3 Hours of Open Bar Enough?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Is 3 hours open bar (6pm-9pm) for my wedding enough for my particular situation?
    yes its fine : (12 votes)
    46 %
    no, try to have 4 hours : (6 votes)
    23 %
    no, try to have open bar the whole time : (8 votes)
    31 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    3280 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    Close the bar between 7-8 for dinner since everyone will be seated anyway if that’s an option. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    3756 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    Have you checked with your venue about the favors? Many places won’t allow alcohol to be placed on the tables. My cousin did mini wine bottles and they had to be outside of the ballroom. 

    As far as the open bar, combined with nips on the table, your guests should be good and sauced within that 3 hours… lol. Most weddings I’ve been to are either just the cocktail hour or the whole night, but I honestly think 3 hours is more than enough. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    3280 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @elliptical2013:  typically the MC will make an annoucement for people to grab their drinks and head to the table for dinner then you can close the bar for dinner and have water/tea/etc served to the tables. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    2361 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    @elliptical2013:  Can you do beer and wine all night instead of a full bar part of the night? I think it’s rude to have a cash bat, period. Other than politeness other things to think about are people getting drunk trying to chug drinks before they’re no longer free, one person from a table going to get a drink (for free) and five minutes later their table mate being charged $5 for the same thing, people leaving when it becomes cash bar… Also I think it would be best to definitely have alcohol at cocktail hour when people will be mingling 

    Post # 9
    Member
    17 posts
    Newbee

    Typically, you have open bar during cocktain hour and after dinner.  Normally, venues offer wine during dinner, with 2 glasses per person as the standard package offering. I think it may be worth asking if your venue can do this. 

    If your dinner lasts longer than one hour, this will take you past 8 o’clock.  Then once the bar re-opens, you guests will have until at least 11pm to go to the open bar.  Plus, this would allow you to extend your reception time.

    Post # 10
    Member
    2205 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    I’m actually going to say don’t close the bar for dinner unless you make it VERY CLEAR to your guests that it will be closed.

    One wedding I went to made the announcement and seemed to make it clear, yet people were still very confused when they went to go grab a drink and were told they had to wait an hour.  It was more confusing than it was worth.

    You also might need to be prepared from a huge line right before closing time, and check with the venue to see what their policy on that is.  (ie if someone is in line, but then it turns 7 pm, are they out of luck til 8?)

    Post # 11
    Member
    2132 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Commonly the bar is closed during dinner.  They give a last call before it closes, and people get a drink for during dinner.  Maybe they can even serve wine during dinner

    Post # 12
    Member
    458 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2015

    elliptical2013:  I’ve been to several weddings where they did open bar for the cocktail hour then beer/wine for rest of the night.  I greatly prefer this to bars being open and closed during certain times.  It just feels more seemless.  you get your fun mixed drink during cocktail hour and then have a glass of wine or two with dinner. I’d reccomend looking into this option. 

    Post # 14
    Member
    2205 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    elliptical2013:  Not much, in my opinion.  You still might experience a “mad rush” for people to get drinks, and a lot of it depends on the bartender:guest ratio.  Which reminds me, before I was drinking age, a wedding I went to with my parents closed the bar for dinner.  People just stocked up with drinks before that.  One of my aunts had four drinks lined up “just in case.”

    But if it’s typical in your area and people will understand and not act like squirrels, go for it.

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