Post # 1
So my fiance is adamant that we cut costs somehow and I’m thinking of cutting off our open bar during what would’ve been the cocktail hour. Our reception and cocktail hour are on the same property, but in two different locations, so we would have to pay a $250 fee for two bars on top of the extra bar time needed for them both. Honestly, I think it would be better for us to just have a continuous bar from 7:30pm to 11:30pm than have it open in two rooms for an hour, then closed for an hour, and finally reopened. What do you bees think?
Post # 2
Maybe you can talk to your venue about doing a specialty cocktail without the extra bar fee so guests can still drink during the cocktail hour without making a trip to the bar in the ballroom. They could put the cocktails out as a stationary display or butler them with the hors ‘deurves. I would try to negotiate with the venue. If you explain your concern, they may have another suggestion or even waive the extra bar fee altogether.
Post # 3
I’m not a drinker but out of all the weddings I have been to people seem to really love cocktail hour. Not many people get up and stand in line for drinks durring dinner. So if it’s an option I would have cocktail hour then open bar again after dinner.
I have also been to weddings that only hosted cocktail hour and had a cash bar for the rest of the night.
Post # 4
Tarheelgurl: My cousin did it this way and I think it worked best–open bar during cocktail party, then cash bar during dinner (I think she had servers going around with bottles of wine), then open bar during dancing, cake, etc
Post # 5
We don’t have a cash bar option, so it’s either open bar all night or nothing at all. I also talked to my venue and they are pretty firm about their policies. Extra bar means an extra $250 fee if it’s in a separate room. I could ask them about having servers, but something tells me that’s gonna cost extra too with them.
I was thinking of having just afternoon tea instead of a cocktail hour, but am still unsure on the whole idea. And I’d have to see if my fiance would be on board with it.
Post # 6
could you have some kind ofpunch or something during cocktail hour instead? I like the idea of just pre-mixed drinks and not needing a bartender.
Post # 7
I would definitely do just one continuous bar. Two bars seems confusing and excessive.
Post # 8
Alright, so my fiance and I discussed things and he wants one bar in the cocktail room all night. Only problem is the cocktail area is in the room below where the reception is. So people would have to walk up and down stairs to get a drink all night and I’m afraid some would just hang out in the downstairs area instead of where the reception will be. Or if we keep the bar in the reception room, people will get to go in there while our caterer and baker is setting things up. So now I feel like I’m back to square one.
Post # 9
You can’t really have cocktail hour without cocktails… that is just snack time. I would close it during dinner. That is very typical at weddings. They usually have a last call and people who want drinks with their dinner get them then. At my wedding they had 2 bars for cocktail hour (since everyone wants a drink right away), closed them during dinner, and opened just the main bar afterwards. We also had wine poured at dinner. There was definitely no shortage of drinks. If yours in on two different floors I would just have the one open downstairs, close it and open the upstairs bar after dinner.
People will DEFINITELY hang by the bar- especially the men. Definitely wouldn’t have it on a separate floor. That is why I had my dance floor setup at the front of a really skinny long room instead of more typically in the center- so the guys at the bar would see the dance floor and be more tempted to join in. It worked! It deifnitely can put a damper on weddings if you give people more of an opportunity to divide up
Post # 10
Tarheelgurl: I just want to make sure I understand that your venue won’t allow you to have a bar in the cocktail room, close it during dinner, then open another in the reception hall after dinner? I’m just wondering because that sounds like the best option and is similar to what we did.
Our cocktail room was down the hall from the reception hall but our bar was included there at no extra cost. Our package only included 4 hours of bar service, but from the beginning of cocktail hour until the end of the reception was 6 hours. We decided to pay for 1 extra hour of service, and shut the bar down during dinner/the switch. Essentially, the bar was open from the beginning of cocktail hour (5 pm) to the end (6:30 pm) and then closed from 6:30-7:30. Dinner started at 7, so it was closed while people were walking over, finding their seats, chatting, probably finishing a drink they had from the cocktail hour and watching our announcements. It worked out pretty well, and if your venue would be willing to do something like that I think it would work best for your situation.
Post # 11
Have open bar all night if a cash bar option isn’t available.
Post # 12
SoccerBee86: No they will let us close it down for an hour for dinner. I think I just might bite the bullet and have two different bars since all of this is starting to give me a headache.