(Closed) Is anyone planning on just providing wine/champagne and no open bar?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 17
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I don’t know what we’re doing yet. We thought of having a bottle of red and a bottle of white on each table, but that would only be $130 less than open bar. We’ll see what happens.

Post # 18
614 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Smithfield Center

Ours is a lunch reception.

We’re doing a champagne toast, paired with a rum punch and signature cocktail.


Post # 19
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We are doing a wine/bear and soda cash bar for the cocktail hour. but 2 hour open bar for reception which is costing a pretty penny.  :

Post # 20
3415 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Lodge

@regit45:  Our venue doesn’t allow hard liquor.  They only allow beer, wine and champagne which we have to provide.  So we plan to buy x amount for guests.

Post # 21
364 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

We’re probably doing beer and wine only. You bring your own to the venue and there’s no bartender or anything.  Just self serve. We might possibly have a few cocktails (FI really wants bloody marys), but I’m not sure about that.

We majorly scored on wine a few weeks ago. A store was going out of business and we haggled and bought 4 cases of decent local wine for $3 a bottle!

Post # 22
86 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

While we couldn’t afford a full open bar, we did something that we could afford.We purchased the soda package for every guest and we had beer and champagne for all of our guests as well. If they wanted stronger drinks, they had to pay for it. I didn’t hear a single complaint from anyone.


Post # 23
1566 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

OH I also failed to mention that ours was BYOB.. Though, not many brought anything (nobody complained, and actually appreciated that we allowed that, rather than being stuck to what was chosen in a bar)

Post # 24
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We are having a brunch reception with a ‘make your own mimosa’ bar. So only champagne. We aren’t anticipated many ppl wanting to get sloppy at 11:30 on a Saturday morning! Plus we won’t be having a dance floor, so no need for liquid courage to have a good time haha!

Post # 25
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We’re doing beer and wine during dinner and champagne for toasting/with dessert by request (not a lot of champagne drinkers in our families), no hard liquor.  Our venue isn’t really set up to do a full open bar (we’d have to bring all the alcohol and additional glassware in ourselves and pay for a bartender), so this will save us money and [hopefully] help us avoid awkward moments with drunk relatives.

Post # 26
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

As you’ve read the Etiquette Threads, you’ve no doubt discovered that there are different practices / expectations depending on WHERE the Wedding takes place… be that Country or Geographic Region.

Where I live in Canada, an Open Bar is uber-expensive ($10 or more per drink… even for Beer when you add in Taxes & Tip at 30% or more).  This is due primarily to the fact that we pay A TON for Alcohol (Sin Taxes) and our Antiquated Liquor Laws.

Consequently, seeing CA$H BARS thru to “subsidized” drinks (Loonie & Twoonie Bars) to Complimentary Cocktails and such is all very acceptable for Weddings here.

(Otherwise folks would easily be spending Tens of Thousands of Dollars on Alcohol, as there literally is NO CHEAP BOOZE IN CANADA)

As a show of Hospitality, most couples supplly at least some Alcohol to their Guests… be that a Signature Drink, Cocktail Hour Cards, Wine with Dinner, or Champagne with Cake.

My first Wedding (circa 1980) and we had a Complimentary Cocktail Hour, Sparkling for Toasting and Wine Bottles on the Table for Dinner.  Beyond that and folks were on their own (ie Bar remained open all night during Dancing, and was Cash only).

This time round…

We had Cocktail Hour Cards and Champagne for Toasting (lol, actually a LOT of Bubbly… so that was complimentary all night as well).  And of course we also provided non-alcoholic beverages for FREE as well… Bottled Water, Pop, Juices, Tea & Coffee.

Both Weddings the outcome was the same…

Guests were thrilled to get drinks for FREE (same reaction I have when I go to a Wedding).  And we managed to make it all quite nice, without totally breaking the bank to do so.

Hope this helps,


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