(Closed) Married bees: how much was your bar tab?

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 3
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Is it for an open bar? When we were looking for venues, most charged between $25-40 for an open bar (5 hours). However, the venues we actually went to see, we tried to keep on the lower end of our budget, so I am sure the higher end would have had higher bar tabs.  The venue we eventually went with did an open bar for $15/pp (we alos had 100) which was amazing…however, they charged more for other things so in the end it all about evened out…I wouldn’t necessarily consider it alone, but I would consider it all together – in addition to the venue, food, etc. to see if it still falls within the budget. 

Post # 4
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Ours was slightly over $50 a head. Our venue was definitely on the high end for our area so it really depends on where you’re getting married.

Post # 6
7960 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

we had the choice of consumption bar or price/head bar.  i think it was $25/person for 4-5 hours plus wine for dinner.   we only had 38 guests and a lot of them weren’t big drinkers but the other half made up for it. 

we decided to go with the consumption bar.  we had full top shelf open bar from cocktail hour all the way through to last call.  it was actually less than what we expected.  our entire bar tab including wine for dinner worked out less than $20/person for the whole night.

Post # 7
3954 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I haven’t had my wedding yet, but we are paying per drink (only option at our venue) and they charge $9/drink. We are estimating 6 drinks/person including a wine and champagne pour ($28/bottle). The total for 125 people is about $6K (ouch!!). 

Post # 8
1935 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We paid $2600 for about 120 people for 5 hours.  A lot of people left after about 3 hours though (but of course they weren’t the heavy drinkers).  It was consumption based and we had what I would consider mid level liquors like Tanqueray, Finlandia, and Buffalo Trace which was a little pricier. 2 craft beers and 1 cheap beer. 

Post # 9
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Ours is $19/head for 4 hours (yay for the Midwest!). It includes beers (our reception will be at a microbrewery, so it’s a selction of 6), well liquor, house wines. I think if we bumped it up to premium liquors it’d be $24/head but people should be drinking delicious craft beer at our wedding, not liquor 🙂

Post # 10
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Ours was about $36/pp for an open bar and we had 150 guests who drank for 4 hours. So it was somewhere around $5400 total. I actually don’t know the true total because my DH’s mother offered to pay for all bar bills.

Post # 11
6592 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

We paid consumption for a “white” bar (draft beer, house wine, well liquor.)  We set the tab at $800 for 50 people but we only ended up spending a little over $300.  A lot of my family doesn’t drink though.

Post # 12
1583 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

we could bring in our own alcohol. we had 270 people and ran out of gin and white wine. It cost of $3000 but we had a ton left over we could return! score!

Post # 14
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Don’t forget that people may want to drink more on NYE than a random weekend. Additionally, people will order more drinks than they actually consume. Drinks get put down, lost, cleared, etc. 

Our open bar will be $30 a head for 5 hours with premium brands (but, oddly, no champagne). We’re glad to have the certainty of knowing exactly how much we owe, rather than being worried about how much people are drinking or wasting through the night.

How much are the individual drinks at your venue? Also ask how they keep track of a consumption bar.

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