(Closed) Open bar: Flat Fee vs. Consumption

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I seems like consumption would be cheaper.  A premium bar for 4 hours is assuming more than 6 of the most expensive drinks per person, which seems like a LOT.

Sorry, just saw that you were looking at the wine/beer only option, but even that is like 7 drinks pp @ $4.00 each to 28 bucks. 

A few additional questions:  Are most of your guests having to drive home?  Say even 1/3 people is driving home.  They’ll likely have no more than 2 drinks if they’re relatively responsible, so that passes 2.5 drinks to each non-driver.  Bringing it to 9.5 drinks per drinker.

Also, do those prices include tax/service fee?

Post # 4
1880 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We are paying by drink actually ordered. I am far more comfortable with this – even if it amounts to the same as the flat fee, at least I will know everyone was actually drinking!

Post # 5
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I went with flat fee for a few reasons.

1. You know what the bill is, no surprises at the end of the night

2. When people see an “open” bar (they don’t know if its consumption or flat fee) they tend to put down drinks that are half finished and then grab another or wait staff clears drinks away.

After my wedding,when we calculated it out, flat fee was better. We also had wine served during dinner.

Post # 6
609 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

When drinks are fre, people tend to order more. Since the beer/wine option is affordable I woud definitely go with open bar. i have heard horror stories of consumption bars and how they wished they had chosen open bar. 

Post # 7
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Just looking at your prices, if a guest has more than 1 drink, you’re at the hourly rate, I’d estimate people will have more than one drink an hour.

Post # 8
7902 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

I think the rates in your case make flat a better deal. 

Post # 9
259 posts
Helper bee

Consumption I think is better

Post # 10
669 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

  1. Be careful with consumption- the venue has the incentive to try to get folks to buy more. My Future Sister-In-Law said that at her wedding she paid a lot more than expected because they would clear drinks as soon as someone would put them down, no matter how full…. So people ended up ordering quite a few drinks and ending up costing more han a flat fee bar would have been

Post # 11
2227 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

When we signed our contract we had a flat fee until 12 and then had the choice to pay per drink or consumption… We ended up going with consumption figuring the old people would go home and the party would have already gotten started by then (drinking would wind down): BIG MISTAKE!! It ended up costing us more than DOUBLE. It really depends on your type of guests but a lot of our friends were 18-27 so the party went til 3:30 and the liquor kept flowing. :S Did NOT expect that.



Post # 12
2635 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Steph8765:  DO NOT DO CONSUMPTION!!!! My cousin and one of my friends figured that they were inviting only a few heavy drinkers to their wedding…..little did they realize even a light drinker will drink more then usual if the bar is free for them on both of their weddings. 

My cousin said her biggest expense was the bar!!! 

Post # 13
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Hourly package is by far your cheapest option. People will drink alot more then you think, especially since it is free, I wish we had an hourly rate option because by drink is absolutely crazy expensive.

Post # 15
24 posts
  • Wedding: October 2012

I had this dilemma as well for my wedding. And the best thing my mother in law said to me was that she knew I would be watching all of the drinks all night if I did the bar based on consumption and she was right. I’m not sure if it was cheaper to do the bar package but I wasn’t looking at all the drinks and trying to guess how much it was going to cost. I knew that was the price no matter what.

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