Post # 1
We just got our quote for a semi-open bar: free beer, wine, and soft drinks for $2295! It is wayyy more than we wanted to spend on alcohol. We cannot afford to do this so we started to go down the list of other options and came up with a few. What do you think bees, as a guest which would you rather have?
Option A: Cash bar with bartender and what not.
Option B: DIY open bar. We would buy a ton of alcohol and people would help themselves, (with the possibility of hiring a local bartender that works with Bridesmaid or Best Man.)
I know they both have their pros and cons and we’ve gotten a few family opinions but I thought I would get yours! Any tips on either would be helpful too.
Post # 3
Have you checked to make sure that a self service bar is allowed at your venue? A lot of places require a certified bar tender.
If it is allowed I like the idea of a self serve. I remember watching a Sandra Lee christmas episode on Food Network where she made different cocktail stations with all the needed mixers and instructions. That always seems super cute and fun.
Post # 4
Open bar hands down! Don’t make your guests pay for things at your wedding. However, will your venue let guests make their own drinks? I can see issues arising with people make too strong of drinks (for themselves and others) or not knowing when to stop. I would definitely try and get a bartender.
Post # 5
I voted for DIY open bar (we’re having one as well), but only if your venue allows it. Luckily, we’ll be in Future In-Laws backyard so there won’t be any issues.
Post # 6
Ditto on checking to see if that is allowed/legal. DIY bars are usually not allowed at venues. It opens the door for minors to serve themselves, and for people to overindulge. It opens the venue up to legal action/liability.
But if it is allowed, do the DIY route. $3000 for an open bar is actually quite reasonable, though.
Post # 7
I would definately recommend hiring someone to bar tend– any sober person would do. Drunk people always overpour (… that is how I wake up misserable in the morning. It is so bad that I can no longer make my own drinks)
Post # 8
As a guest, I wouldn’t mind the DIY bar at all. I would rather have free drinks I had to make myself than pay for them. I might think it was a little odd but not a problem.
Post # 9
@crayfish: I know it is reasonable but it is more than we wanted to spend. We are not big drinkers and that is more than our food will cost. No thanks.
I have thought about the fact that it may not be allowed. I will check with my venue. I am pushing for the bartender, Fiance thinks people will be fine on their own.
Post # 10
I think it really comes down to making your wedding day memorable. Your guest should be happy and focused on you sharing your special day with them…not the alcohol. Are you on a strict budget? If so, place a cap on the alcohol and guest pay themselves once cap is met. I’m sure they would understand since a wedding cost so much already. Your wedding day is about you and your new life with your husband, not catering to your guest about alcohol. I would definitely select cash bar only because we’re not big drinkers ourselves except maybe a glass of wine with dinner a few nights of the week. Good luck & Happy Planning!
Post # 11
Well I guess option B is out of the question! Just got a response from our venue, it needs to be an “insured, permitted, and sanctioned liquor caterer.”
Cash bar it is, I know bad etiquette but I am not spending anywhere near the quote we received. Thanks for voting!
Post # 12
You could do possibly just open bar with Beer and Wine, and then have guests pay a minimal fee for drinks. It doesn’t have to be an open bar with every drink imaginable. Just think of Well drinks, Vodka/sprite, rum/coke, whiskey/coke, etc… So perhaps like 3 well liquors with a bunch of different mixers?
DEFINITELY do NOT allow the guests to make the drinks themselves LOL because the liquor wont last long. As more people drink, the more they pour.
Have you considered this an option?
Post # 13
@Ronneykay: The quote in my OP is the cost for just that.
Post # 14
I voted for B, but then saw your update. I think a cash bar is totally fine.. I’ve been to a few and have drank just as much as I would have if I was at an open bar
We had friends that did a “toonie bar” <—-Canadian, any ways each drink was $2. It was great, cheap, and fun! If the drinks are reasonably priced, I’m sure no one will mind, I know I wouldn’t! 🙂
Post # 15
YEs, defiantly check with your venue. Some dont even allow you to bring in your own alcohol.
We are buying a lot of beer and I am making white and red sangria and we are having our catering staff serve our guests. our venue is fine wiht us bringin in our own alcohol. they dont even require that we have anyone attend to it, but Fiance and I feel more comforatble with someone being there to say who may have had enough all ready, and none of our underage guests get gutsy.