(Closed) open bar advice

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 4
Member
1375 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Honestly, I’m in the ‘no cash bar, ever, at all’ camp.

Could you just do a limited open bar?  Beer and wine only?  That will cut down on a LOT of your bill, and I feel like it takes people longer to finish beer and wine than it does mixed drinks, especially since they aren’t drinking through straws and there is no ice inviolved.

Post # 5
Member
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Yes, I am also in the open bar camp. My friend did the switch to cash bar for the last 2 hours of his reception and it worked out well. He stayed in budget (drink prices were around your prices) and everyone was happy. I think timings may work better so guests can prepare for it. 

Post # 6
Member
2849 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Maybe you could have your DJ alert everyone that the last hour or two will be cash only? The only negative to that is people may start drinking more to make up for the fact they will have to pay later.

Post # 7
Member
1735 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Can you do drink tickets for the guest so when they run out of tickets they know they will have to pay

Post # 8
Member
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Just be prepared.  I’ve attended a few weddings where the bar has been set up similarly, and there’s usually quite a bit of hoarding as the money begins to run low.  As an extreme example of what could happen…at one wedding, the beer was served in unopened cans.  Halfway through the night, the bartender made the mistake of revealing that the open bar would run out in approximately 30 minutes.  As a result, guests began ordering a huge number of cans and hiding them around the reception venue to drink later – in planters, under tables, outside in the bushes.  It was beyond ridiculous – I was mortified for the bride.

Post # 10
Member
4144 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I think switching to the cash bar (especially if it’s limited) only encourages people to drink more early on.  I’d say do one or another.

Post # 12
Member
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@dickinson:  Honestly, I would nix the liquor and spread the money to provide open beer/wine all night.  It would just be much easier on everyone that way.

ETA: Cross-post. Laughing

Post # 13
Member
662 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

At my best friend’s wedding they did open bar for beer/wine/liquor and switched to a cash bar around the last hour. They didn’t annouce it- they just had the bartender put up a small sign on the bar. It worked well- no one was upset. It was near the end of the night & everyone was having a blast.

Post # 14
Member
1477 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Before we found our venue, my Future Sister-In-Law suggested that we do this. She told me not to tell anyone because then people would start drinking a lot more early or start hoarding drinks. We ended up just going with a open bar because there are some heavy drinkers on FI’s side and we didn’t want to deal with any of that. Because we did see that happening in our case.

What one friend did, was have an open bar for a while, then at the end of the night it switched to cash, except for beer (they had a keg). It totally worked out fine and everyone was happy.

Post # 15
Member
4887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

It’s doable, but like PPs said, do NOT tell people when the cash bar begins.  

Make sure that shots and doubles are not an option.

Post # 16
Member
3720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We are doing something similar (although not that cheap! edit: meaning I am so jealous of your $4 drinks, not that what I think you are doing is cheap!). We estimated how many drinks we thought each person would have and it was way cheaper than an open bar. We are putting a cap on the bar and after we reach that price point, the bar shuts down. 

We are limiting it to house wine, beer, and house liquor (which is medium shelf, like stoli). No shots.

There will be no cash bar. So far we have positive feedback and people understand– most of our family doesn’t drink and our friends drink too much. 

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