(Closed) Limited venue options for a bar…

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 4
500 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I like Option 4 the best, I have been to many weddings like that and found it great! plus stopped some guests from going to over board on the cocktails! Plus it is more personal then when the options available are signature and meaning full to the couple!  

Post # 5
6262 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

Just do the open bar if the price per bottle is reasonable. If it’s only beer and wine, I don’t think the cost will be that bad, considering the money you’re saving on the venue. Your coordinator is just saying limitless to cover her own butt in case your guests drink bottles each and you get upset. 

I don’t think there’s a problem with #4 either, but would that really be cheaper? I think people would just elect to drink the free stuff if they’re only getting beer and wine anyway.

Post # 6
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

When she says an open bar “could be limitless” – do they offer consumption pricing only? Is there no option for a flat fee per head? Most venues we looked at had a choice between the two.

Open bar is always great, but option 4 is perfectly fine as well. People would still have numerous options to choose from and wouldn’t have to open their wallets for them.

Post # 7
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Guests find it a bit confusing when you charge for some stuff and not for others, or when you go from having a complimentary bar to a cash bar, so whatever you do, I’d stick to one thing and do it consistently all the way through. Personally I’d opt either for cash bar all the way through, with you providing 3-4 bottles of wine per table to be served only with dinner, or just open bar and a small enough selection that it can be cost-effective.

Post # 8
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Do number 4. It’s a great option.



Post # 10
2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@autumnmountainbride:  Is the only option for open bar a consumption bar?  (That’s what it seems like if she’s saying it’s “limitless”) A lot of times venues will charge a per person price, which allows you to budget appropriately.

Post # 12
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would do #4. Mostly because I actually feel that the selection of a beverage that goes with the food is important. 

If you want to have an open bar, talk to the venue and find out if you can cap it at a certain point and switch to a cash bar if it exceeds that.  

Post # 13
831 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

To me option 1 and 4 are the same thing because you can only have beer/wine anyway.  So if you are going to host the bar  – go with #4 and I wouldn’t even bother with the cash bar option because you are offering a red/white/and beer.

Based on the prices you listed I think you are probably looking at around $1000. (average $3.75/drink) x 5 drinks x 50 ppl. But some people would probably have less drinks, I’m just erring on the side of caution.

Post # 14
6256 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

Cash bar would be fine if that’s what’s done where you’re from AND you let people know beforehand–I never carry cash, and if I went to a wedding that had a cash bar that didn’t accept credit card (and most probably won’t) I’d be super upset that someone didn’t give me the heads up beforehand.

As far as “limitless”… are they providing the alcohol, or are you? If them, I’d be a little suspicious. Are they going to be removing half or mostly full cups all night so they will have to open, and thus charge you, for extra bottles? I’ve heard of this happening, and yes, it will run up the bill in a hurry! If you’re providing the alcohol, you could just bring a reasonable number of bottles and tell them “once it’s gone, it’s gone.”


Post # 16
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

That per drink price really isn’t bad. Shut the bar at least 1/2 hour before the reception’s over (still serve non-alcoholic drinks during that time.) You could also shut down the bar for 1/2 hour during dinner.

Like EffieTrinket advised- instruct the caterer not to clear glasses unless they are empty.

Kim999’s estimate sounds about right. Like she said, probably on the high side, but better to go high. If you get better pricing by the bottle, see if they’ll let you take home open bottles. (we did.) Or- can you pre-order say a case of wine at a discount, and take home any extras?

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