(Closed) Open Bar, Beer and wine or NO alcohol at all

posted 10 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - St. Catherine of Genoa, Jin Asian Cuisine Restaurant

I know exactly how you feel. Our families aren’t big drinkers, but our friends will want to drink – for free. So we are thinking of calling it, an "open bar" but really having a cash bar and footing the bill.

Post # 4
Member
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2007

See if your venue will keep a tab, but set a limit that it’s not to exceed or only offer open bar for cocktail hour and then switch to wine/beer/champagne after that. 

Post # 5
Member
31 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2008

This might not be a concern, but keep in mind that bartenders can control how much alcohol goes into cocktails, but can’t control it in beer and wine. You can tell them to be light on the alcohol.

Post # 6
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

i had this exact dilemma as well.  we started out just like you with just wine and beer, cuz we didn’t want our drunkard friends to get trashed.  but we had so much request for open bar from both family and friends that we decided to give in and open it up.  we’re setting a bar tab, and if it exceeds that limit, we’re switching to cash bar.

Post # 7
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2007 - Ceremony at a cement and stained glass cathedral and reception at a boutique hotel ballroom

I’m thinking about having a wine, beer, plus one or two pre selected cocktails that fall in the same price range as a beer or wine. i also really like moemarsita’s idea of switching to beer/wine only after cocktail hour. that might even work better!

Post # 8
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2007

We provided our own alcohol, so to keep things simple and costs down, we offered beer/wine/softdrinks/water and a selection of 5 different martinis. That way we didn’t have to buy all the different types of hard liquors just so one person could have a rum & Coke, etc. It’s funny ’cause my own personal preference would’ve been to just have the martini bar and no wine/beer ’cause *I* don’t drink either. But we knew that wouldn’t work.  I did make a spreadsheet (this is so nerdy) and plugged in my best estimate on what/how much each guest would drink and used that to base our purchases on.

Maybe you could have a single, easy to control item like sangria or an alcoholic punch? 

Post # 9
Member
311 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

We’re going through the same debate.  For us, it’s only $3/person more to go from beer/wine only to basic open bar, so we’ll probably upgrade.  We’ve asked around a bit and most people said they’ll be happy with beer/wine.  I think if you have room in your budget, upgrade, but if not, don’t worry about it.

Post # 10
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I think in your situation a signature drink would be perfect.  Just have the bar stock beer & wine only plus just the ingredients for one signature cocktail drink that you like.  Have the servers pass the signature drinks around on trays at the cocktail hour and everyone who prefers cocktails will be happy but you won’t have to have a full open bar.

Post # 11
Member
7 posts
Newbee

My fiance and i picked the No Alcohol at all option… partially because that’s part of our officiating pastor’s belief and we don’t disagree with his viewpoint : ) Then again, a lot of people seem to be quite offended as well, due to our choice against traditional american banquet… it’s hard to please everyone, if not impossible!

Post # 12
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

My family = not big drinkers. My finace’s family = drinkers. Half of our friends are, half are not. Beer and wine? Beer, wine, and a signature drink? Nothing at all? Its a decision that is bound to drive me up the wall… unless someone else will foot the bill of course

Post # 13
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 1969

We only had two options – beer and wine, or no alcohol. Having beer and wine was an additional $300 fee, on top of providing all the beer and wine, and hiring security guards. FH drinks beer but neither of us like wine much (my drink of choice is a cherry vodka sour) and as selfish as it seems, it’s our wedding.

Sure we could go cheap with boxed wine and a keg, but to me that doesn’t equate to a nice evening wedding. We are going to have a champagne toast, and pretty much let people who HAVE to have alcohol finish up the bottles (we might overbuy a little bit since we aren’t being charged for the toast.) We went through our guest list and though we knew several would drink if available, found only a few who would be put off by not being able to. The cost just wasn’t justified.

Another consideration we made was that we are leaving the reception at 10pm. Anyone who can’t possibly make it through a Saturday night without drinking is more than welcome to explore the DFW nightlife, on their own time (and their own tab!)

Post # 14
Member
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2007

Neither my fiance or I drink, and we really weren’t interested in paying a ton of money for other people to get drunk.

We were going to just get some wine for a toast, and when that was gone, then it was done.  However, we found that to have alcohol at our venue, we’d have to get a liquor license as well as get insurance.  We didn’t want to deal with that.  So I guess we’ll get a bunch of bottles of sparking grape juice or something.  
 

Post # 15
Member
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

For ours we’re doing free wine (my family owns a small winery) for during dinnertime and an hour or so after and then we are going to have tokens good for one drink, after that everyone has to pay for their own drinks.  We decided on this because I know many of our friends will want a little something to drink
, but we’re hoping having to pay after one drink will deter from getting too drunk.  Also, one think I insisted on was no keg.  I’m just not thrilled about a keg sitting out by the wall. 

Good luck and Congrats! 

Post # 16
Member
19 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: December 1969

We considered only beer and wine and signature drinks.  Only we would have a couple in the tradition of Something borrowed, something blue…

 For example: Something borrowed: Use a drink with another state or countries name in it. This can be creative since most people don’t know the proper names for drinks. Rum and coke is known as the Cuba Libre. 

Something Blue: Blue hawaii, zombie, etc

Something Old: Find a drink that is not in fashion anymore. My favorite is the "perfect kiss." It is also very fitting for a wedding.

 Something New: Have the bartender make up some drinks for you. Taste them and use it as your SN.

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