(Closed) bar costs?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 4
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

When we asked about an open bar, the bartender said to take the adults and assume they will have 3 drinks a piece at normal bar prices (so $5 for my area, or 15 per person). That came out to about $2250 for our 150 people, but depending on how much an average drink costs in your area that could go up or down.

I don’t think everyone will have 3 drinks per person, but I know some people will have 6-7 and some people will have 0-1, so I think that is a pretty fair estimate.

Post # 5
204 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I suggest you get estimates from either your caterer or the store you will be buying your alcohol from. They have tons of experience estimating these numbers and it was something we found incredibly useful. Once you get those numbers, go to your local liquor store and start crunching the numbers. The quality of alcohol you choose will also drastically affect your cost and keep in mind that your city will have different prices then other bee’s cities, so you really need to check out the prices in your town.

Post # 6
2090 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

For bringing your own alcohol in: our caterer said to estimate 1 drink / per person / per hour. I would also assume 4-5 glasses of wine per bottle, rather than 6 (especially if guests would be pouring their own drinks). If you bring your own alcohol, make sure to check out liability insurance, and whether the venue’s liquor liability insurance would still cover you, or if that is something you would have to purchase separately.

Our bar costs:

We can buy wine by the bottle, and looking at the price list, generally a bottle that retails for $9-$11 in the grocery store, retails for about $26-$27 at the venue (sigh).

Cocktails are $5 each pour for “house” (Gordon’s gin/vodka), $6.25 for each pour of “call” (Three Olives vodka, Bombay), and $7.00 per pour of “premium” (Maker’s Mark, Kettle One, etc.). The prices for martinis, cosmos, etc. are higher.

$3.50 a bottle for domestics like Bud, Miller Light, etc.
$4.50 a bottle for imports or microbrews like Sam Adams, Bass, etc.

These prices don’t include local/state taxes, and 18% service fee.

Hope this helps.

Post # 7
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We are having an open bar because the wedding is on our farm- but we are expecting about 250-300 guests with the bulk of them being drinkers. We went to Sam’s club and spent about $500 on whisky, rum, spiced rum, vodka and then some stuff for girly drinks (peach schnapps). Oh and a little scotch.

I cannot tell you how much we bought of each because I can’t remember but thats ballpark what we spent on liquor. We do plan on getting 5 or so kegs, if we run out of liquor, I won’t be upset but I do NOT want to run out of beer.

We haven’t purchased our mixers yet (pop) and we will do some champagne/wine (very little cuz most of our crowd will not be interested).

I am expecting to spend about 1100 bucks on alcohol (after kegs)…I think we are getting off waaaaay cheap (a very good friend of ours owns a bar and we will get kegs at cost).

In my opinion, if the venue you can bring alcohol into is twice the cost of the other you won’t save a lot if any by choosing the more expensive venue and bringing in your own alcohol. Plus the headache of it all.

That does depend on the cost of the venue, and if you plan on stocking top shelf.

Hope this made sense/helped. Good luck!

Post # 8
5762 posts
Bee Keeper

Our open bar ended up costing $1200. for 85 people, which was a lot more than I was expecting. We bought $1500. worth and got $320. back for unopened bottles. I think its really hard to estimate.

Post # 9
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

This depends on whether the caterer providing the bar charges you on a per DRINK or per PERSON basis. Our caterer charges us per PERSON, and it is $21 per person plus the 18% service charge plus 8% tax for our open bar for 4 hours with beer, weine, and all hard alcohol  with mixers, soda, etc. You won’t be able to tell what your venue will cost until you know how they charge.

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