Post # 1
So, my situation is pretty unique. My FI’s family does not drink… plain and simple. My family drinks a little too much. Several people coming to our wedding from my side are recovering alcoholics that honestly should not be around alcohol. Then there are the few that would love to have a couple of drinks at our wedding. Also, our wedding is on a Sunday, so alcohol consumption would be low anyways.
I can’t really justify paying for an open bar when the price is about $15 a person and only a few people would be drinking. So, here is the problem…
Do we do a cash bar or no bar at all? I am not too fond of the idea of a cash bar, but if only a few people want drinks, then I can’t imagine it being expected to pay a ton of money (open bar) for those few people to have alcohol.
THEN, if we don’t have a bar at all, then what should our guests do during our cocktail hour? I want them do be able to enjoy themselves and not be bored.
Oh, such a dilemma.
Post # 3
A lot of the venues my Fiance and I looked at had an option to pay by the drink — basically the same prices as a cash bar, except instead of having the guests pay the bill goes to you. Will your venue let you do that? Or can you only pay the unlimited "open bar" price?
If the only option is the unlimited open bar, I’d say skip the alcohol altogether. I agree that it would be completely silly to pay $15 a head if half of your guests won’t drink anything! For the cocktail hour, you could serve some fun non-alcoholic punches and drinks. I think as long as there’s food to nibble on and something to drink your guests will be happy, there doesn’t have to be alcohol to make a great party.
Post # 4
We are doing a beer and wine bar with a champagne punch as an alternative. We can’t afford a full bar and bought all of the wine during a big sale. That we can get a little buzz but nothing overboard :e)
Post # 5
This is my philosiphy if people can’t go a few hours to a special event without a drink than maybe thats their que that they have a problem. My FH has a big drinking family and most of the people on my side don’t drink. I decided not to have booze other than the toasting champagne for the simple fact that I don’t want anyone getting so tossed they make a fool of themselves or end up in the hospital cause they wanted be stupid a drive home after one to many. Just my two cents.
Post # 6
Our venue allows us to set a limit for the open bar, then switch to cash bar when our limit is met. Basically, we’ve allocated $750 to serving alcohol, and once we’ve consumed the $750 worth of beer/wine, guests will be able to purchase additional drinks as a cash bar. It might be worth asking your venue if they allow that type of setup? That way, people can have drinks with dinner and beyond without shelling out cash, and if they’re staying all night they can purchase more drinks as we go. It should help us in limiting consumption, but still allowing us to offer drinks to those guests who want them.
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2021 - Outdoor ceremony, banquet hall reception
If you’d like to offer some alcohol to your guests who would like to drink, try a spiked punch. At my venue, it’s $75 per punch bowl (ridiculously over-priced, but don’t even get me started on that), which is a heck of a lot cheaper than $15 per person!
Post # 8
Thanks for all of your great suggestions. I guess that I should have clearly mentioned that the $15 per person for an open bar is only for one hour (during the cocktail hour) for only beer and wine. I am doing a champagne toast, so I am leaning towards no bar at all. I will look into the spiked punch bowl idea (thanks powderpuff) as well as the pay as you go (thanks MelissaB) and limiting the open bar (thank JennH).
Also, I absolutely agree with you Cheyenne22. I think that people could definitely give up drinking for a few hours on a Sunday. Oh I don’t know. Maybe it would just be better putting that money that I would spend on alcohol into more snacks for the cocktail hour.
Thanks for the suggestions!!! 🙂
Post # 9
Well, I had a Saturday, noonish wedding, and had a cocktail hour with nonalcoholic punch and hors d’oeuvres, served a cava or prosecco for the toasts/cake (I can’t remember which), and then people were able to buy drinks (though my venue accepted credit and debit cards).
Because it was the middle of the day, I felt it was just fine to offer one alcohol, and then allow for more, only if people wanted.
I wouldn’t really expect to drink on a Sunday were I to attend a Sunday wedding.
It’s an absolutely nice service, but not necessary (in all instances) to have much alcohol.
Post # 10
Normally what people do during the cocktail hour is socialize. If you’re serving alcohol, they also get a drink. If you’re serving appetizers, they also eat. If you have non-alcoholic drinks and appetizers, they can eat, drink, and socialize. Anyone who can’t have a reasonable time on a Sunday afternoon without an alcoholic drink doesn’t really want to come to your wedding that badly.