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Figuring out how much glassware you will need for an event can be tough, but we are here to help you with some tips and tricks to help get it right! There is no exact science to figuring out how many glasses you will need since every guest and every event is completely unique, but there are some general rules of thumb to follow. The most general rule of thumb is one drink per hour per guest – so if you have 100 guests and the event is 4 hours long, then approximately 400 drinks will be consumed. This does not take into consideration the different kind of drinks and therefore glasses you will need – afterall you wouldn’t want to drink an IPA out of a wine glass would you? Check out our list of tips below:

Encourage Bottles!

You can cut a lot of glassware down if you offer beer in bottles rather than in glasses from the tap.


Basic place settings typically include a water goblet, champagne glass, and a wine glass, but don’t be afraid to simplify this and offer an all-purpose glass¬† like a water goblet, mason jar, or highball glass for most beverages (and of course a champagne glass for any toasts).

Know what style of event you are having

Are you offering your guests a full bar (beer, wine, and cocktails) or just beer and wine? This will help determine what style of glassware you will need. Keep the type of meal you will be offering into consideration as well (buffet vs. seated), since for a buffet you will have no table settings, but a seated meal you will have full table settings already on the tables.

It’s better to have too many

Always take overages into account. For a seated dinner have about 5% more glasses on hand than what is needed and for a cocktail party rent at least 3 glasses per guest.

Consider Washing

If you have staff / servers that are available to clean glasses during your event you will not need as many glasses. Consult with your venue to see if you are able to clean bar glassware during your event.

Consult your vendors

Your caterer and bartending service are a great resource to consult when you are trying to figure out how many / what type of glassware you will need. They can take into consideration the head count, any signature cocktails, and any specific drinks you know your guests enjoy to help you come up with the best count for your event. After-all they are the ones serving at a variety of events and probably know best.

Variety is the spice of life!

Many of your guests may switch drinks throughout the night. You wouldn’t expect them to drink a martini and glass of Cabernet sauvignon out of the same glass would you? Though the thought of labeling glasses would lead many to believe you are expected to use the same glass all night, many guests would opt for a new glass or will forget where they placed their glass before they hit the dancefloor and head to the bar for new one.

View Front Range Event Rental’s glassware options here.