Post # 1
Hi Bees. I am hoping to get some ideas as to what others are being charged for an open bar for their reception, preferrably those in Illinois but info from anywhere would be helpful.
We are having a NYE wedding so of course open bar, and our venue strictly supplies the alcohol, we can’t buy our own, not even for the champagne toast, which isn’t an issue. We are expecting 140-150 guests (inviting 180 and hope they can all come but we’re being realistic) and our venue charges per person by the hour. Its $13 per person the first hour, then $11.50 per person each consecutive hour, so it comes out to about $7100 total. Does this seem like a decent price? It is NYE so people will probably drink more (we’re providing shuttle from venue to hotel we’ve blocked for).
We only checked out two other venues before absolutely falling in love with this one, and the other two had slightly lower prices for their alcohol but I don’t know if that’s normal variability or what. I’m not familiar with all this stuff at all! Any opinions would be great. Thanks!!
Post # 2
Unfavorably. My wedding is in IL also – Chicago in June at a $$$$ venue, which impacts the price. Whether that is a fair price depends on many factors: on the formality of your venue, the type of liquor (well, top shelf, or something in between), whether there will even be liquor or if it’s just beer and wine, what type of drinks are available (e.g., is it a full open bar or do you just have signature cocktails/limited choices), season, where in Illinois, and probably other things I’m not listing here.
Post # 3
This was in line with the venues in my area (not sure where you are getting married).
I know the wedding coordinator at one venue recommended having an open bar for the first 3-4 hours of a 5 hour reception as many people generally leave about that time and switching over to a pre-paid bar maximum (400 or so). That way we wouldn’t be paying per person for people not coming and would still allow others to drink as they wished. It definitely cut the price down for us in our quotes and we can always choose to add more if we reach the limit and people are still enjoying the bar.
Post # 4
Oops, guess I should elaborate, this price is for not well liquor but one step up. Brand names such as Captain Morgan, but not premium such as Ketel One. Full open bar for any drinks requested. Our venue is a renovated theater, very vintage feel, fairly formal.
This is in the southern Chicago suburbs (about 45 min south)
Post # 5
The term you are looking for is “Call” brands – common name brands, but non-premium. I am in the mid-Atlantic, where weddings are fairly pricey. My venue is fairly upscale. My open bar is $42 per person for a 4 hour open bar with similar brands when you include sales tax and the caterer’s service charge.
Post # 6
I grew up in the south suburbs and I think that’s an OK price considering it’s on NYE. It works out to a little more than what two drinks per hour per person would cost at a bar in the area, which is a lot of booze but people will probably drink that much on NYE (~5-6 drinks a person). I think it’s fair when taking into account the wedding surcharge that exists no matter when and where you’re getting married.
ETA: Is it at the Rialto?
Post # 7
I think that sounds about right. My wedding was at a upscale and pretty expensive venue in the LA area (right on the ocean). We paid $79 per person for 5 hours of the mid-level open bar, i.e., Ketel One, Don Julio, Black Label, JD, and whatnot. My wedding was in July, so prime season.
Post # 8
I am in Toronto, Canada, we are being charged 55.00 /person for premium bar for the night (5 or 530-1am).
how are you getting away with 4 hours of bar on NYE? (correct me if my math was off on that) unless you are having dinner at 8 and cutting the bar off right after midnight I think you might need to add a coupe extra hours
Post # 9
No it isn’t 🙂 thank you for your help!
yes that pesky word escaped my mind for some reason. Thank you!
We are starting the reception at 8pm and they’re throwing in a half hour after midnight free. Reception ends at 1 and for our guests who don’t choose to book a hotel, we want them to have at least SOME time to sober up.
Post # 10
My reception is going to be 3 hours. 1st hour full bar $15, last 2 hours beer and wine only $2/hr. So alcohol for my wedding will be $19/person.
Post # 11
- Wedding: March 2016 - Surfer\'s Beach, Grand Cayman
Ours is $8 pp per hour, but thats Canadian so it’s probably comparable or more even with the conversion. It will be open from 8-12.
Post # 12
Big city in the midwest – $34 pp for 5 hours, top shelf with cordials. Thought it was a great steal.