Post # 1
Posted this thread on another wedding site awhile ago but, was left dumbfounded. Fiance and I are hosting an open bar. We are having a small, intimate luxurious affair. Ceremony begins at 4:00 and ends at 4:30. Cocktail hour will be hosted from 4:30-5:30. Then we will be having a sit down dinner until 7pm. I was wondering what is an apprioriate amount of time to have the bar open until? Some other ladies said I was cheap only doing an open bar from 7-9. Not sure if you let people keep drinking up to the very end of the party? Or you have last call? Just not sure how to go about this and would apperciate any insight, thanks gals!
Post # 3
My schedule was pretty close to yours. I had the bar open from cocktail hour onward. If drinking/driving is a big concern, you might want to shut down or switch to non-alcoholic an hour before dancing ends. Many people close their bar for dinner although I don’t know why. If you are going to do that, I would recommend having it announced so people can get a cocktail before they go into dinner.
Post # 4
Having a last call is a good idea. Either a half-hour or an hour before it ends.
Post # 5
I would leave it open during thw whole reception.
Post # 6
If it was open from 4:30 – 9pm that would be better. 7-9pm is a bit short in my opinion.
Post # 7
i think you should leave it open for the entire reception, cocktail hour included, and if you are worried about money, then just offer beer, wine and a signature drink, or completly open for cocktail hour, then limited to certain drinks…
Post # 8
I’ve never been to a wedding that closed the bar early. I’ve only ever seen them open from cocktail hour until the end, but I suppose you can do whatever is suggested by the venue.
Post # 9
I would keep it open all night. Ours will be open from the start of our cocktail hour through the end of our reception (5 hours).
Post # 10
first of all, i dont think you are “cheap”. that was pretty harsh of others to say on the other site. i am sure you are considering this because everything is costing so much and its getting out of hand. i think closing it an hour early is fine. how late is your reception going to after?
actually, at my sisters first wedding, she had an open bar for like 2 hours, then it was cash bar. i think that is fine too. would be better with beer and wine available though.
Post # 11
If you’re going to do it then you should have it the entire reception – cocktail hour on. And like others said, if you are going to close it down then make an announcement so they know – went to a reception once and they didn’t let anyone know so we had nothing to drink during dinner.
Post # 12
Awesome input. We will be having a cocktail hour which will be a certain selection mixed drinks and the same type of alchol will be served from dinner if they order a drink. The open bar will begin directly after dinner at 7pm and either at 9pm with a last call as the party ends at 10pm. Or I may just have alchol up to the end?
Post # 13
i think it’s fine to close the bar during dinner if you will be serving wine with dinner. however, since your bar is closed during dinner, i would leave it open till the end.
Post # 14
I think the way you have it is fine, but it might be a little confusing to guests – with so many changes, they might not realize when they have the option for full bar (and therefore might not take advantage of it – thus wasting your money!)
I’ve heard a lot of brides here on WB talk about closing the open bar during dinner to save on costs; open during the cocktail hour, then an announcement so people can get their cocktail for dinner (if they want), then beer/wine served tableside during dinner, then open bar again after dinner. I can see this working because I can’t imagine people are going to be running back and forth to the bar during dinner, and it would save the wait staff a lot of trips.
I’m sorry the girls on another site were rude to you about this. Alcohol is a pretty touchy issue in the wedding world. I think it’s important to keep your guests in mind – you know what their culture is, you probably have a rough idea of their drinking habits, and you know better than anyone else on the internet whether they’ll expect an open bar the whole time! Don’t worry what random message board brides think of you – worry about your guests, haha. (hope that makes sense.)
Post # 15
I think that it’s your choice, essentially. I’ve heard of people doing everything from no alcohol at all to open bar all night. I know it can be tricky to have hosted bar for only part of the evening, but I wouldn’t not do it for that reason. One of the things you could possibly do if you’re having menus is put the info on there.
Post # 16
Oooh, we are having menus, thats great advice! THX!