(Closed) Open Bar Charge & Pregnant Guest – Should you have to pay for it?

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

They won’t budge on open bar prices.  They are going to charge you per person.  Grandma or older family members probably won’t drink either but they’ll still charge you for them too.  You can try, it’d be worth a shot, but they probably won’t go for it.

Post # 4
Member
666 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

It never hurts to ask.  I say go for it!

Post # 5
Member
4382 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Ceremony - First United Methodist Church; Reception - My parents' house!

LOL! I say ask, it can’t hurt!

Post # 6
Member
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I was always under the impression it was definitely a per-head count, not “who drinks” count.

Your other option is to allow a tab of “X dollars” and let the bartender charge to that tab. So, say, you figure out what a bar would be for 100 people. Let’s say $20 a head. That’s $2,000. Let’s say you give the bartenders a capped tab of $2,000. Then, when they reach that amount, they have to check with you to make sure it’s ok to go over.

$2,000 might be plenty of drinks for your guests, considering the elderly don’t drink and those that are driving will keep to a minimum. Hardly anybody ever drinks $20 worth of booze anyways

Post # 7
Member
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

Most places wont budge on the open bar price.  Keep in mind that open bar prices aren’t just for alcohol.  She’ll still be drinking soda’s or other drinks, and of course there’s the cost of the bartender, garnishes, glassware, etc.  When setting prices for an open bar, the venue usually takes the fact that some people will drink more than $80 worth…and others wont drink at all.  

Post # 9
Member
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

So funny some of you say the old folks won’t drink! My grandma loves her glass of wine, and the old men their liquor too.

I think that normally it’s a per-person charge, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.

Let us know what happens!

Post # 10
Member
2681 posts
Sugar bee

Id ask but most likely you will still need to pay for it.  There are people that would completely take advantage of that and claim someone is under 21, pregnant, doesnt drink etc and theres no way to know if they are telling the truth or not.  Your pregnant guest and those who dont drink will still have sodas, waters or juices so you wont be paying for nothing. 

@ejs4y8 – Depending on the venue you can do a per head count where its an open bar all you can drink, you can set a limit of how much you want to spend and you can do an open bar on consumption where you are only charged for what is actual consumed (so you arent paying $40 per person for an open bar where not everyone drinks)  Keep in mind that depending on the location, drinks can go pretty high in price so $20 per person might only be 2-3 drinks per person.  I know we had a lot of people at our wedding who drank WAY more than that.

Post # 11
Member
2342 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I wish there was a way to pay per “drinking person” instead of per head, we’d all save a lot of money!  But I guess, that could be a little too confusing!

Post # 12
Member
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Our open bar is based on consumption, so that takes care of the non-drinkers, but I know venues handle the bar differently.  We can also set a cap like esj said, but we don’t expect a lot of heavy drinking…I hope we are right!

Post # 13
Member
1135 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Some of the venues I talked to had a price for under 21, but like at a limit of 20 guests. Other venues made the arguement that while Grandma and preggo Bridesmaid or Best Man won’t drink, Uncle Donald might be a raging alcoholic and have 15 gin and tonics on your tab. The per head count is an average that they’ve established over years of serving wedding guests.

You can ask, but I wouldn’t expect them to budge at all. Especially a place you are already paying $30+ per person for the bar alone. My premium bar is only an extra $7 on top of dinner. That’s some venue. With prices like that in an off season month like October, I don’t think they’ll compromise at all.

Post # 14
Member
699 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

naangel is right. Sure, it never hurts to ask, but there are so many people who would take advantage of this, saying “we only have 50 people who will drink” and then they slip drinks to other people. I have not heard of a place that will go for what you are saying. I also know quite a few pregnant ladies who enjoy a glass or 2 of wine over the course of a wedding dinner.

We were deciding between a consumption bar and a per person open bar for our rehearsal dinner. We counted the number of people who drank and did one of those drink calculators to figure out about how much people would drink. It came within dollars of what a per person open bar would cost so we just went with that so we wouldn’t have to think about the cost.

Let us know what happens and I really hope they can do this for you!

Post # 15
Member
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

@naangel, around here, a drink is usually like $3 to $5 for cash bars. They also serve in little plastic cups and stuff. The “elegant venues” are owned by the city and cash bars are built into EVERY package. We didn’t price those out! Starts at like $70/head.

A majority of our guests were older and would never have put down 4 drinks in a night. I thought $20 was on the high end (and it is for St Louis) but i guess it’s not! Depends what you’re drinking…I hadn’t really thought it out well before spewing out the number

We solved this by providing it ourselves, along with some bartenders (friends of some extended family). But I did have a friend get married at a winery, purchase a specific number of bottles, and they were required to get permission before opening more. It’s ideal if you have a lot of guests who won’t drink much!

Post # 16
Member
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

@littlebear, I thought you weren’t supposed to drink if you were pregnant? I also know you aren’t supposed to smoke, but mom did that one with me, lol

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