Post # 1
How many hours of open bar are you guys going to have? We’re thinking of doing 4 out of 5 hours of open bar and having consumption bar in the last hour up to 500 dollars.
In other weddings you’ve been to, would you say people didn’t drink as much in the last hour?
Post # 3
I think that would depend on some factors. But for most of the weddings I’ve been to (evening reception ending around midnight) I would say it’s fair to say there is less consumption, the last hour. Mostly because, some guests have probably already trickled out, or are winding down.
Post # 4
I’ve been to plently of weddings where they shut the bar down during dinner…that could help you only pay for 4 hours and not have to mess with the cash bar for the last hour.
Post # 5
Ours will likely be open at least for cocktail hour, and once we have a more solid idea of gst count, we might expand it to the whole thing (4 hours) snce we got a pretty reasonable price from our caterer.
Post # 6
We’re having unlimited, top-shelf, etc. open bar for the entire 5 hours. This is included with our package though. I don’t know if people necessarily drink less in the last hour (I’ve never thought about it) but you might have people “stocking up” on drinks at the end of the fourth hour.
Maybe close the bar during dinner instead…? And have the open bar for the rest of the time?
Post # 7
I was just talking to a wedding coordinator about this and she said that they usually account for two drinks in the first hour and 1 drink per hour after that. But yes, I think between people leaving, knowing they need to drive soon, the night wrapping up, etc, the last hour probably doesn’t see much action.
Post # 8
KaterTot: We had the same idea! Closing it during dinner would be easier to explain/deal with than the “last hour” thing.
Post # 9
We had an open bar from 7:00-11:00 and our reception ended at 11:00. We start running out, as planned, at 10pm and wrapping it up at 1030. I didn’t want people polishing off one for the road or anything and people were trickling out, saying goodbye, etc. Honestly, people got their fill from 7-10 quite easily. =] We were left with only 12 bottles of wine when all was said and done!
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2009 - Harbison Chapel & The Maple Lane Farm
Sounds like you have a good plan to me. From my experience the drinking tappers off for most guests by the end… besides those who want to get wild! Closing the bar for the dinner hour could be a good idea too. Either way I think you’ll be fine with four hours and $500.
Post # 11
Closing the bar during dinner and just having servers serve wine along with nonalcoholic beverages makes more sense to me than your plan. You can open the bar back up during the dancing time, and you will have saved a lot of money without most people noticing – not to mention keeping the lushes from having too much. While some people don’t drink as much during the last hour, there are other ways to save money that I think will be less of a hassle for you, and probably make more of a difference in the budget than open vs. consumption for just one hour.
Post # 12
Oh i will say we had people getting up to get drinks from the bar before dinner (dinner was at 730 and the venue opened at 7) and during dinner, while Dh and I were walking around. It really wasn’t a big deal to us–if somebody wanted a drink, usually somebody grabbed whatever for the table, too =]. DH’s family likes their beer at dinner and “dinner” ended up lasting longer than we intended while we did our chatting.
Post # 13
All of these plans sound great! We are having an open bar during our cocktail hour, and then just beer and wine for the remainder of the night (if guests want a cocktail they can, they just have to pay cash for anything other than beer or wine)
This was the best of both worlds for us!
Post # 14
We had our bar open the whole time so it was just about 5 hours. People definitely drank alot and some people drank more so at the end, because they knew the bar would be closing and wanted to get those last drinks in. However, you never have anyone stay til the very end so if you are doing it based on a per person price I would not do that for the last hour (do it on consumption) since you might only have half the people left.
Post # 15
I’ve been to several weddings where they close during dinner. Since you usually have wine with dinner and there’s a champagne toast, it has never bothered me. Just make sure your DJ or coordinator or someone makes an announcement that the bar will reopen after dinner concludes. That way no one is confused/thinks the bar was just for before dinner.
Also, our venue requires that we leave at 11:30 (we have the venue until midnight) and that the bar close when we leave and the music wind down as well. That way people can take their time gathering their belongings, chatting, etc. But after we leave there’s no more drinking and since the main entertainment (US!) will be gone people will trickle out on time.
Post # 16
We’re still up in the air, but it’s hard because you really don’t want people polishing off a last one for the road, or chugging early because they are afraid of being cut off from the open bar.