Post # 1
So our wedding is an afternoon high tea at the Four Seasons, a bit swanky, a bit whimsical, family friendly and definitely not dry (please do not make me face my family without a drink lol)
So we have 3 options
We can do an open bar for 2 hours (the entire length of the reception) and a champagne toast – cost slightly over $3000
We can do a champagne toast and a hosted bar (we buy whatever people drink) which may turn out in our favor financially but possibly not
however both of those options could lead to friends/family managing to get ugly drunk before 4pm and also people carrying beer bottles around at the reception – which is fine in our backyard but not the feel we were going for and also setting up a bar area in our tight reception area
So our thought is for the 50 guests that are over 21 providing 140 glasses of champagne and 100 mixed cocktails – this would cost about $2200 and fit our theme better – we were thinking 3 or 4 different cocktail varieties.
So what do you think about doing that, the amount we are serving – and if any of you did something like this words of wisdom and advice?
Post # 3
Shameless bump as I would love to know what your experiences were with cocktails or hosted bar vs open 🙂 Also what cocktails did you serve – which were hits and which were not?
Post # 4
if your guests don’t drink a ton, i would go with the hosted bar.
for the cocktail bar, you would plan on 2 glasses of champagne plus 2 cocktails for each guest? i would probably cut it down to 1 glass of champagne each and 3 cocktails. what about people who don’t like liquor?
Post # 5
I think I am a little confused. If you did the cocktail option, does that mean your guests will be “cut off” after 100 mixed drinks are served?
Post # 6
Why 140 glasses of champagne for 50 guests? It seems like a lot.
Post # 7
You are fine doing the mixed cockatils/champagne. Based on your estimate, for 50 ppl w/ a total of 240 cocktails, that is a 4.8 per person – which means at least one drink every half hour, which is MORE then enough!!
As a person who loves to kick back the cocktails at receptions, having a drink every half hour is the norm, I don’t think I really know anyone who would drink more then that 🙂
I would suggest as others, instead of 140 champ & 100 cocktails, do 1 glass of champ per person and the rest as your select cocktails.
Personally, I think the idea of having preset signature cocktails is a great idea!
Post # 8
And you can do theme cocktails to match your event!
Post # 9
I think too many people don’t drink hard alcohol or champagne, but maybe not in your crowd to force cocktails. Not to mention I think cocktails only is a easier way to drink too much vs allowing those whoe prefer beer to drink that.
Have you asked the venue if it is bottles or tap beer? If its tap in a pint glass that is no different than a cocktail.
I think as an afternoon reception people wont be as incline to drink too much anyway.
Post # 10
Since it’s an afternoon reception, the hosted bar option may work out in your favor financially. You know your guests best, but personally, I will rarely drink a cocktail. Especially in the afternoon, I would prefer something lighter and would rather have beer or wine if anything. And, again, you know the crowd, but it’s my experience that most won’t drink more champagne than a toast – of course, your reception sounds swanky, so maybe that’s a different crowd.
Post # 11
The food is an afternoon tea – so champagne is commonly served over wine and then after 3p cocktail hour is ok. Since it is a private function we are providing enough champagne for all guests (even minors if there parents agree) to have a glass of champagne (sparkling cider will be provided for guests that do not drink)
For the details we have 70 guests 51 of which are over 21 but only 34 people that would drink anything more than a toast. The only issue is of that 34 there are a small number of people that can really pack in some liquor. Now my Fiance says we should expect them to behave BUT that is not always a safe assumption. I do want to be a gracious hostess and provide a wide variety of drinks for my guests but on the other hand am not sure why we are expected to cater to their every beverage whim. I mean if they came to my house I would offer what I have and if they did not like anything I had I would feel bad but I am offering champagne which I figure the wine and beer only people can drink, a variety of cocktails, 3 kinds of lemonade, cold and hot tea.
I could do just the one champagne and then do wine with the cocktails BUT my concern there is that I am leaving the beer people out and we really do not want beer bottles being carried at the reception and people tend to drink more beer than sip wine or a cocktail – sigh
I am probably over analyzing this – it is ok – I tend to do that and in the end it usually works out perfectly lovely.
I actually think I am serving a bit much and am not likely to run out – that is a lot of booze for daytime – but I do want everyone to enjoy themselves – just not party like you would for an evening wedding – actually I never like drunken bashes – even when I was in my 20’s – I prefer civilized drunkeness lol
Post # 12
@Sking: We are older and our friends and family are older so not necessarily a swankier crowd but one that is used to cocktails. I have noticed as I get older that people in their late 30’s on up tend to drink more hard stuff and I think it fits the theme better but on the other hand I am honored that my guests are coming and do want them to be comfortable.
I actually might come out cheapest with the hosted bar, but not as worried about the cost surprisingly as keeping the feel of the wedding