(Closed) Alcohol options somewhere between Open Bar and Cash Bar?

posted 8 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
1194 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I would probably do it where the bar is open until a certain amount is spent & then go cash bar from there.

Another suggestion, I went to a wedding where they had 3 kegs that were open for consumption & the rest of the bar was cash bar.

My only complaint about cash bars is that I attend weddings assuming that it’s an open bar.  That’s just what has been common at weddings I’ve attended.  I bring a credit card for the after party and some cash for tips.  When we went to that wedding (we bought drinks before we realized there was an open keg), we ended up having to bum a $20 off my dad because we didn’t have cash to buy the booze ourselves.  So, unless a cash bar is common in your area or within your circle, spread word to expect it so people can be prepared.

Post # 4
Member
1518 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We are serving wine and beer and having 4 specialty drinks. We chose a martini, cosmo, long island, and mojito. I think this is a great way to give guests options but still not have to cover the costs of an open bar. I would try to avoid having a cash bar. 

You caterer should be able to give you a per person # for the cost of serving wine and beer. Like $21 per person for 4 hours of open bar. 

Post # 5
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Our venue is the same as yours— where the bar is based on consumption, as opposed to price per person for open bar. We are throwing some money towards the bar (we haven’t set an exact amount…) and when it runs out, it becomes a cash bar. I hate the unknown of having a $1500 or a $8000 bill at the end of the night… and knowing my luck (and my friends’ and familys’ drinking habits), I’d end up with the $8000 bill. Not worth it.

Post # 6
Member
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We’re doing an open bar during our cocktail hour (which is in a separate location at our venue than the rest of the reception).  When guests move to the dining room for the rest of the reception we’re switching to complementary beer, wine & soda but there’s still a full bar available in case guests prefer to purchase liquor or mixed drinks.  I’m not sure I would have the bar close after it reached a certain point consumption wise.  This may happen WAY sooner than you’re expecting, so at least leave it a cash bar after that if you decide to go that route. 

Post # 7
Member
3295 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

we are doing beer wine and a signature drink (prolly a margarita) and then the rest will be cash… i have also seen people use drink tickets or vouchers…. you could have so many per person and then cash bar after that. there are lots of options besides a straight out cash bar all night 🙂

Post # 8
Member
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I think drink tickets will work great.  I’m not a big drinker though, so I think providing 2 drinks + champagne per person is plenty.  If people want to get trashed they can do that on their own dime. 

Post # 9
Member
377 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Whaaaaat? I have never heard of “consumption only”, that’s really annoying! Like you said, too much unpredictability with not know what your bill will be.

One option I didn’t see mentioned above was only opening the bar at certain times. Many people close the bar during dinner and after a certain point in the evening. This can also keep guests from overdoing it!

Post # 12
Member
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

Are you Canadian?  Those sound suspiciously like our ridiculous drink prices, and we wren’t able to get a flat rate at our venue either.

We had our servers come around twice offering wine (up to 30 bottles), and provided one drink ticket for an alternate beverage or more wine.  I think it worked out pretty well that the wine drinkers/non drinkers passed off their tickets and most people didn’t have to resort to paying for drinks unless they wanted to get drunk.

Post # 13
Member
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I love the idea of drink tickets. Our venue lets us be as specific as we want, so in your case, I might make drink tickets for a mixed drink. That way you know you’re paying $11.00/person (at $5.50 each), and if people want to upgrade their liquor or get beer or wine they can pay for that separately.

I personally think it’s confusing when the bar suddenly switches to cash from complimentary. If I go up once to get a drink, and its free, I tend to expect it to be free next time I go up, too — unless, of course it’s a difference of coctail hour vs. dancing time.

You could also host 2 signature drinks, and have guests pay for the rest. It seems like hosting liquor will be cheaper for you than beer and wine. I’d say host whatever is reasonable for you, and the important thing is that you’re offering something to your guests for free.

Post # 14
Member
463 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

our venue is only offering us a cash bar option but i spoke to them and they did allow me to purchase all the adults the champagne for the toast so i am happy with that

Post # 15
Member
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I went to a wedding once where they shut the bar down during dinner. Just had wine on the tables. Might be a way to keep the cost down. I am a big drinker and didn’t mind this at all. Just a thought

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