(Closed) How big was your bar tab?

posted 12 years ago in Food
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  • Post # 17
    1573 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    mine was 246/head all you can drink wine and beer including food, drinks are unlimited but I deleted cocktails 

    Post # 18
    2206 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    The place I am most interested in starts at $20 per person, and then they will let you know when you are getting too close to costing more than that.  I am not expecting children, and I hang with some heavy drinkers, so I am prepping for more.  Though, now, I am thinking this might not be as steep as I had originally thought. I will definitely try to negotiate a flat fee, maybe by limiting the expensive alcohol, or only serving wine and beer during dinner.

    Post # 19
    409 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    What we are doing is putting $1500 down on the tab for alcohol and once it runs out then my guest have to pay for there own.  We are having about 115 guest and since we (the Fiance and I) don’t drink we think this is fair.  I come from a huge Mexican family and they love to party and since we are paying for the wedding ourselves I’m sure they will understand and won’t mind.




    Post # 20
    541 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    We are paying per drink with a cap of $1,000 – open beer & wine only (four hours). We are also placing 2 bottles of wine on each table. However, our venue is about a 45+ minute drive for most of our guests & it’s on a Sunday evening. We’re guessing people won’t drink too much.

    Post # 21
    163 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    Ours is more than that… about $45 flat fee per person including wine/beer/liquor/mixes/etc. this rate includes our grats, etc We’re considering ourselves pretty lucky. Since the future hubs is a beer rep, there will be a high % of heavy drinkers. Figured if we could budget it as a fixed cost, I don’t need to stress over overages, etc. At $8/drink + taxes + 20% grats, we were looking at a really expensive evening…

    Scary story: a friend of ours was married last sept and was told to budget an average of 4 drinks per person. The reality? After the fact they received a bar bill for $8500 over the budgeted amount for the extra drinks…

    Scary, huh?  

    Post # 22
    203 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    My crowd is a heavy partying crowd. We never considered not having an open bar. Philadelphia has a steep liquor tax of 10 percent on top of the sales tax and gratuity at my venue. With a top shelf open bar (I’m talking Ketel one and Johnny Walker) that never closes for six hours, wine with dinner, champagne, including tax, tip gratuity it comes out to $35 per person. It is all worked into our per head cost which is WAY lower than any comparable venue I found for what we have. I only just found out the liquor cost because we are backing it out for the children’s meals. I actually think it is a pretty good deal. Our crowd will have no trouble drinking more than one drink an hour and at say $6-$10 a pop a drink four drinks could run us over real quick. It is a significant chunk of our budget but it was the only thing my Fiance cared about: food, drinks and band.

    It depends on your crowd but if they like to party I’d go for a flat fee if you could afford it.

    Post # 23
    116 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2009

    @FutureMrsMorgan-WOW where are you getting married at in Michigan? I’m getting married there too, in 10 days!!!!

    Our bar bill is significantly less than all of yours. We are paying 9.85 per person for 5.5 hrs. This includes bud lite, labatts, red wine, white wine, blush wine, crown royal, cc, grey goose, beefeaters, slow gin, amaretto, peach schapps, some kind of scotch and a few others. That also includes all of the mixers to make any type of drink, martini’s, margarita’s, etc.

    Over all our bar bill came to 3100 for 288 people!!!

    Post # 24
    2324 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    I don’t know this for sure, because I haven’t signed the contract yet, but I’ve heard our venue charges per drink and bottle of wine. I’m not really shocked by this, since it’s a restaurant, but it’s going to be a steep bill. Our friends are drinkers and they have REALLY good taste. I’m hoping to pair down the menu, because I’m not exactly thrilled about having somebody order a $20 glass of scotch. 🙂 That being said, I couldn’t imagine not having an open bar and tons of wine for our dinner. We’re throwing the party of a lifetime, we want to have fun! Now I’m just trying to figure out if we want to host the after-party or just decide on a place to go.

    Post # 25
    389 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Kristin25, is it possible that you got such a great deal on your bar tab bc you have a large wedding attendance?  I can only imagine  that after the 200 attendee mark, they start giving you lower rates due to your high attendance…either way that is awesome!

    Post # 26
    765 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2008

    We had a full open bar for 6 hours for 80 guests.  The cost was about $20 per person plus tax and 20% service charge.


    Post # 27
    2680 posts
    Sugar bee

    We are going to do a bar on consumption, the unlimited consumption bar was $34 per person not including service charge and sales tax.  It worked out to about 4 1/2 drinks per person.  While this does not seem like a lot of drinks for someone to consume in a 4 hour time period, please keep this in mind:

    If you are paying by the person, per hour, how many of your guests are actually going to stay through the very end?  Alot of people will not stay until 12 or 1am, especially older people or ones with kids.  Also, while some people drink until the very end of the night, most people slow down toward the end of the night on drinking, especially if they are driving home.  If you pay by the hour per person you are then paying for people that are not even there or people that may not even drink that much.  If you have the option to pay by the hour for unlimited drinks (not a flat fee), I would suggest only paying by the hour for the 1st or 2nd hour and doing the rest of the night on consumption.

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