(Closed) Open Bar- Yay or Nay

posted 7 years ago in Food
Post # 2
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

We are. If it’s in your budget it’s something guests always appreciate!

Post # 3
4113 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Ours was open bar but we didn’t get a package, we had to pay per drink. We had a bunch of heavy drinkers/ partiers (estimated cost per drink was $12) and our final bill was exactly what we had budgeted for. 

Our venue added an open bar package just before we finalized our food and beverage but to add the stuff we wanted, it would’ve ended up costing more than what we paid in the end for the per drink cost. 

Post # 4
428 posts
Helper bee

I will be offering only beer and wine. It cuts the cost of an open bar while also allowing some kind of unlimited alcohol to everyone. Many drink vendors offer this as an option.

Post # 5
1320 posts
Bumble bee

We are definitely having an open bar (of beer, wine, and margaritas). I’ve never been to a wedding without one, though it isn’t required.

Post # 6
994 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Open bar is included in out price per person for our venue. We would have an open bar not matter what since its pretty unheard of in our area not to have one but we didn’t even have a choice not to have one at the venue. 

Post # 7
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Yes! If you have a limited budget, only have beer and wine. If you have an extremely limited budget, only do beer and wine for a few hours. Otherwise, if you have a decent budget, your guests will have a lot of fun with a completely open bar. <br /><br />We are having an open bar until about 11 or 1130 and then thinking about switching to beer and wine. People don’t need to be drinking hard alcohol after 3 hours of drinking. 

Post # 8
880 posts
Busy bee

As a guest I always say “yay!” When I see an open bar. 

Post # 9
1201 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

It all depends on what your guests are like.

We did an open bar, and it was awesome.

ETA: The open bar was per person for most of the night, but hard liquor was based on consumption during dinner, because how many people are going to head to the bar in the middle of dinner?

Post # 10
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

My family is a bit conservative, so we did not have an open bar. A lot of the guests invited don’t drink, so it would have been for nothing. Only two people drank, and it was added to our bill and we paid for it anyway. This was 2 out of about 50 people. Depends on who your crowd is, how many are coming, and how much you’re willing to spend.

Post # 11
7111 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Honestly, of all the things we spend money on, I think that an open bar is the thing that guests most appreciate. We did an open bar but we only had beer (~5 kinds), wine (red, white, white zin) and signature cocktails (hurricane, vodka lemonade and an old fashioned). It was totally worth it. We saved a lot by buying our own alcohol and just hiring a bartender. 

Post # 12
703 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Yes, we’ll have one. Its important to me for my guest to have diffrent options and as much as they like. I think is part of being a good host. But i get that is not possible for everyone, and thats ok too.

Post # 13
703 posts
Busy bee


View original reply
cupcakesandwine:  FI and I initially really wanted to do one, but quickly decided against for a few reasons: 1.) our guests are mostly family, so there will be a ton of kids; open bars and children of all ages aren’t an awesome combo IMO. 2.)We went to a friend’s wedding recently and watched guests (many of which who will be at our wedding, as well) get so embarassingly drunk that it bordered on dangerous & uncomfortable 3.) cost; even if we didn’t have that group of friends who would drink every drop they could get their hands on, an open bar is a huge expense that we simply don’t have the budget for.

However, I absolutely love wine and since at least half of our guests are coming in from out-of-state, we thought it would be a nice idea to provide wine on each of the tables from a local winery. We’re thinking of doing 1 white, 1 red, and 1 bottle of a sparkling juice on each table (also, it gives us an excuse to go wine tasting at ALL the local winerys in the next few months). We are also going to talk to our venue about purchasing a keg (or two?) of beer. All non-alcoholic beverages are included in our vendor contract, so beyond that, guests will be on their own to purchase additional drinks.

Post # 14
6263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

In my area everyone I know has done an open bar. I’ve never been to a NY/NJ wedding without one so I’m automatically biased. 

Post # 15
99 posts
Worker bee

We have narrowed it down to two venues, and here’s what we will be doing depending on which one we pick:

Option 1: We only get the venue for 3 hours.  There will be unlimited beer, wine, and soda.  It costs $15/head.  We’ll probably have around 130 people drinking.  (This is the more expensive option).

Option 2: The lady who owns the venue (she’s awesome!) buys wine and beer wholesale for us. We get the venue all night.  She says she thinks she can take care of 100 people for about $700.  We’ll likely just give her $1200 to spend so we won’t run out of anything.

Our wedding is mainly a middle-aged crowd (our parents’ friends, who we have grown up with and are also our friends).  Most of them drink, but I don’t think any of them will get too crazy, especially with us not offering liquor.  🙂

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