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Open bar question

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indecisive

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I think it depends on your guests and your budget. We are planning on having an open bar.
 

labbielove

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this choice totally depends on you and fi and your budget.

if you do a search on ''open bar'' in these threads you will see that it has a lot of different opinions associated with it! (although that''s more open bar vs. cash bar issue)

if you want to offer full open bar, i would suggest investigating the ''cash tab'' alternative versus the per person/per hour fee most places put out there. we are doing this at the suggestion of our caterer and after assessing our guests.
our estimate is that we will save about $1K doing cash tab.

of course if you''re younger and having a nighttime wedding, rowdy guests, the per person thing may be the way to go.

personally i see nothing wrong with offering only beer/wine if that is what works.
 

E B

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We get to bring our own liquor in, so we''re doing an open bar. Even if we couldn''t, we''d probably still splurge for one.
 

Molly1024

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We had beer/wine/soft drinks, and a martini bar. Not a full bar, obviously, but cheaper because we only had to buy the vodka. The martinis were fun, and if anyone didn''t like them, there was beer & wine.
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 21, 2006
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A cocktail option is nice as not all people like beer and wine. Obviously if your budget allows open bar then that is great too! Presuming you don''t have to worry too much about sloppy drunks.
 

Fancy605

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A lot of our guests just simply don''t drink (Many of his side of the family and some of our friends), so we are currently just planning on doing beer/wine for those that want it and soft drinks for those who do not want it. We may change our minds and add in mixed drinks as well, but I don''t think paying for an open bar would be worth it considering about 40% of the guests won''t drink.

Maybe I should be investing this cash tab option labbielove suggested as well...
 

curlygirl

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We did full premium open bar. I don''t know that my venue even gave us a choice but it''s pretty much the norm here to have a full bar.
 

tiffanytwisted

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I may check into the cash tab option. I don't know if my caterer offers it or not. Many people that I know don't drink, and of the ones that do they drink mostly beer or wine. I don't mind offering the full open bar, but I sort of feel like I would be wasting a certain amount of $ by doing it that way.
 

galeteia

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We won''t be having any kind of liquor at all.

FF''s parents are very firmly against it on religious grounds. We''d risk seriously offending them if we had booze at the reception.

But from the weddings I''ve gone to, house wine and beer was provided and a bar was available (run by the hotel/pub next door) if you wanted to buy hard liquor. No one seemed to be complaining, and there was a lot of dancing and fun going on. The emphasis was on celebrating, not drinking.
 

sarie_j

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Well we''re having an early afternoon wedding and our families are polar opposites - one''s wet and one''s dry - so I''m having wine only with soda and a punch that MIL to be is making. Is not exactly what I had envisioned, but I think it will be okay, and it was also one of the reasons that I chose early afternoon vs evening for the time. I figured wine only wouldn''t look quite as out of place in the early afternoon as it would in the evening as originally we thought it would have to be completely alcohol free
 

rainbowtrout

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I would say one cocktail option and wine or beer...

We''re having a brunch, so doing just one cocktail (mimosas) and otherwise no alcohol. His mother is tweaky about it anyway. No soda for us either, spend the money on juice and water instead.
 

anchor31

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I would do beer/wine/soda. If we can bring our own alcohol, my parents will make the wine for us. We''d have about 25 bottles of white and 25 of red, and then that''s it. I''m somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of people drinking too much at our wedding... We have a lot of OOT guests and I wouldn''t want them to drive home drunk after the reception (ends at 5PM).
 

ephemery1

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Mar 20, 2006
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I definitely think it depends on a bunch of factors... venue, time of day, formal vs. informal, etc. Our reception is in the evening at a very formal hotel so we''ll be having an open bar... not cheap, but sort of comes with the territory there.
I have been to open bar receptions (often very elegant with signature drinks and all top-shelf liquor), beer/wine receptions (MUCH more casual feeling), and a dry reception (short and sweet... more of a dinner party without much dancing either). Never been to a wedding with a cash bar... definitely not common around here.
 

fire&ice

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We had beer & champagne readily available at the reception room. We opened up a tab at the club''s bar for anyone who wanted a liquor drink. Not very many people ordered a drink.
 

monarch64

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My DH insisted on premium open bar for the entire duration of the reception (normally an open bar closes during the time people are eating). His family and friends are all drinkers, my family is totally dry...so instead of asking my parents, who paid for the majority of the wedding costs, we paid for the open bar out of our own pocket. It worked out fine for us and everyone involved was satisfied with the outcome. Well, except for my grandmother, who I hear was asking "who paid for all that BOOZE?" Lol.
 

Scooba

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Apr 10, 2006
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I would do a full premium bar, I just think if you are hosting an event, you guests should be able to drink what they''d like to
 

galeteia

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Date: 2/13/2007 10:38:42 AM
Author: fire&ice
We had beer & champagne readily available at the reception room. We opened up a tab at the club''s bar for anyone who wanted a liquor drink. Not very many people ordered a drink.
Brilliant!!


What an elegant solution; I almost wish we could have alcohol at our reception just so we could use that approach!

As it is, maybe we''ll gift the groomsmen with a few nice flasks (a good, manly gift) and just sneak a little sump''n sump''n into them.
My FILs don''t need to know about them.
 

So_happy

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Date: 2/12/2007 10:03:08 AM
Author: Molly1024
We had beer/wine/soft drinks, and a martini bar. Not a full bar, obviously, but cheaper because we only had to buy the vodka. The martinis were fun, and if anyone didn''t like them, there was beer & wine.
What a great idea!!
 

tiffanytwisted

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Date: 2/12/2007 10:03:08 AM
Author: Molly1024
We had beer/wine/soft drinks, and a martini bar. Not a full bar, obviously, but cheaper because we only had to buy the vodka. The martinis were fun, and if anyone didn''t like them, there was beer & wine.
That''s actually a really good idea. I am going to see if the caterer will do that. We had added on the ingredients for chocoloate martinis, it''s sort of "our" drink and the ONLY thing my FI drinks.
 

tanyak

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Date: 2/14/2007 8:45:29 AM
Author: tiffanytwisted

Date: 2/12/2007 10:03:08 AM
Author: Molly1024
We had beer/wine/soft drinks, and a martini bar. Not a full bar, obviously, but cheaper because we only had to buy the vodka. The martinis were fun, and if anyone didn''t like them, there was beer & wine.
That''s actually a really good idea. I am going to see if the caterer will do that. We had added on the ingredients for chocoloate martinis, it''s sort of ''our'' drink and the ONLY thing my FI drinks.
That''s a good compromise! We hosted beer/wine/soda. In our social circles, that''s what is commonly done.

I disagree with the idea that people should show up and expect to have whatever they want - food or beverage. It''s a reception, not a restaurant. Do what makes sense for you and your friends and famiily and what you can afford.
 
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