Consumption Bar vs Alcohol Included Pricing *Need help!*

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

This kind of thing is really hard to compare.  Do you have a lot of elderly relatives coming, or a bunch of Fi’s old college frat buddies? Do you live in NYC, or rural Ohio? US or UK? Saturday or Sunday night?  

FWIW, we had full bar for 5 hours, Saturday in Canada, great deal from the venue, 60 guests, the bill was well under 600$.  But we had children, pregnant ladies, people driving, non-drinkers, and our bar was extremely cautious about serving people who appeared visibly tipsy.  We can tell you our numbers, but you know your guests!          

Post # 3
Member
7754 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

Our caterer told us it will average out to be about 30/pp for a full top shelf open bar. She said it generally was cheaper than the flat fee per head, people just don’t opt for it bc the element of surprise.

Post # 4
Member
4626 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

SkinnyLatte17:  It’s all going to depend on your guest list. Are your guests younger? Older? Big drinkers? We had around 200 guests w/ a full open bar. We supplied all our own alcohol so it’s hard for me to answer. I guess it really will depend on the price per person vs per drink and how much you think they’ll all drink.

Post # 5
Member
1067 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

SkinnyLatte17:  +1 for what canadajane said.  It really depends on how much you think your guests will drink.  We paid up front for a 4 1/2 hour open bar at $31/person and our venue excluded kids and vendors from our count.  It does seem pricey, but our wedding was in the DC suburbs where the cost of living is high.

About half of our guests were friends and relatives that are in our age group (30’s) and while no one drinks heavily, the ones that did drink had extra cocktails for the occasion.  For my guests as a whole, I think it would’ve been better if we went based on consumption but our venue didn’t offer it.

Post # 6
Member
12780 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

canadajane:  Agreed, OP you know your guests best.

We had 140 guests, most of whom were not drinkers at all.  If we did a full open bar per head for the 4 hr night, it would have been $32/head (over 4k).  We did a consumption based beer and wine for the 4 hours and ended up paying a litlte under $1k I think.

Post # 7
Member
3622 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

SkinnyLatte17:  I planned to do consumption bar and did a nice spreadsheet (number of drinks/cost per drink per person based on each guest and their drinking habits). I was convinced I’d save $2000 that way. Then at the last minute we switched to flat fee pricing and I am so happy we did. Our guests were fish! They drank so much in the first hour that the bar was worried about running out of alcohol (and I got married at a popular bar that was planning to open to the public later that night, so that’s saying a lot). I don’t have exactly numbers, but I know it would have been over $1000 more if we stayed with the consumption bar.

Post # 8
Member
1413 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

100 people, not many kids, many people who like to drink = $3,000 for booze (beer, wine, well hard bar). Not including service costs. In vancouver (BC). 5 hours, Saturday night. Consumption bar. 

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