(Closed) Married Bees…How much was your open bar tab?

posted 9 years ago in Reception
  • poll: How much was your open bar tab?

    Under $1500





    Nothing, I did a cash bar!

  • Post # 3
    48 posts
    • Wedding: April 2011

    we had 135 guests. We did an open bar (beer and wine only though) with a cap at $2000. Bar opened at 4:30 and reception ended at 10. My dad said that we came close to the cap but didn’t need to add any more money to it!

    Post # 4
    1551 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I know this is terribly unhelpful, but it goes to show how you never can tell what will happen. 

    My cousin recently had a small wedding with about 50 guests.  They had an open bar, but had NO bar tab.  It turned out that the only person who drank was her brother who had just returned from Iraq and was wearing his full dress uniform.  The venue gave him all his drinks for free, so her total alcohol bill was zero.

    Post # 5
    393 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We didn’t do a consumption bar, we bought all the alcohol before hand and had our caterers serve it. I voted for the $2,500 – $3,500, but it was less than $3,000. We had 200 people at our wedding and open bar for 4.5 hours. Also, hubby wanted top-shelf liquor so we had Grey Goose Vodka, Bombay Gin, Johnny Walker Blue Label, etc…we actually saved a lot of money by purchasing it ourselves. We left with about 8 bottles of wine, but the rest was donzo!

    Maybe you could tell the venue to set a limit on the amount you want to spend and then once that is reached, close down the bar. Good luck!

    Post # 6
    995 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    I can’t remember exactly but I think we were in the $1700 range for open bar for 120 people for about 7 or 8 hours.

    Post # 7
    1493 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    We were about $2000 with 100 people for an open bar. We also purchased a half barrel of beer and put some wine bottles on the tables to supplement our bar (because we didn’t quite hit it pre wine bottle). All in all, we hit our mark and didn’t have to cash bar it at any point during the night.

    Post # 8
    4753 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I’m of the opinion its really tacky to change to cash for the last hour. If the reason is you fear drunk drivers talk to your bartenders and tell them to watch out for really drunk folk. Also ensure that you mention at your reception something like enjoy your time blah blah blah but please don’t drink and drive taxis can be called for you if need be….


    But I really don’t think cash bar for an hour is going to have any influence on people drinking less before driving (if they drive)

    Post # 9
    7581 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2010

    Well you never know I guess and everyone is really different. It would have been 100 people $4200. (We had more than 20 people who didn’t drink at all too). We ended up getting the $20 something per person deal and thank goodness!

    Post # 10
    1243 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    We had 100 people at our cocktail party reception.  I just added up the totals and our bar tab came to $2598.18.  Now, that was for wine, beer, and mixed drinks, but no shots.  Our place was also a bit different in that we had to pay per wine bottle, rather then glass (which was $35 for white and $40 for red…ouch).  The reception went from 8-1am with last call set for 12:45pm).

    The total is in Canadian dollars.

    I was surprised that people didn’t drink more, but my parents older friends offset our friends…who had a good time.  😀

    Post # 11
    658 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    Our wedding package turned out to be pretty great.

    It includes…

    A cheese tray, Veggie tray, 6 orderves


    Post # 12
    994 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I’m getting married just a few miles west of Boston and they told us the first hour is about $17 – $20 per person for an open bar. It goes does to $10 pp for each hour after that b/c people do most of their drinking early on. Hope that helps for estimating.

    Post # 13
    85 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    We also brought in our own liquor, beer and wine for $2000. We had 2 bars and 180 people. caterer provided champange toast, bartenders, mixers and garnishes. we had a 6 hour reception. The bartenders were very heavy handed and we returned $400 of liquor after the wedding. we kept the beer, wine and opened liqour to stock our own bar.

    Post # 14
    1995 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I’d speak with your caterer or venue to get a good estimate.  We brought our own and just had beer/wine/sodas/sparkling waters. 

    Post # 15
    211 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    This post is really helpful me to as I also have about 80 guests and have been stressing about this all week. The problem with my venue is that they don’t refund you money not spent at the bar..so I would like to underestimate.

    Post # 16
    4369 posts
    Honey bee

    We had beer and wine (no hard liquor available) for about 90 guests. It came out to around $1300.

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