)
  • Regular Coke/Pepsi (Cola)
  • Diet Sprite/ Diet Lemonade
  • Regular Sprite/Lemonade
  • Club soda
  • Tonic water

That should cover the major bases and ensure everyone can choose something they like.

It’s also quite versatile and caters to most people’s tastes and needs.

Of course, you may want to introduce more, or alter this somewhat, but that is going to come down to your preferences/your budget.

Now, once you select the soda you want to offer, you then need to decide on how much you want to buy of each.

Now, again this will vary, but something like the following would work well:

  • Diet Cola – 20%
  • Regular Cola – 20%
  • Diet Sprite – 20%
  • Regular Sprite – 20%
  • Club Soda – 10%
  • Tonic Water – 10%
Soda Types For Wedding

And lastly – do not forget water.

I wouldn’t personally include that in the above.

Your venue may provide this or you may need to.

But getting smaller, individual servings of water is strongly recommended.

My recommendation for water is 1/2 a liter (500ml/17 oz) per guest for every other hour.

So for 50 guests, that would mean 100 bottles of water for a 4-hour reception, for instance.

How Many Cans Of Soda Do You Need For A Wedding?

If you opt for cans of soda, you will need to purchase the right amount accordingly. Here is the breakdown based on the total liter amount referenced above.

So for instance, 10 guests for 1 hour – 33 cans – this is based on 11 liters of soda required.

Drinking Wedding Guests
1 Hour2 Hours3 Hours4 Hours
1033 cans63 cans93 cans124 cans
1548 cans93 cans139 cans184 cans
2063 cans123 cans185 cans244 cans
2578 cans 153 cans 231 cans304 cans
3093 cans183 cans277 cans364 cans
35108 cans213 cans323 cans424 cans
40123 cans243 cans369 cans484 cans

*Cans based on 330ml/11 oz serving size.

So you may need quite a lot of cans!

But as previously stated, this is just an estimate.

You would logically assume people slow down their soda drinking as the night goes on!

But we want to be sure we have enough here.

How Many Bottles Of Soda Do You Need For A Wedding?

If you opt for 2l plastic bottles of soda, you will need to purchase the following amount. Again, this is based on the liter amount referenced in the ‘How Do You Calculate Soda For A Wedding?’ section:

Drinking Wedding Guests
1 Hour2 Hours3 Hours4 Hours
106 x 2L bottles11 x 2L bottles16 x 2L bottles21 x 2L bottles
158 x 2L bottles 16 x 2L bottles 23 x 2L bottles31 x 2L bottles
2010 x 2L bottles 21 x 2L bottles 30 x 2L bottles41 x 2L bottles
2512 x 2L bottles 26 x 2L bottles 37 x 2L bottles 51 x 2L bottles
3014 x 2L bottles 31 x 2L bottles 44 x 2L bottles 61 x 2L bottles
3516 x 2L bottles 36 x 2L bottles 51 x 2L bottles71 x 2L bottles
4018 x 2L bottles 41 x 2L bottles58 x 2L bottles81 x 2L bottles


As you can see, working out how much soda you need for a wedding does involve a little math.

But hopefully, the numbers here give you a good starting point and idea of how to get to a reasonable figure, for your particular wedding.

If I can give any final advice it would be this.

Try and work out who will be drinking what. It will be a general prediction but try to work out who will be drinking alcohol and who will be drinking soda.

Also, consider that some guests will drink both alcohol and soda, so it is always good to have a little extra.

And the beauty of soda is that you can always save it for yourself for later, or take it around friends/family.

Or, depending on where you shop and assuming you keep your receipt, you should be able to return it if you do buy too much.

So, don’t worry too much.

The other big decision is whether you opt for cans or bottles.

This will come down to personal preference, budget, the type of venue and whether you have bartenders but generally, cans are much more versatile.

They do not need pouring, enable guests to grab and go, tend to last longer, keep colder, and have a lower risk of spillage.