(Closed) How much did you spend on alcohol and how many guests did you have?

posted 7 years ago in Food
  • poll: Which would you enjoy more?

    Open bar

    Cash bar

    Only 4 options of beer, wine, and two signature drinks

    open bar until a certain time, then cash bar

  • Post # 17
    1357 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Our venue had an all-inclusive price per head set at $85/p, but I think around $19 of that was the alcohol, if I remember correctly. (I had to ask because I wasn’t about to spend the cost of bar on any child guests we had, though we eventually decided to go child-free).

    We had a full middle-shelf bar (e.g. Jose Cuervo over Patron or well tequila) for 5 hours and about 90 people, plus a champagne toast for all our guests. We closed the bar during our seated dinner so we could keep the bar open an extra hour later until midnight, which saved us some cash. No one missed the bar during dinner because they all got drinks when the DJ announced that seating for dinner was beginning, plus they were served champagne while seated.

    I think the final bill was about $1710 for 90 guests.

    Post # 18
    9820 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I think this is really going to vary depending on area. Ours was a little over $2k for open bar during cocktail hour (approx. 2 hours) and then unlimited beer, wine and soda for another ~3 hours. This was for 90ish people.


    Post # 19
    822 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    We had full open bar and opted for the premium liquor package and I believe it was $55 per person. We had about 110 guests.  The venue didn’t allow shots but since my family and friends tipped so well, the bartenders started doing on the rocks with very minimal ice.


    Post # 20
    615 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    We did not want to deal with the repercussions of hard liquor at our wedding with our party crowd, so we offered unlimited wine (four kinds) and beer (kegs — one specialty and one generic light). We were allowed to bring in our own alcohol and our caterers brought their own licensed bartender, so we only paid ~$800 for about 80-90 guests to drink all evening.


    Post # 21
    9950 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

     Hi @PaganJenny:  I see you are a Vancouver Bride… just be aware that most of the replies you are going to get in this topic come from US Brides… where the Alcohol Pricing and Laws regarding the Purchase and Service of Alcohol is going to be IMMENSELY different.

    At least from an Ontario standpoint I often see reference to things stateside that we just don’t have here… at all.

    Like buying Discount Liquor… or BYOBooze… or places that have a Flat-Rate per hour… or lol, drinks at $ 2 or $ 3 a pour.

    Mr TTR & I had a Back Home Reception Party… after our Honeymoon for Friends & Family.  We had aprox 50 people attend.

    When it came to alcohol we offered a typical Canadian (not a Mega City) situation where we bought our Guests a Welcome Drink, offered Complimentary Bottled Water, Pop, & Juice as well as Tea & Coffee.  And had Sparkling Wine for Toasting and a bit more that was available for those who wanted to be in a “celebratory mood”… (the Ladies seemed to like the FREE Bubbly)

    Everything else was a Cash Bar… normal for most of Rural Canada.

    Still our Bar Bill with what one would call a relatively small amount of FREE booze was over $ 1500 for aprox 3 Hours… or just for a few drinks a person (say 2 to 3) $ 30 per head.  Not that unusual considering that you can’t get pretty much any booze in Canada for less than $ 10 all in (Taxes & Tips)… not even a Beer.

    Lol, and that was just the alcohol that we paid for… there were certainly some in our group that was drinking even more than that.  I am guessing that if we had had a totally OPEN BAR from the time our Reception began until it ended (closing in on 5 Hours) it would have cost us more like $ 3000 to $ 5000.

    I love my friends & family a lot… but I wasn’t open to paying $ 60 to $ 100 for anyone’s bar bill !!

    (in that it is all consumption based here… priced as you go by the pour / glass)

    Hope this helps,

    PS… The good news, altho we certainly had some folks partying and having a good time at our Wedding… no one got obnoxiously drunk or rowdy.  I do attribute this to the fact that everyone had some “responsibility” to what they drank as well (in that it wasn’t all FREE).  AND with the severe laws in Canada we have for Drunk Driving (or as Hosts for endangering others by providing alcohol) we happily had everyone act in a reasonable / responsible manner and either take a cab home or have a DD.  So that was a HUGE Relief as well.


    Post # 23
    477 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    View original reply
    @PaganJenny:  Mine is charged on consumption, too! It’s so hard to estimate when it’s charged per drink. My SIL got married and her was per drink, also. She said it was frustrating seeing more than half-full glasses sitting on the tables. She wanted to walk up to people say say, ‘excuse me, are you going to drink that?’ LOL

    Post # 24
    3571 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    We had an open bar from 6:30-midnight.. it wasn’t top shelf, but not well liquor either.. it was middle of the road booze. Plus some wine, beer and soft drinks. It was $12 per person and we had 165 guests, so it was approximately $2000.

    Post # 25
    9129 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    We had 60 guests at my first wedding.  We set up an $800 tab and offered draft beer, house wine, and well liquor.  We only ended up spending $300 of the tab because most of the guests chose not to drink.

    Post # 26
    1594 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    26 guests and had wine, champange, beer, and top shelf liquor. the bill ended up around $1100

    Post # 27
    7899 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

    If we had gotten our bar a la carte, it would’ve beenn $55 per person for 4 hours (1 cocktail hour + 3 at dinner, though in reality they kept it open for the 4th dinner hour too), but it was much cheaper to go with the package including the hors d’ouevres and dinner as well.

    Post # 28
    718 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    For about 85 guests we got all the liquor ourselves (all kinds of top shelf liquor, 3 reds, 3 whites, prosecoo toast, excluding beer because our best man brewed it himself) for about $1,500 for an open bar that lasted from 6pm to 10pm.

    Post # 29
    56 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Some people I know got married up at grouse and had an open bar. They had about 100 people and spent $8000 bucks. I’m also getting married there (so excited!) and we are doing wine on the table and 2 drinks per person then going to cash bar. It is not a cheap place as far as liquor goes. Minimum 5.50 for a drink plus tax plus gratuity. I feel your pain!! But the location can’t be beat as far as I’m concerned!!

    Post # 30
    237 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I bought all the booze for the wedding 110 people we have 10 bottles of wiskey for every table plus 2 bottles of wine on each table. I have two signature drinks that I have in 3 gallon bev dispensers, plus we have beer and soda with a lemonade stand. I spent about $500 on booze.

    Post # 31
    1133 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    Thankfully our reception venue was cheap ($600 and it’s on the beach) and they let us bring in literally everything we want, so we are supplying all the alcohol, and doing beer/wine/signature drinks to please everyone without breaking our bank.

    We are hoping to do it for less than $1000 which is our alcohol budget (I cringe everytime). It’s sad that I just booked our Photographer for less than that haha.

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