(Closed) Open Bar debacle….

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
3943 posts
Honey bee

Yikes. With that many guests and for that long I would probably just do beer & wine (and maybe one signature drink?). Is it possible for you to supply your own alcohol? That will also save you some money.

Post # 4
1271 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

For an event like that, I really like free beer and wine with cash hard alcohol.

Post # 5
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

On big “everyone’s invited” parties like this, I’ve seen it done where it’s open bar for the beginning— let’s say 8-10pm– then cash bar afterwards. It would not work well in all settings but because it’s a nightclub with a fairly big guest list, it would be OK in my book in this setting.  If it’s a crowd that usually goes to clubs, they may already be used to that setup from big dance clubs where cover is free or drinks are free before a certain time and the price goes up later in the night, or from having been to other private parties with this setup.

My second choice would be open beer and wine, cash bar for liquor, but you can still rack up one heck of a bartab on beer and wine for 300 people.

Post # 6
1513 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

that sounds awesome! i would love to go to an 80s style prom party πŸ™‚

i will probably be in the minority of folks, since i am not a huge etiquette stickler, but i dont think you have to pay for everyones entire bar tab. drink tickets would probably be more economical than an open beer bar, but i think they would also be a little more annoying too (could get lost/stolen/somehow reused etc)….

if i were throwing that type of party and wanted to foot part of the bill, i would probably do open beer bar and let people buy liquor as they wanted it.

you could also decide how much you want to spend and have it open up until that point, so you dont wind up ending the night with a $10,000 beer tab. if i went to a party at a bar, this wouldnt bother me at all. (although it would probably help to have some proir notice via word of mouth that this was happening, so i was prepared with enough cash etc)

please tell me you are going to do a choreographed “thriller” dance at this party…. no 80s prom is complete without it!

Post # 7
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would say free beer and wine, liquior should be cash bar.  That way you can meet everyone in the middle.

Post # 9
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Drink tickets is a great idea….that way you have a set limit. Even if people collect tickets from others, if you’ve only given out 400 then you know you’re only paying for 400 drinks. This way you can pick how much you’re comfortable with spending, then have the correct amount of drink tickets to reflect that. You could maybe do one ticket for everyone, then give key people a second one – like good friends, immediate family. It’s a good way to limit it. OR, you could do the same thing behind the bar. Designate X bottles of wine, X bottles of beer, use them until they’re gone and then it turns to cash bar. I think the drink tickets would be simpler though.

Post # 10
2359 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would set a cap with the bar, and when it reaches that dollar amount, make it cash bar after. 

you can set a cap for say 5,000, and at 5,000 the manager can come consult you and say ok you’ve reached your cap, do you want to open it up for another 2,000?? or start cash bar.

Post # 11
1736 posts
Bumble bee

I would like to formally request an invitation to your 80’s prom bash! That sounds awesome! I agree with others on this: do open bar with just beer/wine and let those who want hard liquor pay for it themselves.

You should totally do an 80’s signature drink though…or a few…and call them things like, “Risky Business” – “Ecto-Cooler” – “Pretty in Pink”

Post # 12
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I would say free beer and wine only!  Or say we will spend X ammount once that is hit the bar needs to become a cash bar b/c we are only willing to spend X amount on drinks


Post # 13
13073 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Is the 80s bar thing billed as  ‘reception’?  If it is, it’s your responsibility, as hosts, to provide for the alcohol.  Even if it’s beer and wine, with a cash bar for liquor, you need to provide for your guests.

Personally, I think drink tickets are a bad idea.  All they do is remind me of those cheesy events in college in which you were bribed to attend with the promise of two free drinks.

You could also do a hosted bar until the tab hits $X, and then convert it to cash bar for the rest of the night.

Post # 14
149 posts
Blushing bee

I would set a limit at the bar and when you that it goes to a cash bar.  With that many people just beer and wine can get expensive quick. 

Post # 16
2580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Crazyhair:  Can I just say…this sounds so fun! What a great idea. I also think because it’s less formal, it’s easier to do something like this. I think you could easily cover the bar until a certain time/amount or just do beer and wine covered.

The topic ‘Open Bar debacle….’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors