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 around 0.5 liters 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 0.75l if you want to include an extra drink for your guests in case they want 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 typical 2l bottle of soda; that’s about 4-6 servings of (12-16 ounces/350ml-450ml).

So, over the course of an hour, a quarter of that per person is probably about right.

But of course, you do need to consider the context; the season of your wedding, and the temperature.

And also the pace of drinking; you’ll likely find that guests drink more, to begin with and slow down much later!

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
105 liters10 liters15 Liters20 Liters
157.5 Liters15 Liters22.5 Liters30 Liters
2010 Liters20 Liters30 Liters40 Liters
2512.5 Liters25 Liters37.5 Liters50 Liters
3015 Liters30 Liters 45 Liters60 Liters
3517.5 Liters35 Liters 52.5 Liters70 Liters
4020 Liters40 Liters 60 Liters80 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-liter 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 guests and by the duration above.

Or you can use my handy calculator:

Use my free Soda Calculator For Wedding tool!

Now, onto the other 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 – 20 cans – this is based on 0.5 liters of soda required (although you need to round up as there is 0.33l per can).

Drinking Wedding Guests
1 Hour2 Hours3 Hours4 Hours
1010 cans30 cans45 cans61 cans
1523 cans45 cans68 cans91 cans
2030 cans61 cans91 cans121 cans
2538 cans 76 cans 114 cans152 cans
3045 cans91 cans136 cans182 cans
3553 cans106 cans159 cans212 cans
4061 cans121 cans182 cans242 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
103 x 2L bottles5 x 2L bottles8 x 2L bottles10 x 2L bottles
154 x 2L bottles 8 x 2L bottles 12 x 2L bottles16 x 2L bottles
205 x 2L bottles 10 x 2L bottles 15 x 2L bottles20 x 2L bottles
257 x 2L bottles 13 x 2L bottles 19 x 2L bottles 25 x 2L bottles
308 x 2L bottles 15 x 2L bottles 22 x 2L bottles 29 x 2L bottles
359 x 2L bottles 18 x 2L bottles 27 x 2L bottles36 x 2L bottles
4010 x 2L bottles 20 x 2L bottles30 x 2L bottles40 x 2L bottles


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

It’s similar to what you will need to do for liquor.

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.

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