Alcohol Calculations

One of the most common questions that we get from our clients is, “How much alcohol should we buy?”  While your coordinator is always happy to help you figure out the right amount of alcohol for your party, I’m going to give you some tips to help calculate it yourself; after all, you definitely know your guests better than we do!

There are a lot of drink calculators out there but the majority of them are powered by alcohol companies, trying to get you to purchase way more than you need.  The calculator that I find to be the most reliable is the one provided on Evite’s website.


 Things to consider when filling in the calculator

                -  Don’t factor in how many hours of the party your guests will be in attendance; only include the number of hours that your guests will be drinking.  For example, if you’re having an onsite ceremony at dock580 with a 6p guest arrival, your guests likely won’t be consuming any alcohol until 7p.

                -  Don’t include underage guests in your “drinkers” count.  If you have a large number of children or young adults attending your wedding, this could greatly affect your results.

                -  Make sure that you select the appropriate categories of alcohol; if you’re only serving beer and wine at    your bar, don’t select the “liquor option”.


Here is an example of fairly typical party at dock580:  5 drinking hours for 120 guests.  A good rule of thumb is to consider half of your guests average drinkers, with the other half split between light and heavy drinkers.  If you want to be extra sure about your numbers, I personally recommend categorizing everyone on your guest list.  People are usually surprised to see how few “heavy drinkers they are actually inviting :)

Once you have your numbers, you can grab your calculator and get to work.

                -  For this guest count, the calculator recommends 240 cans or bottles of beer.  There are 24 bottles of beer in a case, so you would need 10 cases of beer for this guest count.

                -  For this guest count, the calculator recommends 48 bottles of wine.  There are 12 bottles of wine in a case, so you would need 4 cases of wine for this guest count.

                -  For this guest count, the calculator recommends 12 bottles of liquor. Other tips to keep in mind when stocking your bar:

                -  With open bars, you don’t want to provide too much variety.  Too many options makes for a stressful purchasing experience and a long bar line; who wants that?  Instead, stick to 2-3 kinds of beer, 2-4 kinds of wine, and 4 kinds of liquor.

                -  For beers, we recommend a domestic, a domestic light, and a craft or imported.

                -  For wine, we recommend 1-2 reds and 1-2 whites.  Also keep the time of year and your menu in mind when purchasing your wine; you’ll go through a lot more red wine with a steak menu in December than you will with a seafood menu in June.

                -  For liquor, we recommend dedicating half of your bottles to vodka, a quarter of your bottles to whiskey, and the remaining quarter to gin, rum, or a specialty liquor.  Also keep the size of your liquor bottles in mind; a handle of liquor is roughly equivalent to 2 ½ standard liquor bottles.

I hope this gives you the information that you need to get the party rolling!  If you have any more questions, you are always welcome to contact your coordinator.


Placecards vs. Master Seating Charts

The big debate. Master seating charts vs place cards. Who will win? Which option is superior?

Let’s first start with some definitions, so that we are all on the same page.

Master seating chart: list of guest names in alphabetical order (or table order) with their table assignment noted. Example:


Photo credit: Happy Blue Cat Etsy Shop                         


Photo credit: Sylvie Gil Photography  


Place cards/Escort cards: cards that note the guest name and their table assignment (and possibly an entrée selection.


Photo credit: Sunny 16 Photography     


Photo credit: onelove photography

 Photo credit: Ruffled Blog                        


Photo credit: Rachel Carl Etsy Shop


Now that we are on the same page, let’s discuss what you should do for your wedding. You will be surprized to know that there actually isn’t a straight forward answer. The best option for you will be based on a few factors. Follow through this chart below and see which you option may be best for you and your wedding.


And of course, talk with your wedding coordinator about options!


Happy planning!

Emily Gneiser xoxo


Our Home Event Space

580 N. 4th Street, the Smith Bros. Hardware Co. building, and the home of dock580 is a very special place.  Built in 1929 with mostly Nelsonville brick, it stands as a sentinel to Italian Village and an internal structure built to withstand, well, just about anything.  Cold riveted beams, ten-inch reinforced floors, and abundant natural light through massive windows.

The building and business closed in the early 1980’s.  We could not find out much about the reason, other than economy and competition.  After a dozen plus years of total vacancy, a two-alarm fire broke out on the fourth floor, causing damage and destruction.  After attempts to start a renovation project, work finally started in 1996, finishing in 1998.  The brick, steel, and concrete masterpiece of the roaring ‘20’s was ready for use.

If you have never visited, come and view this beauty of yesteryear.  Priceless views of downtown and gateway to the growth of Italian Village, it is where dock580 proudly calls home.



Backdrops have become an increasingly popular decoration for both ceremonies and receptions. They are a great way to bring your personality into the space! Whether you want a fabric backdrop, light backdrop, ribbon or floral backdrop, the options are endless!


Here at dock580 we have some personal favorites!


Simple fabric is a classic look that we love! If you want to jazz it up a little, adding some garland along the top or side adds a really romantic feel!


Photo source: www.100layercake.com


Photo source: www.stylemepretty.com



Having a flower wall is a simple yet really bold option!


Photo source: www.marthastewartweddings.com


Wanting to go a different route? You could always use an untraditional item to make a statement. Like these antique doors with a garland across the top. #amazing


Photo source: www.stylemeprett.com


As you can see, you really can’t go wrong when it comes to backdrops! My biggest suggestion is to do one that speaks to who you are; don’t go with the status quo!

Be sure to check with your coordinator about what dock580 allows before deciding on a backdrop!


Kitchen Equipment

When compiling your wedding registry, there are many choices to assemble your kitchen.  As a chef, it is important that we have the necessary tools to efficiently complete the task.  We must take care of our tools, keeping pots clean and knives sharpened.  Even with my set of kitchen knives at home, I do my best to keep up on the edge, as well as keeping my pots and pans well cleaned.  A truly clean cooking vessel – inside and out - is important to ensure that your food cooks evenly.

For a great edge, I prefer using the old fashioned sharpening stone.  It takes more time but you take much less off the blade, making the knife last longer.  Sometimes with a machined edge, it can be very sharp; however, the edge may not last long because the angle is too fine.  Of course you cannot forget to steel your knives often.  If you are unfamiliar, the steel is that funny rod with a handle that comes in many knife kits.  Many mistake this technique for sharpening, but really all you are doing is straightening, or truing your edge.  This helps to keep the knife sharper longer.  The proper angle when sharpening or steeling your knife is 20 degrees.

For keeping your pots nice and clean, I suggest investing in a higher quality pot or pan.  I use All-Clad at home.  These pans are produced right here in the USA.  The d5 all stainless steel model cooks very evenly and is easy to keep clean.  They do offer non-stick pans as well, but I do not recommend using non-stick.  If you heat your pans properly, and use a sufficient amount of oil, the sticking to the stainless is minimal.  When cleaning, I use a soft sponge and dish soap.  When the oil and stains are a little more stubborn, I turn to Bar Keepers Friend.  It’s a powdered product, like Ajax or Comet, and works really well with keeping the pans truly clean.  Too many people ignore keeping the bottom of their pans clean.  This is important because it keeps the contact of the stove or flame direct with the pan and heats the pan more evenly and quickly.

So when making your wedding registry or simply purchasing your next set of kitchen equipment, remember that the higher quality products go a long way.  As with any big dollar purchase, don’t forget to maintain your prized items, keeping them performing at a high level for years to come.