No bar for hors d'ouerves? Trying to cut costs

posted 2 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Two bars or one?
    Two bars open all night : (5 votes)
    17 %
    Two bars. One for cocktail hour, then close it for dinner and reopen for speeches and dancing : (10 votes)
    34 %
    One bar just during dinner : (4 votes)
    14 %
    One bar in one room for the whole night : (10 votes)
    34 %
  • Post # 2
    55 posts
    Worker bee

    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
    214 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2015

    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
    5812 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

    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 # 6
    46 posts
    • Wedding: April 2015

    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
    721 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I would definitely do just one continuous bar. Two bars seems confusing and excessive.

    Post # 9
    2065 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    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
    337 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    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
    3735 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    Have open bar all night if a cash bar option isn’t available.

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