(Closed) Open bar ..Consumption vs Per Person

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2249 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

i would go with per person just to know exactly what you are paying in advance. besides people might not finish drinks and i’d hate to feel like i was wasting money everytime I saw that!!

Post # 4
2226 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

We went through this too.  The best explination of it I got was this:  if you pay per drink, you’ll end up spending more.  Someone will go get a drink, drink half of it, set it down to go dance, forget about it and then go get a new one.  So, you’d be paying for 2 drinks right there just b/c they didn’t bother to finish the first one.  If it’s unlimited drinks per person, it’s best to pay per person rather than per drink. 

Did that make any sense?  It did in my head, just making sure I explained it the right way!

Post # 5
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think with the details you gave us on your guest list, you’re probably better off going with a per person bar.  If you had an older guest list, or more people who don’t drink at all, then maybe it would make more sense to go with a consumption bar.

Post # 6
7777 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

We’re going per person. It really seems like its cheaper that way.

Post # 7
175 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I also agree with per person. Then you can set a limit as to how long you want the bar open, and know exactly what you will be spending. When it’s on consumption, the tab can get very expensive

Post # 8
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I think it depends on your group. If we end up with a place like this we’ll probably do consumption because a good portion of our guest list doesn’t drink. 

Post # 9
1580 posts
Bumble bee

Is a champagne toast included in your package otherwise, or would you be paying for that per glass?

Other factors to consider: will your guests have to drive home or to a hotel? Or is the reception at a hotel? People will drink a lot less if they have to drive.

What day of the week is your wedding and what time?

Post # 11
499 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Can you put something in your contract that says you will pay either, whichever is less after the fact?  I heard a speaker at a bridal expo explaining that per head is usually cheaper, but you can try to get a phrase like that in the contract.

Post # 12
512 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We got the package deal only because I agree with Candy Nee — I am sure people will put a glass down to dance, and then the waitstaff will grab it and I’ll end up paying for drinks no one drinks. Plus, I would hate to pay per drink and see drinks wasted (if someone orders a cocktail and then decides they don’t like it, etc).

Post # 13
1011 posts
Bumble bee

Based on your description of your guests, I’d do per person.  We don’t have that many drinkers (maybe a couple of dozen)–mostly non-drinkers who are in their 50s to retired, so we’re doing per drink with just wine & beer because we figure that would be cheaper based on our demographics!

Post # 14
1732 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Can you do both?  We’re doing a hosted bar for 4 hours (cocktail hour and part of the reception) and switching to a consumption tab later in the night.

Post # 15
1011 posts
Bumble bee

On second thought, for 4 hours, it’ll be $64 per person.  To reach $64, you need to drink 8 domestic beers.  Even if someone just has the most expensive drinks, they have to have 6!  That’s more than one an hour.  Are you also having a dinner?  If so, it’ll be tougher to consume that many drinks.

Post # 16
1676 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Ouch!  This sounds expensive, if you’re having an open bar for more than a couple of hours 🙁 

We ended up going the “by consumption route” b/c our group on average are light drinkers (with some non-drinkers and some average drinkers mixed in).  In your case though I think you might want to go the per-person route, since it sounds like there are more serious drinkers in your group.  At least in that case you’ll know up front what you will end up paying, rather than ending up totally surprised by a giant bar tab at the end of the night.

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