Open bar options?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
44 posts

I can’t imagine not serving beer. There are a lot of people (men in particular) who almost exclusively drink beer. I don’t really see what’s trashy about it, especially with the crazy craft beer market now. Does he not want cans and bottles around? Most venues will dispense beer into glasses anyway, so if that’s the issue I wouldn’t worry about it. Beer also tends to be the lower ABV option so without it on hand you could end up with a lot of people being more drunk than they’d ordinarily be. 


Post # 3
2459 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

We had beer and wine only.  Beer doesn’t have to be trashy – craft beer or some of the more upmarket beers aren’t, in my view.  But what do your guests like to drink? That should influence your choice.

Post # 4
1002 posts
Bumble bee

Well, I think there may be a terminology issue here – an open bar means that you host a full bar and let guests choose what they want. You don’t pick any specific drinks to have, the bar just has….allt he drinks. I would personally never consider anything besides an open bar.

If you choose a few cocktails then you’re hosting a limited bar. One option is to host beer and wine and a signature cocktail or just beer and wine. Beer is pretty basic so I would recommend having it – doesn’ thave to be a keg. An open bar should have a tap.

Post # 5
2017 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I’ve got to agree with the other bees. Wine and no beer sounds weird.  PP’s idea about craft beer seems like a good way to go if you want to “class” it up a bit.

Post # 6
7914 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Agreeing with PP, this is a wine, beer and “signature cocktails” offering, not an “open” bar by my local standards. Is there another cocktail you like? Mimosas seem brunchy to me and if you’re already serving wine sangria may be redundant. Cosmos and Mojitos? Or some other vodka option to go with a rum option? (Not everyone drinks rum.) There are plenty of craft beer connoisseurs who would be appalled to hear that beer is trashy. Maybe add some hard cider? 

Post # 7
2949 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

 Beer is trashy? 

It’s one of the most common drink options worldwide! 

Post # 8
2125 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Open bar is when you serve a full host bar including bar, not limited bar according to what you feel is “trashy”. 

I think it’s super skimpy to serve a couple of signature mixed drinks and just wine. If you’re going to go limited bar go wine and beer, it’s more variety for everyone not just you. 

I’m curious as to how beer is trashy. 

Post # 9
2331 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

We had several types of beer available at the bar along with bottles of grey goose (Russians), as well as wine on the tables. When the wine on the tables ran out, my husband and I passed out new bottles and got to mingle with the tables. It was fun!

We chose to only have one type of hard alcohol since it is a Russian tradition to drink vodka and we wanted our guests to share in that. We had shot glasses on the tables as wedding favors that said “l’chaim” which means ‘to life’ in Hebrew as we are Jewish. 

Post # 10
1468 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

The only alcohol I drink is beer, so this would suck.

Post # 11
2544 posts
Sugar bee

Definitely don’t skip beer. For a lot of people that’s the only thing they drink. And if serving beer is trashy then pretty much every wedding ever held has been trashy… 

You’re better off serving beer and wine only. Far more people drink those than a steady stream of cocktails. Or you could serve beer, wine and 1-2 signature cocktails. Serving only sweet, hard alcohol is a recipe for disaster. People will either get too drunk too fast, or will skip alchohol altogether. 

Post # 12
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I’ve never been to a wedding that hasn’t served beer. Also, what you’re describing isn’t an open bar as others have already stated. An open bar would be beer, wine, and various types of liquor. Not two signature drinks and wine. At a minimum I would serve beer and wine. 

Post # 13
628 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Echoing what’s been said about beer but wanted to add a picky pet peeve: people drinking out of bottles or cans at formal events. All drinks should be served in glasses.

Post # 14
297 posts
Helper bee

Our plan is to have signature mocktails (we only drink super rarely but you could totally do cocktails instead) during the cocktail hour before dinner and then serve a wine from Turkey, Lebanon or Israel (he grew up in the Middle East) and one from a vineyard near my hometown. 

Do whatever feels right to you guys and feel free to set a drink maximum if you have any concerns!

Post # 15
2323 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

View original reply
brookeee16 :  An open bar would involve all alcoholic options, so you’re not having an open bar.

Beer is not “trashy”, I mean I wouldn’t be handing out PBR cans at my wedding but once you get the beer in a glass/cup it’s fine, and also there are tons of “classy” craft beers if you don’t feel comfortable serving bud light or something basic like that.

For ours we just did beer and wine, and had the option to purchase liqour drinks since we had our reception at a bar/restaurant.

I would do beer, wine and one or two signature cocktails. 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors