Skip to comments.After wedding, is bar package or by-the-drink better?
Posted on 01/17/2012 10:56:01 AM PST by Former MSM Viewer
Anyone have experience with open bar package of drinks vs by-the-drink for a reception?
I think the by-the-drink makes sense. Anyone have any experience with this?
We did open bar. Some folks drank, some folks didn’t.
The inclusive price assures no surprises.
Legally, you might be better off giving out drink tickets.
A good bar can and will charge for consumption. Put an upper limit on it for no surprises.
I had open bar. Not everyone used it but it was there for the asking.
My only direct experience: When my younger brother got married, I knew it was tradition for my Father to pay the bar bill at the reception. I also knew that my Father didn't have much money, and I was worried that he might have trouble handling the bill.
BTW, I have never been a drinker, and I had absolutely no idea how much the bill might be. I had visions of a $1000 tab.
So, I snuck over to the bartender, and told her to give me the bill and that I would pay it. At the end of the evening, my Father found out about it and assured me that he could handle it.
It turned out to be about $80.
Just my personal opinion. Do not spend too much on your wedding reception unless it is easily affordable. I know too many people that spend 30K on a wedding but cannot put a down payment on a first home. Guests aren’t coming for the free beer....well,maybe not.
My daughter just got married in September and we were on a very, very, very tight budget. Told the venue place to allow wine and beer to a certain dollar amount and once that was met then everything after that the person getting alcohol would be responsible for their own. Opened the bar once the wedding party arrived into the reception room. Worked out very well with no complaints.
I’m not sure when all the bars open around here, but my Uncle Mel seems to be drunk by 9am.
We purchased all our own alcohol and mixers and had a volunteer friend play bartender. When it was gone it was gone... we actually ended up with quite a bit of leftovers.
Know your guests, if you know what I mean.
I went open bar to keep guests focused on a good time, not distracted by costs. (Yes, the bottom line was a large figure.) They all behaved.
From Wedding Etiquette:
It is my professional opinion, having counseled a great many couples who are grappling with this issue, that if you have come to the conclusion that you absolutely can not have an open bar, the best, most gentle and non-offensive way to handle the matter is to take a combination approach. What has worked for many couples quite successfully is to provide perhaps 2 drink tickets for each adult guest. These can be included in each invitation along with the other enclosures. After your guests have used their 2 tickets, they will be required to pay for any additional drinks. A lot of couples are quite comfortable with this approach, believing that 2 drinks in an evening is a reasonable and responsible level of drinking for any guest to partake in and that anything above that may become excessive./
Where we made our real margin was on the cakes and space rental.
$40 worth of materials and a day of labor, and you could sell some cakes for $1500.
I love weddings. ;)
My personal opinion is that if something is free, people will take advantage and drink more than they would normally. However, maybe I'm wrong.
Now, I'm thinking of the 2-part episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where his brother Robert got married and it was a pay for your own drink kind of set-up. It seemed in that ep that the bride's family were looked on as cheap because they weren't providing free booze.
So, maybe any way you go, someone won't like it. But, I still think human nature will have some people drinking more than they might normally. I am a pessimist by nature, though, so you can take that into account.
At my kids’ weddings, we provided a bottle of champaign for each 6 person table. There was no other alcohol served at the reception, although the hotel had lots of other places for folks to drink. This avoided the usual fistfights and gunplay so common at weddings.
Mine had no bar at all because the majority of my guests did not drink and the one person who did... let's just say we would rather not have put temptation in his way!
If most don't drink or only drink lightly then by-the-drink is good. On the other hand if your guests drink like frat boys (~grin) then go with open bar.
I don’t know anything, except that on TV shows, whenever they talk about a per-drink reception, it’s always about calling the bride and groom cheapskates. Have no idea if that is also the way it is in real life.
I have no idea if we had an open or per-drink bar at our reception. I wasn’t involved.
My wife has some Baptists in her family so she said if they were to be invited, the party needed to be dry. She didn’t even want to have a champagne toast because she though the Baptists would be offended, which of course in the end they weren’t.
I got around that and we (the boys) purchased a few cases and some wine and the champs and did it ourselves. My dad (who was deathly ill but kept it from us until a few months later) was the unofficial barkeep, acting like he was at a speakeasy.
To date we see the groomsmen a few times a year and we have never seen or heard from her relatives that were so important that we had to plan our wedding reception around.
Have the wedding you want to have. Open bar or pay per drink, your guests will understand.
In my early life I had to inspect bars. I decided to inspect a tough one first thing in the morning. Bad mistake as night shift workers filled the place. Some wanted the guy next to them removed as a health hazard - that included me. Bad idea that I quickly scrapped.
Open bars are okay, but DON’T INVITE GUYS FROM DENMARK.
Kidding. My daughter married a guy from Denmark and wanted open bar. This was previous to her telling me the size of the Danish wedding party. I thought, hey, how much can they really drink?
Go 2 drink tickets a person, then cash bar. Trust me.
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