Bar Cost Round-Up

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
8419 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

Location: Southern US (although my husband and I are from the northeast and west coast respectively)

Type of Bar: Full Open (5+ hours)

Supplier: Venue (we weren’t allowed to bring in outside alcohol)

Number of People: 50

Total cost: $1650

Our venue had the option of beer/wine only, cash bar, hosted bar (set limit, then goes to cash) and just about everything in between.  The only rule was we had to use their bartenders (no charge) and their bar.  I actually don’t drink at all, but many of our guests drink heavily, so not having an open bar wasn’t really an option for us.

Post # 3
Member
1104 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Good post! I’m curious for those who brought in as that is what we will be doing 🙂 

Post # 4
Member
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

my first wedding was in Toronto (10 years ago) and we had open bar.  I believe it was about $30 per person, for 140 people…so, about $4200.

This time, we are just taking everyone to a fancy restaurant for dinner.  It will be 24 people and whatever they drink we will pay for (consumption based).  I’m figuring it will likely be 2-3 drinks each at $6 each = $450ish is my guess.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  LDay1983.
Post # 5
Member
5421 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

Apple_Blossom:  

Location: South East (Berkshire), UK

Type of bar: bar tab (drinks with meal; wine, beer and soft drinks available up to a 4k limit; other drinks available for guests to purchase if they choose) 

Guests: 60 for the day (1-7pm); 90-100 for the evening (7pm-1am)

Our total spend on alcohol will be at least 7.5k; more if we choose to extend the bar. Over here, a limited bar is not an option; they will not remove certain drinks. And open bars are purely done on consumption ie your guests have whatever they want, and at the end of the night you foot the bill. Because of prices where we live, and because of how open bars work here, we’d need to budget a minimum of 10k for an open bar. No-one here has one, mainly for that reason. If I lived in the States, I’d have an open bar with zero hesitation, because it is SO cheap! As it is, I’ve yet to see anyone on here, Inc big budget brides, spending anything close to what we’re spending per head on drinks. When those people spend more than me, that will be the day I might not side eye their petty judgements.. Lol

 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  barbie86.
Post # 6
Member
8419 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

barbie86:  You’re spending more than half of my entire wedding budget on hosting alcohol for your guests, I’d say that’s pretty generous/gracious of you 😉

Post # 7
Member
5421 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

housebee:  Thank you 😉 according to others on here (who have spent considerably less..) we’re stingy. By UK standards we’re being very generous, so it’s nice that someone from outside of the UK agrees even though (shock horror!) we’re not having a fully open bar for 12 hours 😉 

Post # 8
Member
3223 posts
Sugar bee

Apple_Blossom:  

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Type of Bar: Type Offered/What was included: Full open with 2 types of beer, 2 of each red, white and rose wine, vodka, gin, rye, rum, Malibu (I love it), 3 types of Scotch

Supplier: The caterer supplied to barware and servers, we supplied to permit and the actual booze.

Number of People: 97

Total Cost: <$3,000

Do not believe the posts that say Canada’s booze is too expensive and everyone has a cash bar.  It is simply untrue. 

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Post # 9
Member
5421 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

LDay1983:  Is that all you spent?! Your tone on other threads implies you spent way more. I’m quite surprised. 

Post # 10
Member
5421 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

andielovesj:  Maybe it depends where you live? I know that, for example, in the North of the UK drinks can cost half as much as they do in the South. Also, regional expectations differ. Just because something is the norm in the specific area you live in doesn’t make it so nation-wide. I think it’s unfair to suggest otherwise. 

Post # 11
Member
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

barbie86:  being a good host has nothing to do with how much you spend, it has to do with properly hosting what you can afford. The wedding industry is out of control. My wedding coming this October is very small because we don’t WANT to spend a fortune on it. We could have a $50k wedding, but in my opinion, it’s a waste of money. Instead we are putting $40k worth of work into a house renovation and having a small wedding.

I probably could do 100 people on $5K, I know people who have, and they have been very careful with how they allocate their funds. However, in my are it’s common to have cash bars, so most people do. It was more important to me to make sure the guests I had were properly hosted rather than have a big party so that’s where our wedding money has gone, into taking care of our guests. I’d rather they each be able to have a few drinks than have up lighting, fancy decor, and a designer dress. Those things are material and get forgotten over time, but how you treat people is what will be remembered 

If i had to, I would cut every corner in the book so long as it didn’t affect my guests and I was able to properly host them  Change venue, smaller guest list, less expensive meal option, host beer and wine only, cheaper dress/photographer/florist..whatever it took to make sure my guests didn’t open up their wallets.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  LDay1983.
Post # 12
Member
5421 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

LDay1983:  I agree 🙂 And our guests will consider us extremely generous, so, that’s awesome; I feel very fortunate we can spend what we are on alcohol alone 🙂 

But man, I wish we could spend as little as you had, I’d be laughing! Can’t believe we’re spending double for way less drinks, it’s crazy!

Post # 13
Member
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

barbie86:  keep in mind, that first figure was 10 years ago and worked out to $30 per person, it’s more expensive to do flat-rate now 🙂

 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  LDay1983.
Post # 14
Member
8905 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

Location: Rocky Mountains, US

Type of Bar: Beer and Wine — 5 kegs (3 local microbrew, 2 PBR), ~200 bottles of wine

Supplier: Us!  Booyah.  

Number of People: 120 the first night (welcome BBQ), 165 the second night (wedding reception)

Total cost: Ummmm I can’t quite remember but I think it was around $3000. 

We have a lot of friends who like to drink, and knew we wanted to have two big parties, so we just did beer and wine to save costs.  It was also a lot easier with the DIY nature of our venue / wedding.  I don’t think anyone missed having liquor and everyone was plenty tanked by the end of things.  

Post # 15
Member
8419 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

barbie86:  I’ve visited the UK, and I know a lot of people there can really drink.  I can’t imagine what a consumption based bar tab would be like after 12 hours lol!

lolot:  We did wine and beer for our welcome dinner the night before and everyone seemed pretty happy about it (also served BBQ).  Since I don’t drink, I was worried that it wouldn’t satisfy everyone, but the local microbrews we had were a total hit.

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