Post # 1
Hi all, we finally decided we are doing an open bar. We are having open bar for 4 hours on a saturday night for around 40 people. Im not much of a drinker so Im not sure what to expect my guests to drink. I have a few non drinkers. About 6-8. and a few heavy drinkers, about 10. and most are average drinkers. but how many drinks is average? the prices for drinks are $7 for cocktails, $3.50 per beer, and $20 per bottle of wine. anybody else do a consumption bar? Were you pleasantly surprised at your bill or did it give you a heart attack? hoping to keep it around $1000 but Im unsure if this is unrealistic.
Post # 2
I think we spent close to 15k on bar tab alone. We had a hundred more people than you though. Just do not forget to include gratuity if that’s included in your estimate. Ours was 18%. I think I heard that you should assume two drinks per hour per person? I could be wrong…
Post # 3
Yes, two drinks per hour is reasonable. I’ve seen some helpful guides on Pinterest for this but since we didn’t have one, I can’t speak from experience. If I were you, I would estimate on the high end, every guest drinking 3 highest prices drinks per hour. If my quick math was right, that puts you at 1120 before gratuity and any other fees. With you saying some guests don’t drink at all, some won’t have that many of course, I think your estimate of $1000 is pretty darn close. Good luck!!!
Post # 4
15k?! That’s more than my entire wedding costs. Did you pay per drink or pp? If per drink were your prices comparable to mine?
Im just hoping drinks alone around $1000. I’m counting bar set up and gratuity separate.
Post # 5
We luckily were able to do it PP! Also we did top shelf alcohol which increased the cost. I would guess you will be okay around $1000. Definitely have room in case though.
Post # 6
I’m curious about others’ experiences too. I’m in the same boat as you! We are predicting we will have 35-40 guests after rsvps are all said and done. Half are beer drinkers, probably less than 1/4 guests are heavy drinkers and the rest aren’t drinkers. We’re hoping a consumption tab will be more cost effective than paying for guests who won’t be drinking at all.
Post # 7
Our wedding planner said its normal to see about 1 drink per person per hour (this aassumes some people wont be drinking at all). We ended up averaging closer to 1.5 drinks per person per hour. We didn’t have many non- drinkers and had many heavy drinkers.
Post # 8
I haven’t had my wedding yet but I used to be a bartender so maybe I can help. Here are my estimates for 4 hours:
Folks who aren’t heavy drinkers (like a couple times a year drinkers): 2 Drinks average
Folks who aren’t heavy drinkers but enjoy from time to time: 4 Drinks average
Folks who are moderate drinkers: 6 Drinks average
Folks who are social drinkers (drink on most weekends): 8 Drinks average
Heavy drinkers: 13 drinks average
Post # 9
Wow, I never heard that drink per hour estimate before. Too late for me! I think the advice I was given was avg 3 drinks per person .. This takes into acct those who wont be drinking at all.
We had 67 people and all of our alcohol was 10.00 plus 15% tax and 18% gratuity.. ouch!
That works out to about 13.60 per drink!
If I followed that estimate our tab should’ve been around 2733.00 and I guess we got lucky because we ended out right around 2000.00.
Keep in mind that for us our soft drinks were a whopping 4.50 each plus tax and gratuity as well!
Post # 10
and the rest. You’ve worked that out at one $7 cocktail per hour. Three $7 cocktails per hour for 4 hours for 40 guests is $3,360.
Post # 11
If you want to keep it around 1k, with those prices, you might want to consider making it beer and wine only.
$20 per bottle is hard to say.. if it’s a 5oz pour it’s 5 pours per bottle ($4 per glass). If it’s a 6oz pour, it’s obviously more expensive.
So, if it’s a 5 oz pour (so each glass of wine is $4), and beer is $3.50 a pop, and you assume your drinkers are evenly split between beer and wine, your cost for 2 drinks per hour for four hours is precisely $1200. That said, my friends have all reported to me that they used that calculation and ended up with a LOT of leftover alcohol, so you will probably be pleasantly surprised. I know I would never drink 8 drinks in 4 hours!! I’ll have 2-3 drinks total, maybe.
Obviously if everyone drinks wine, you’ll have to pay a bit more (1280) and if everyone drinks beer, a bit less (1120).
If you do go with cocktails, as well as beer and wine, your bill depends on how you think people will drink. If we go with 30% cocktails, 40% wine, 40% beer then your total will be $1632. Again, this is assuming 8 drinks total per person (which, again, that sounds like a LOT).
Post # 12
- Wedding: October 2015 - Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
The guide I was given was to anticipate 2-3 drinks per person for a 1 hour cocktail hour, and then 1 drink per person for each hour that the bar is open after that. For us it worked out to be about 6 drinks per person and about $4500 + tax for our 100 person event.
Post # 13
avg 1 drink per hour per person. for your heavy drinkers est 2 driinks per hour per person. ex 10x2x4= 80 and they all drink cocktails at $7 per that would equal $560. For your avg drinkers 24x 1×4= 96 x 7 = 700 rounding up. So $1500 would probably do it. That’s kinda on the high side, but I’d rather estimate high than low. The 1 drink per hour is an industry guideline.
Post # 14
I agree with pp suggesting 2 drinks/hour/person. People at weddings tend to abandon drinks and replace them and wait staff are often quick to bus–I can’t tell you how many times at a wedding I’ve turned my back to talk to someone then reached for my glass only to find it gone.
You may be able to help keep your costs down to some extent by closing the bar during dinner and having botles of wine on the tables.
Post # 15
Everyone has had very helpful responses. We will have extra money in our wedding acct after everything is all said and done so if it does go over that I won’t be too heartbroken. We will have the funds to cover it. Was just hoping to move that money into our savings acct. 🙂 but based on everyone’s responses it seems like $1500 looks like a more realistic number.