- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2016
I’m in the midst of getting bar catering quotes for my wedding in September. The first place I contacted gave me a quote of $6000 (including all fees, service, gratuity, glassware and taxes) for five hours of “open” bar. However this bar only includes 2 kegs, 4 cases of wine and I’m not sure about liquor amounts. This seems low to me especially since my fiance is from the UK so his friends and family tend to be heavier drinkers. We will be having 100-125 guests. The second caterer I spoke said having guests from the UK is an important point to consider because in his experience the British “tend to be very thirsty after their journey across the pond”.
I received another quote for six hours of service with the same amount of beer and wine and 1 cocktail per guest for $4100 (this includes all the same fees except glassware). After that we will be charged $6 per mixed drink or $2.50 per soft drink. We have the option to provide bottled beer too but that is not included in the fee and billed at $3-5 per bottle. I did the math and at $6 per drink this comes out to 316 cocktails before we reach $6000.
I guess my dilemma is this – are we better off hoping guests drink the beer and wine and pay per cocktail, or is it better to pay the flat fee for the full bar (which is also one hour shorter – this might leave a gap of about 15-30 mins without beverage service after the ceremony, depending on how long it lasts). My fear is that once the dancing starts the guests will turn switch to liquor (not realizing we are paying for that by consumption) and all the wine and beer we prepaid for will be left over.
With the pay by consumption bar we also have the option to increase the amount of beer/wine/paid for cocktails offered and then have guests pay for the rest. So maybe we could throw in an extra keg and provide enough cocktails for 2 per guest, and then let guests pay for any extra hard liquor they want. Now this is my absolute last resort, and the only reason I am considering it is because half of our guests are from the UK where cash bars are the norm, and they are the heavy drinkers. I’ve also heard that because open bars are so rare over there, they will definitely take advantage of them when they are offered. One of my cousins also had a very upscale wedding last year in the US and it was 100% cash bar and no one complained. So I suppose that is something else to consider.
Which option would you go for? How much beer and wine vs liquor are guests more likely to drink? I received a few other quotes where it’s around $40 per person for 5 hours, not inclusive of any other fees, so I think that would end up being even more expensive unless our guest list shrinks.