(Closed) Hosted bar to cash bar

posted 7 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

if you are putting the note on your website, you should just say what will happen… “we want everyone to have the option to enjoy any beverage they like all night, so we will be providing an open bar until 9pm and then switching to a cash bar to accomodate those who wish to partake later in the evening”

no need to be sly about it on the website

Post # 4
Member
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Cocktail Reception, Dinner and Cash Bar to follow…..

That’s one option.

If you weren’t doing the cocktail hour a lot of people just give two drink tickets to guests (more to the wedding party), and after that they pay their own.

Post # 6
Member
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@lpappas:  I understand what you’re saying.  There isn’t a cut and dry time line.  I know at the wedding we were at that people who weren’t drinking just gave others their tickets.

Can I ask you what your budget is and how many people you are expecting?

Post # 8
Member
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@lpappas:  Okay, I’ll give you my details….

I live in Canada, alcohol is WAY more expensive.

We decided on an open bar and it was New Year’s Eve.  Because we chose an open bar we could buy our alcohol from the liquor store (very controlled), and could serve it at our cost as opposed to $3.50/drink which what was what the venue would charge.

We purchased $2,700 worth of alcohol:  Beer, Hard Liqor, Wine, and our Sparkling Wine for our midnight toast.  I had to pay $2.50/person for various bar costs like pop. ice, straws, etc.  I was able to return almost $1,000 worth of alcohol to the store. 

So our open bar on New Year’s Eve for a 6 hour reception (145 people) cost us just over $1,700.  Way less than what we were expecting.

Post # 10
Member
4887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

What about just having a signature drink/cocktail as your complimentary option and everything else is cash?  I think as long as you offer some kind of alcoholic beverage to your guests (if there’s booze at your reception), then that should be good enough.  You dont have to go overboard with the offerings, as long as there’s something.

Post # 12
Member
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

You could use the phrase “limited open bar” or even just gently put a little note that says, “open bar until maxium reached, then cash bar.”

I think it’s best to be direct. Since you don’t know the time limit just letting folks know that there is a possibility they may need to get their own drinks (so they can bring mooney). Also, it’s nothing to feel bad about if you can’t host it all night. I think most people will understand.

Post # 13
Member
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

The problem about telling people that drinks are free until a max is reached is that it makes people feel like they have to drink AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE before the free booze runs out.  So people will be sloppy half way through the night, and the max will be reached much sooner than if people were drinking at a normal pace…

Post # 14
Member
1267 posts
Bumble bee

OP, I think ‘cocktail hour followed by dinner and cash bar’ is a good wording.  I really think it’s great for you to want to let your guests know to bring cash.  I only ever bring enough for coat check and valet, so I’d be sooooo happy to know to bring more if I’d like some drinks. 🙂

Post # 15
Member
1553 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think in your situation it almost might work better to let the guests think it is a cash bar.  If you let on that it’s an open bar until a limit is reached, I think Moose1209 is right about what will  happen.

If guests expect a cash bar, they will know to bring money if they want to drink.  And when they order a drink and the bartender tells them “this one is compliments of the bride and groom” it will be a nice surprise for them.

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