Price per person: beer and wine only vs. open bar

posted 8 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
5147 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m having ~100 guests.

Keg of specialty beer: $360

House wine (60-80 glasses): $120  (most of our guests are beer drinkers)

Total: $480

So under $5 per person.

(If we run out of beer, we’ll go for a domestic draft backup: $240)

If we would have done an open bar, it would be per person:
1 hour: $7.50
2 hours: $10.50
3 hours: $11.50
4 hours: $13.50
5 hours: $15.00

Post # 4
Member
615 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

@abbyful: I wish we were provided options with those great prices!  Our drink package is based on consumption (so time is not a factor) and priced at regular bar prices – so $5 to $10 per drink.  Yikes. 

We have no option to have an open bar or bring in our own alcohol (the corkage fees are atrocious).  We are having a horrid time deciding how to craft our drink menu because even though we have only about 85 guests, most of them drink like a fish.  We will only be allowing wine and beer, though – no champagne or hard alcohol, so hopefully this decision will work in our favor.  I positively cringe when I see the gleam in my guests’ eyes when they see the beer list, though.  The “FREE” beer list. 

Post # 5
Member
7527 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

We had a 3 hour reception.  We had an completly open bar which ran us $25/guest.  If we had only chosen beer and wine it would have been $20/guest.

Post # 6
Member
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

we were quoted $18-40 per person if we host the entire night (4 hours, i think). its just an estimate though, we will have to pay based on actual consumption ($5.50 for a bottle of coors light :() i am not sure if its beer and wine or including hard alcohol too.  

that being said, we basically cut that in half and we are putting $2,500 into the alcohol fund and once that runs out, its a “cash bar”.

Post # 7
Member
10287 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

We’re offering a limited open bar with a champagne toast and a signature drink. Our cocktail hour and reception will last for 5 hours and alcohol will be provided the whole time…

We’re having:

  • 2 kegs of beer (will be served draft style by the bartender) – $630
  • 20 Bottles of wine (white and red) – $335
  • Champagne toast – $233
  • Signature drink – $200
  • Soda – $200

Grand total of $1593 or approximately $15 per guest

Full open bar option offered by the venue:

  • $17.25 for the first hour
  • $14 each additional hour

To offer the full open bar from start to finish, it would cost us $73.25 per person! I could NEVER spend that much on booze. 

Post # 9
Member
10287 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

@meladoug: I know right! The full open bar consists of “selected premium, call and house brand liquors, bottled wine by the glass, soda and mixers”. We would have to buy kegs of beer additionally! So for a FULL open bar, it would probably be closer to $76 per person! If your guests are going to drink $76 worth of alcohol at your reception, it’s probably best to have a dry wedding!

 

Post # 10
Member
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We are having open bar with champagne,6 different kinds of beer, 4 different wines , soda coffee and tea . Cash for everything else

6 hours for 16$ a person

were debating to make it a full open bar. Then we would be paying 24$ a head! They would have top shelf booze. If we wanted premium open bar (with vsop,johnny blue and seriously top shelf booze) it would be 28$ a head.

Good luck!

Post # 11
Member
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

HOLY COW. I thought ours was big.. Why are they charging you like that? I looked at so many places I think i only saw one that charged that way.. craziness!

Post # 12
Member
10287 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

@jenlee1: I’m not really sure. I would have a consuption bar over paying for the full open. It has to be cheaper to pay per drink. I can’t imagine anyone paying that much for just the open bar. 

Post # 13
Member
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@UpstateCait: See i kinda think the opposite.. heres how i see it. Most places sell beer for 5-7$ a glass/bottle. wine for 6-10$ a glass, martinis for 7-10$ longislands at least 8$, top shelf scotches or bourbons at least 12$. That being said…

say i have 120 or so people drinking.

say 30 drinking beer , each drinking at least 4 beers ( some more cuz hey its a wedding and free lol) thats at least 600$

now for my martini friends lets say 25 drinking them…maybe 2 each approx 450$

wine drinkers lets say 30 people drinking at least 3 glasses (again its a wedding and free LOL) approx 630$

This alone adds up to…1680$ then add tax and tip… so in my eyes i am looking at a minimum of 2000 for the bar tab for a consumption bar.

I think paying per head works out. Unless you know you dont have many drinkers! then its def better…I have cousins who will drink Johhny Blue all night… now thats a big bar tab 🙂

Sorry for writing so much.. can u tell i am a bartender lol

Post # 14
Member
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

we actually got a great deal because our venue coordinator is awesome. we’re having 80 people, 5 hours of open bar, (beer, wine, champagne and well) for $25 a person. 

Post # 14
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

   The biggest concern here is also location. I run a wedding venue and our prices are much higher. Approximately $18-36/pp for a 4-hr bar. However we are in New England where prices tend to be higher. 

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