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Catering equipment hire throughout: Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Birmingham and the West Midlands.

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How Many Drinking Glasses Do I Need For My Event?

Organising an event is an exciting time. All the invites, colours, the theme – it’s a really involving process. If this is your first event, you’ll soon discover that there are lots of things you didn’t even consider until you get into the planning stage! 

In this blog we’re helping you with all things glass hire, including how many glasses you need for your event and even what type of glasses you need to consider. 

Organising an event is an exciting time. All the invites, colours, the theme – it’s a really involving process. If this is your first event, you’ll soon discover that there are lots of things you didn’t even consider until you get into the planning stage! 

In this blog we’re helping you with all things glass hire, including how many glasses you need for your event and even what type of glasses you need to consider. 

What type of event are you hiring glasses for? 

This is pretty self-explanatory, but understanding the type of event you're organising is the first step to determining the number and type of glasses you'll need. Whether it's a wedding, corporate function, or birthday celebration, each occasion demands a specific set of glassware to complement the drinks being served. Even the weather can play a role in what type of glasses you need and how many glasses you need to hire. Ask yourself questions like… 

How many guests will I have? 

The obvious place to start is with a head count. How many people are you catering for? That will determine much of the equation that you need to work with. You might think that you simply need to simply multiply the number of glasses you need by the head count, but there’s a little more to it than that. 

Nevertheless, establishing the head count is where you start. So, how many people are you catering for? With many events the numbers aren’t finalised until a few days beforehand. Even then you’ll probably lose a few on the day with illness or unplanned absences. We’d advise you to err on the side of caution and not assume you’ll have dropouts on the day. 

The most obvious effect on your drinks service and catering is an influx of new guests. Are there going to be any extra invitees? They’ll all need glasses and then if you’ve turned the room around and refreshed it, then so will all the day guests. 

If you’ve gone from 100 during the day to 150 in the evening, then you’re best to aim for the following as a guide: 

  • Wine glasses 300-350 

  • Beer/pint glasses 100-150 (unless there’s a strong beer crowd planned or real ale ordered. For example: if you have three real ale barrels then you have at least 216 pints which will need fresh glasses) 

  • Short glasses – 100 -150 (depending on the drinks available) 

  • Hi balls – 150 – 200 or possibly more if you think the dancefloor will be a hot affair! 

  • Jugs and ice buckets for the bar 

  • Evening guest reception drinks? Some weddings will have a drink for the new guests too. If you need another 50 flutes or wine glasses then add these in, too. 

What does the plan for the day look like? 

To decide on the glasses you’ll need, you’ll have to look at the overall event plan and how it will play out. You’ll soon start to see why this is important. Different events have different celebrations and traditions. Knowing the type of event will help you ask the right questions or research and consider the drinks you’ll be serving or helping to organise. You can use the below as a basic guide to illustrate what we mean: 

Reception drinks: Champagne, cocktails, mulled wine? What will the first drink be? 

Dinner drinks: Are the guests sitting down? Or is it a buffet? Bowl food or canapes? What drinks will you serve? And will you simply top up the wine glasses or offer a fresh glass? This will all determine the type and number you’ll need. 

Bar drinks: Is there an evening party? What drinks are you offering? You’ll need the right glasses to go with your drinks. 

Do you need to hire glasses for a seated event? 

If you’re moving inside the venue or marquee, you’ll also need to lay up the tables and think about everything that entails when it comes to glasses. Depending on the approach of the event, most will opt for red and white wine glasses on the table. This is simple to factor into your hire; you’ll need one white and one red for each guest with maybe a dozen spares in case of accidents. 

Guests will only need a glass each if they’re being topped up or the wine is left on the table for them to help themselves. This is the simplest option for catering and running the drinks at the event and most guests will be fine with this. 

We recommend you have a red and white wine glass and guests will often switch from white to red and vice versa depending on the starter and main. If you know for sure that they won’t then you could take fewer glasses with you, but that’s often a risk you might regret. 

You’ll also need water glasses on the tables. One per head here is fine; just work out whether you’re serving mineral water or tap water as you’ll need jugs (one or two per table) and perhaps ice for the latter

How do I hire the right glasses for my event? 

Now you know your event type and have worked out how many guests will be attending, as well as the event plan, you can decide which glasses you will need for your event! 

Wine glass hire 

Nearly all events will be accompanied by a glass of wine, because food and wine have long been partners. Most wines are actually produced with food pairing in mind, and you’ll be familiar with the art of matching food and wine. 

So, it goes without saying that you’ll most likely need some wine glasses at your event, but which type? We have two styles: Primeur and Savoie

Choosing the Primeur range of glassware is a wonderful way to add a touch of glamour and sophistication to any event you’re planning. This strikingly elegant crystal line delivers a superbly refined selection of wine and water glasses in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

Our Savoie glass selection of clean-lined, modern-styled glassware combines form and function to deliver a contemporary minimalist look that’s as elegant as it is unfussy. 

Both are a great choice for wine glass hire, but the Primeur range is better suited to a stand-up event, whereas the Savoie range is a simpler design and the sensible choice for a bar glass. 

Champagne glass hire 

Ah… reception drinks. In many respects, this is the drink you need to get right in catering or event hosting – the welcome drink! It’s the first drink and the one they’ll be most sober for, after all! Receptions at weddings for example are traditionally kicked-off with bubbles. What are the choices for champagne glass hire? 

Well, we have a Cabernet Long Stemmed flute which is taller and more elegant or the more traditional and simpler Savoie Short Stemmed flute which is easier for larger events with lots of drinks on trays and tables. You could also opt for a Champagne saucer for a more retro vibe! 

Gin glass hire 

Gin has certainly seen a huge rise in popularity over the past few years. Once the drink left in the 80s and with the aviation crews, the G&T is back… and it’s bought some friends, too! 

There are now an impossible number of gin cocktail recipes to choose from and with the rising popularity you may well need to cater for the gin lovers with not only the right gin glasses but the right selection of gins, too! It’s no longer acceptable to just offer Gordon’s! 

You’ll need to hire gin glasses for your event if you’re serious about catering for the trend – you can’t serve a gin in a tumbler. (You won’t, will you?) 

Arrange your gin glass hire and don’t forget the extra ice if your catering staff are going to serve them with copious amounts of ice as recommended by the pros! 

Cocktail glass hire 

Just like gin, cocktails are very much in favour and it’s not unusual to see cocktails as the reception drink of choice! With mocktails becoming more common place you might well need cocktail glass hire for your event even for those who are not drinking alcohol. 

Which glasses will you need? Well, that entirely depends on the cocktail! Most cocktail recipes will tell you the type of glasses that you need so make sure to read the recipe carefully.  

Bar glass hire 

If you’re having an evening bar, then don’t forget to plan for that. 

Some things to consider with evening bar glass hire

  • Beer on tap? You’ll need some pint glasses. 

  • Gin on display? Get some gin glasses. 

  • Offering shorts? Whiskey glasses and tumblers will be needed. 

  • Wine by the glass? Some Savoie glasses will be perfect. 

  • Champagne or prosecco on offer? Get some Savoie flutes. 

  • And don’t forget the tumblers for those soft drinks. 

  • Will there be children there? What will they drink and what will they use? 

Essentially, get the full list of drinks on offer on the bar and give that to your glass hirer (hi, that’s us!) and they’ll help you to decide which glasses are best suited to your needs. 

Crystal glassware hire 

If you’re looking for something extra special, why not take a look at our stunning Luigi Bormioli Magnifico fine crystal glassware range? We are one of only two companies hiring out these glasses and they’re sure to add an extra touch of magic to your event! 

Glass hire curveballs 

Any seasoned event planner will know that curveballs often get thrown at you, but you can minimise or navigate their impact by planning ahead. 

For example, are the clients having a vodka luge? A chocolate fountain? A slushy machine? Do they have the glasses or cups for this or do they expect you to cover it? What happens if more guests turn up that expected? The last thing you need when you’re in a marquee in a field is to see all your evening hi-balls disappearing to a corner of the marquee leaving you short for later. 

Just ask and give yourself a little extra wiggle room on numbers if you’re not 100% sure how firm the guest list is. You’ll be thankful you did! 

We hope you found this information on glass hire useful, but if you need a little more help or would like more information on the glasses we offer, please contact us today 

When hiring equipment from Plato, you can be safe in the knowledge that any electrical equipment is PAT tested before it’s hired out. Plato is also a member of the SafeHire Certification Scheme, which means we have a proven competence in safety, health, environment, and quality. This ensures you’ll receive the highest possible quality of service and catering equipment hire. 

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We deliver throughout Birmingham, Coventry, Leamington Spa, Redditch, Solihull, Stratford upon Avon, Warwick, Worcester.

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