Post # 17
Thanks for the ideas bees! I’m going to share with Fiance and hopefully we’ll come up with a solution. We found out that the bar accepts credit and debit cards so as long as people have their wallets (which I think even if I was a guest at a wedding, I’d still have my purse with me or in my car). I just don’t want it to be a nasty surprise when everyone’s really buzzed, you know? Trying to avoid people making a scene…
We did the math last night and realized that we could easily spend $2,000 if we had no cap or limitations. If the reception lasted 6 hours and all 50 people drank at a rate of $3 per beer and up to $8 per mixed drink… It could easily top $2,000, which is 40% of our entire wedding budget and NOT something we can do.
Post # 18
I also think the tickets are a bit tacky, but in the end it sounds like you are on a budget and I’m sure the guests would understand.
Perhaps you should drop the drinks and only serve open bar beer and wine. I think that’s less noticible and more understanding than giving out tickets.
Post # 19
I’m also putting a cap on my cash bar – just make sure the amount is enough so then people don’t grumble (there is always someone who will grumble at something and it depends on how big of drinkers your guests are). Since you will be having a small number of people attend, make sure word gets around that there is a limited bar and that people should bring their wallets.
Post # 20
I wouldn’t do tickets but I understand the issue with people imbibing heavily in the beginning.
I dont really think there is a NEED to say anything. And then when it’s done it’s done. People will have credit cards if they want to drink more and if they dont have it oh well.
Post # 21
I would give each guest 2-3 drink tickets. That way not everyone is crowding the bar during the first 2-3 hours to get their drinks, and the people who wait don’t end up getting jipped while other people down 6-10 drinks in the first hour & use up your $500 right away. The weddings I know about that did a split open/cash bar used the drink tickets, and I think they’re a great idea. : )
To the people who are saying that tickets are tacky…what about the tickets is worse than having a time/cash cap limit? To me, the tickets are a way to stay classier, because people won’t be as sloshed, and they’ll feel more free to enjoy themselves without standing in a bar lineup for the first two hours in order to make sure they get their “free drinks”.
Post # 22
I’ve been to a rehearsal dinner where each place setting had two tickets (the raffle style you can buy at office supply stores) for drinks at it. I didn’t think it was tacky at all, but it was definitely a less formal event. I like the idea of putting up a sign at the bar. Have you done the math for an open bar of just beer and wine for like the first two hours? That might be a little more manageable. $8 for a mixed drink is crazy. No one should expect a bride and groom to pay for that.
Post # 23
One thing that is somewhat common where I live in Canada is to have a “twoonie” bar, basically, all drinks are $2. That helps offset the cost of the drinks, but doesn’t charge the full price for your guests. Mixed drinks sound very expensive at your venue, so you could limit the two dollar bar to well drinks and beer for example. That would allow your budget to stretch further.
Post # 24
Also, to the OP, I totally feel your regarding the costs of the drinks. Our venue wants to charge $7.50 PER OUNCE OF LIQUOR for mixed drinks. If we choose to have a passed signature drink, it will be $15 PER DRINK. We will either be having a dry wedding, a cash bar, or a cash bar & hosted wine-tasting.
Post # 25
I don’t find the drink tickets tacky at all. This way, at least people won’t hoard drinks. Future Mother-In-Law told me about future cousin in law’s wedding. They had a ‘per drink’ open bar and ended up putting a cap on it midway through the reception because people were hoarding drinks and didn’t remember which half-full glass belonged to who. So they just went to the bar and ordered another one. Tables were packed with half-full glasses that nobody finished, but that had to be paid for.
Our venue manager told me that in their experience, guests drink heavily during the first hour or two and then really slow down. They expect only the cocktail hour to be free, so they get as much as they can in the beginning. Because of that, our venue actually offers a per-guest flat rate, not a per-drink charge for a full open bar. That includes wine during dinner. It actually will be just as much as if we only offered the cocktail hour and wine during dinner.
Post # 26
I think it would be easier to just have an open bar for x number of hours, and the bartenders can tell your guests when they order the drinks. I like that idea better than drink tickets, but I understand the concern about going over budget if you set a time limit, rather than a monetary limit. I think drink tickets would be fine.