(Closed) How close to your alcohol estimates were you?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
2394 posts
Buzzing bee

Posting to follow, as we have a similar situation.

We have an “open” bar with a monetary cap, which we set. After the cap is reached we can either close the bar for the night, or turn it into a cash bar. We need to figure out what the monetary cap should be for 100 – 120 people for 5 hours. :/

Post # 3
Member
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015 - On a Cliff Overlooking the Bay, Florida

 

amanda.417:  Our only option was a hosted bar and we paid up front $10 a person to go towards Beer and Wine. We had 170 people and ordered 13 cases of Beer and 7 cases of Wine. We had 4 bottles of wine left over they we took home and they served the last bottle of beer right as we were finishing up and going to do our grand exit.

Our Planner (Venue owner) helped us our with how many cases to order. We also had soft drinks, Tea and water.  

Post # 4
Member
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2015 - On a Cliff Overlooking the Bay, Florida

 

amanda.417:  Soon2bmrs1:  My venue had a wine cellar and we actually ended up swapping bottle for bottle red wine for whie half way throught because white was going much faster.  and she said usually red is the most requested wine.

so a little word of advise see if they have extras on hand to swap out if necessary.

Post # 5
Member
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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amanda.417:  We’re trying to figure this out right now too. My nightmare is the $10,000 bill at the end of the evening – total buzzkill on your wedding day!

Post # 7
Member
3729 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: City, State

View original reply
amanda.417:  We spent a lot of time working out a calculation. We knew our guests and knew how much they drank when we went out. We thought we had an excellent estimate.

We ended up changing to a flat fee for person at the last minute. I am happy we did– our estimates were WAY off. My guests drank so much in the first hour that the bar was worried about running out of alcohol (this is a night club that is the place to go to get wasted in your 20s– it takes a lot to scare them!). By the end of the night people slowed down, but my venue coordinator told me my guests drank about 25-50% more than I had estimated.

For my good friend’s wedding guests drank 30% more than estimated too.

Post # 8
Member
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Oh god! We had a meeting at our venue this past weekend and we’re estimating that our bar tab will be about $3,000. The only option is on consumption so I asked that anything over $8.50/drink be put out of sight.

I’m wondering now if we should ask for a cap, like say, once we hit $3,000 the venue will give us a head’s up and at $4,000 we just shut it down? But, like the OP story, I don’t want to ruin a good party either.

Post # 9
Member
15015 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We estimated too high but we got our money back.  We did an “open” beer and wine bar, but paid by consumption (so essentially an open bar to the guest, but we were paying per drink).  I don’t thint it sounds right that they would just keep your money or liquor if you are doing hosted cost per drink option.  If it doesnt add up, which we know they are keeping track, then you should get your money back.

Post # 10
Member
3219 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

What’s the difference between a host bar and an open bar? I thought they were the same?

Post # 11
Member
1905 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

View original reply
amanda.417:  Remember a wedding is a formal event even if in a casual venue. Your guest should not be getting drunk or wasted. Putting a firm cap on the bar and having the bar close is better than a $10k bar bill. OR if in the event a guest gets a DUI they can sue the Bride and Groom for this… You are providing a bar. Just like a bartendar can be sued so can the Bride and Groom. Better to cut your guest off then to have a 100k legal issue.

Even if you provide a shuttle service you can not be sure every guest will use this. Just be careful.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by  BrideK2Wings. Reason: typo
Post # 12
Member
464 posts
Helper bee

Oh boy… we had a pay by consumption set up. Now a few disclaimers – our reception went until 1 am and we had mid tier liquor + Grey Goose. Also, about 30-40% of our guests were staying at a hotel directly across the street, so no driving. Our coordinator told us that it was usually $15-18 per person. I believe our final bill ended up being closer to $30-35 per person. Thank God it was a hell of a party. That at least took the sting off. 

Post # 13
Member
766 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
amanda.417:  I’m a little confused – can you explain the difference between an open bar and a hosted bar in this case?  I’ve usually seen those terms used interchangably.  Seems a little odd to me that you’re forced to pick a precise “use it or lose it” amount or the bar switches to cash if you go under.  Is there no option to up the tab if it runs out?

Post # 14
Member
2394 posts
Buzzing bee

Question for everyone –

I’ve read a lot about keeping the cost of drinks down by offering beer and wine only. However; the coordinator at our venue told us that people will actually take longer to drink a mixed drink than a glass of wine or beer, so people tend to drink fewer drinks total over the course of the night if they have a liquor option.

That is to say, someone may drink 3 rum & cokes, or 5 glasses of wine over the course of the night.

He thinks it would cheaper for us to have the liqour as an option because of this.

What do you ladies think?

Post # 15
Member
301 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

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Soon2bmrs1: It takes me much longer to drink a beer or glass of wine than my regular mixed drink – Ketel One, rocks. If you’re talking about Long Island Iced Teas, that’s a different story. 

I’m sure it’s different from person to person, but my limit is either 1.5 beers, or 2 glasses wine, or 4-5 cocktails. And I will be sloppy.

We’re doing wine and beer only. 

 

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