Post # 1
Hi all! So I just got off the phone with a caterer, and he was explaining all the different bar options. It was $3.50/person for bar set-up alone, $5.95/person for just mixers, $12.50 for mixers, wine and beer, or $15/person for a full bar (mixers, wine, beer, hard alcohol).
I am trying to decide which to choose? Should we get bar set-up and buy all the rest of the stuff ourselves? Or get bar set up and mixers? Or get the full bar??
What do you think would be the most cost effective? I have absolutely no idea how much alcohol/mixers we would need to buy if we were to get stuff on our own. Please help!
Post # 3
It depends. $15/person all night seems like a pretty good deal to me. Make sure it’s not $15/person/hour. it might be worth it just not to hassle with it.
Our caterer told us not to use them for booze, because she knew I was very budget-focused. We are going to buy beer, wine, hard alcohol, mixers, etc at BevMo. The caterer gave me the formula they use to figure out how much to buy. I estimate I’ll spend about $2000-2500 at Bevmo for our 150 guests. Nice thing is, whatever we don’t open, we can return.
Post # 4
It is $15/person for the whole night, and I am having 150 guests also (so the total should be around $2200). Katiethelady, would you mind sharing the formula your caterer gave you? I think that if you are spending around $2000 to $2500 for your 150 guests my $15/person option seems like a good deal. Although, maybe with your $2000 you will be able to buy nicer stuff?
Post # 5
$15/person seems totally reasonable for a full open bar, especially if that includes all the extras!
Post # 6
We’re getting our own beer & wine (no hard alcohol). It might be a pain in the butt, but all the other caterers were charging like $5 for a Coors Lite and $9 for a glass of wine. No way.
Post # 7
As a former bartender and someone who bought my own alcohol, here is the formula that I used:
Figure 2 drinks per person per hour…..so 150 x 2 x 5 = 1500 drinks.
You get 4 glasses of wine/champagne per bottle 12 bottles per case, 24 beers per case and about 40 shots per 750ml bottle of liquer. So if you did just beer you need=63 cases of beer, just wine=32 cases, just alcohol=37 bottle of assorted liquer. Or any combination there of….The best part is that you can control what brands you buy and ultimately how much you spend.
I had a champagne fountain ($60 best deal ever) and stocked it with 4 cases of cheap champagne, 17 cases of beer in mixed flavors and 20 cases of wine. Granted I over ordered because everyone I know is a heavy drinker but we walked home with 2 cases of champagne, 4 cases of beer and 3 cases of wine—all which have been used as we host parties as a new married couple. Total liquer expense for the wedding was $1500 because I bought in bulk, "featured" a wine (ie got 10% discount for serving from local winery) and did have the ability to return unopened items, which we didn’t.
Post # 8
try http://www.partystaff.com/ in the party tips section. They give guidelines for alcohol, mixers, & ICE the most overlooked part of DIY bars. Depending on your guests age I would tweek it a bit. Younger guests – More Vodka. Depending on how long your reception or what time of day it is, will also affect how much people drink.
Post # 9
We bought our own alcohol and it came out to $10 per person for full premium bar. We had every alcohol under the sun and all the mixers (amaretto, baileys, peanut butter liquors, chocolate liquors, etc…). We also had a martini bar (so all the mixers and rimmers for every cool flavor under the sun – side note…egg nog mixer <– not so tasty). The $10 per person also includes champage, red and white wine, and a few different choices of beer brands. We could have done a full premium bar for about $7-8 per person if we cut out the martini bar and maybe some of the lesser known mixes. The price included delivery and pick up of the alcohol to and from the reception site. Any unopened bottle would be returned and we kept all the opened bottles. I live in lower Fairfield Country, CT where weddings average $60k so it’s not like this price is lower than anywhere else across the country.
Post # 10
Our bill was about $2300 for 240 people….the brands of alcohol that we used was like Grey Goose vodka, Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker Black, Bacardi Superior rum, 1800 Tequila, etc. The more variety you have, the more costly the alcohol (the amount of opened bottles for the possibility of 1 person asking for the drink).
Post # 11
Thanks ladies! So helpful!