Post # 1
I’m trying to judge how much our guests will drink so we can figure out what kind of bar to do. We assume about 160 guests will show up. Maybe 10-15 of those will be children.
My half is mainly (80%) young friends and coworkers who know how to drink. The rest are kids/old people.
His half is about 25% friends who can drink, 25% friends who probaby won’t drink overly much, and the last 50% old people and families with kids. Not big drinkers there.
Our options are:
1. $39/pp fixed bar all night (except dinner – wine would be extra)
2. Toonie bar (guests pay $2 for alcoholic drinks, we get billed the other $3 and $2 for all soft drinks) — and yes, these are totally ok where I live in Canada and most weddings I’ve been to/heard about had toonie bars
3. Full host consumption bar (we get charged $5/drink and $2 soft drinks)
So I’m trying to estimate how much people will drink to weigh out which option is best. The fixed bar sounds good in theory but we have quite a few adults we’d be paying for that won’t drink. And also we’d need to do something during dinner so that is an extra cost. I’m leaning towards the toonie bar but only if it makes sense (if it’s only going to be slightly cheaper than a fixed bar we might as well do that).
So… for a typical 7 hour cocktail hour/dinner/dance wedding, how many drinks on average should I assume?
Post # 3
I haven’t had my wedding yet, but I tried to estimate how much each person on our guest list would drink. My FI’s friends/family drink a lot more than my side do. I compared this to the cost of the full bar pacakge. It was never worth it to get the flat rate bar package. By a long shot. Not even close. My estimated overall average was around 4 drinks per person. That being said, there were quite a few guests on my side who don’t drink at all.
Even the venue coordinator advised that she’s never seen it worth it and the flat rate bar package at our venue was just $35/person, especially if it doesn’t include drinks during the dinner portion. It might be worth it if your guests are big drinkers or like premium liquors and the bar package may include these (not sure in your case?) but that doesn’t sound like your situation.
If it’s in your budget, I would go for the full host consumption bar. $5 a drink is actually pretty good.
I’ve been to one wedding where the couple partially subsidized the drinks so the alcoholic beverages were cheaper. That was okay. But if you can do it within your budget, I would recommend the full host consumption bar.
Post # 4
In this case I would choose option #3 for you, seems to be the most cost effective! That way you’re not paying premium price for those people who just want 1 drink at a wedding. I’m an average drinker who likes to drink at weddings and I would say I would drink 6 drinks and maybe 2 pops at your wedding, I would cost $34 as opposed to the $39/pp option.
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Most people drink 1 drink per hour, some will dinrk twice that, some will drink none. If your crowd in general likes to drink, then the flat fee is probably better than the consumption. Plus, people abandon drinks oftena nd try new things when there is an open bar and so someone might drink 7 drinks but order 12.
Why do you need to do something else during dinner? Most wedding dinners have iced tea and water table service and guests can go off to the bar if they want a drink.
ETA: with the fixed bar, at least you know the cost. You may come out ahead or not, but at least you can budget for it. With either twoonie or consumption, you could be surprised with a much bigger bill than you expected. What if your guests average 10 drinks a person? Will you be able to absorb that cost on your wedding night when it’s time to pay the bar bill?