Post # 1
I’m from Michigan, where cash bars are accepted but not expected. I have a bit of a unique situation: the venue I am looking at is either beer/wine/select liquors bar, or cash bar. I don’t particularly like cash bars just because I understand that I am the one throwing the party, I should be an accommodating hostess. The only issue is that I don’t want to pay for alcohol for every person, because I know that not many people will drink. My family is religious and typically don’t drink (at least not in public ;)). I can only think of about 15 people out of our 150 guests who would actually drink alcohol.
What would you do in this situation? I don’t want to pay for an open bar for 150 people while only 15 would partake in it, especially because Fiance and I are alreay exceeding our budget without alcohol, but at the same time, I don’t want to hurt the feelings of those guests who are used to being given free alcohol and take advantage of it. Should we just pay for champagne by the bottle (the venue offers that) for the toast and call it good?
*I just want to add that I will not be 21 at the time that I plan on getting married, and the 15 people are not immediate family or super close friends. But they are still guests and I don’t want them to be uncomfortable.
Post # 2
FutureBride625: Could you strike up a deal with the venue to pay for exactly the amount of alcohol consumed? For example, if they would charge $5 for a beer, charge YOU that $5 instead of the guests. Have them add up each drink guests get and at the end of the night, you pay the tab? I hope that makes sense, lol!
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2015 - The Victorian
FutureBride625: could you do a “cash bar” but essentially run a tab and pay for it at the end of the night? I don’t usually condone cash bars but for 15/150, you’re right, it’s not worth it.
Post # 4
weatherbug: I do understand, and that’s a good idea! I didn’t even think about that, and I doubt the tab would get too out of hand, considering not very many people would even be drinking.
Post # 5
also a michigan bride – all the venues I looked at were able to do a per conspumption bar. Aka you pay per drink based on whatever people drInk. Keep in mind that even people who normally are not drinkers may have a drink or two when it is free, and 1-2 drink people might end up having 2-3. So definitely make sure you budget for more alcohol than you think you will need.
Post # 6
You could set a limit at the bar $150- $200. Those that don’t drink will not notice, those that do will be covered. Just tip,the bartender graciously
Post # 7
- Wedding: Hawksnest Cove Beach St John USVI
I did a consumption bar and that is probably your best bet. You can set a price limit and after that they can stop serving or turn into a cash bar so if more people drink than you expect you aren’t stuck with a surprise giant bill.
Post # 8
We debated this for a long time. Most of our guests are moderate drinkers, but even at that we calculated out that it would most likely be cheaper to just pay per drink, and limit drinks to beer, wine and 1 or 2 liquors. That was based on places charging $20/hour for an open bar, and about $10 per drink. There’s no way everyone will drink more than two drinks per hour for the entire time. So it depends on the costs. Keep in mind that people who don’t usually drink might have one (or more) for the occasion.
Post # 9
our venue is charging for what we drink. If the bar tab does not come to over $200 we have to pay $20 a hour. I am sure it will though. You could also limit the bars hours so those 15 people are over dirnking. Like have it closed during dinner, and a hour or so before the wedding ends. And don’t annouce last call
Post # 10
FutureBride625: if you don’t drink and your family doesn’t drink then why offer alcohol At all? How can it make a guest uncomfortable if there is no alcohol available? Maybe if they have a drinking problem.
I think cash bars are far tackier than a dry wedding.
Post # 11
FutureBride625: Can you do the cash bar but pre pay it yourself? Like give them your credit card and they treat it like a cash bar except you’re paying it’s bill?
Post # 12
We are doing drink tickets, where each person’s tickets will have their name on them. At the end of the night, however many of those tickets were used will be added to our total bill (the pary will be on the tab as well). Some people say it’s kind of tacky, but we’re providing lemonade/juice/pop, just beverages are being covered just not enough alcohol to get hammered. Most of our guests also won’t drink enough for that to even be a relative problem, but we are inviting a lot of younger friends that will take advantage of a hosted or open bar. I’ve only had bad experiences attending weddings with hosted or open bars, as a friend of the couple, so we won’t do that. <br /><br />Your guests will appreciate whatever you do for them, and they will probably know ahead of time what kinds of food/drink you’ll have and plan accordingly.
Post # 13
I had a similar situation and they had an option where we could run a tab and pay at the end. We got nervous about not knowing final cost and decided to do 3 hrs paid, 1 hr cash bar (for the very last hour)… but in the end it would have been more cost efficient to do the tab!