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Planning an Event? Need Ice?

Here is a helpful guide to help you decide how much you may need for your event.

A safe industry standard is 1 to 2 pounds of ice per person. However, other factors can increase the amount needed.

To figure out how much ice you may need you have to factor in the following:

Venue Location

Outdoors or indoors?

Outdoor Events

Outdoor events always require more ice. Without a temperature-controlled environment and access to additional refrigeration your ice needs will increase.

Also, most outdoor event occurs in the spring and summer when temperatures are higher. A hotter day means your guests will be thirstier and your ice will melt faster.

So, if you are hosting your event primarily outdoors add more ice to your order.

Indoor Events

Indoor events usually have a continuous controlled temperature and offer additional cooling options such as refrigerators to keep drinks cool. Thanks to this you will require less ice to chill drinks.

How are you using the ice? Do you need ice for drinks, chilling, or both?

Ice for Chilling

If you require ice to chill your drinks, buffet, or other stations you should consider getting 1 additional pound of ice per person.

Ice for bar and drink service

Consider what beverages you wish to serve. If your party is serving a majority of premixed bottled coolers and beers you will need less ice. If you are serving cocktails and sodas, you will need more ice.

When using ice for drinks, 1lb of ice will make an average of three standard drinks.

Ice heavy cocktails can use up to ½ a pound of ice each. Consider your drink menu and your guests’ unique preferences and tendencies.


Here is a breakdown:

An outdoor party needing ice for chilling and drink service would need approximately 4lbs per person.

If the same outdoor event required ice for drink service only, and not chilling, they would require approximately 3lbs per person.

An indoor event using ice for chilling and drink service would approximately need 3lbs per person.

If the same indoor event required ice for drink service only, and not chilling, they would require approximately 2lbs per person.

Weddings and Ice Needs

An indoor wedding with 120 guests typically uses 40 – 6lb Bags of ice. This Ice is generally used for the rehearsal and wedding event also.

An indoor wedding with 60 guests uses 20 -6lb Bags of ice.

The indoor wedding with 100 or less guests use 60 – 6lb bags of ice.

Event Ice tips:

  • Be sure to store ice for drinks separately and use a designated scoop to avoid contamination.

  • Hit bags of ice on a hard surface before opening to break up cubes for better pouring and serving.

Be Prepared

Don’t risk running out of ice for your event!

Get More Than You Think You Need


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