(Closed) Would you still have an open bar if….

posted 7 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
2505 posts
Sugar bee


CanadianBride456:  Wow that’s nuts. I’m all for an open bar but damn…my whole wedding won’t cost that much! Can you bring your own alcohol? Get a different venue?

Post # 3
11517 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
CanadianBride456:  we’re having a limited open bar, but it won’t cost us anywhere close to that.  Ours will be more like $35 per person I think (which is still high but or bar got complicated)

Most of the prices I got here (Toronto/GTA) were between $25 and $35 per person flat fee depending on the bar package (standard vs premium) OR you paid by consumption and prices were usually lower than what I’ve paid at cash bar weddings (and I’ve been to LOADS of those too) around $3.00 a piece.

In the GTA everywhere has a per person bar package and it’s a flat fee no matter what you drink (and if you figure that a 26oz bottle of vodka costs about $25-30 retail and the venue is charging that per person they’re doing alright…) I know that wasn’t the case when we were looking at having the wedding out east.

Here, a lot of venues won’t LET you do a cash bar (I’m serious) or they want to charge you crazy fees to do it.

Post # 5
627 posts
Busy bee

I’m in Canada, too. I must be in a cheaper province because I’ve never heard of an open bar costing that much! I wouldn’t be willing to spend $10,000 on just alcohol for one night. If it’s not common in your region or social circle, I wouldn’t worry about it. I’m sure no one will be expecting it!

Post # 6
857 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

No way! We plan on having a venue where we can bring our own alcohol and having a beer and wine bar! Much cheaper

Post # 8
9795 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

No, I’d probably elope or have a small Destination Wedding if it cost that much around here.  Cash bars seem fairly common in Canada but I don’t see much of them in the US (except at cheaper weddings or where they are super religious–just my experience).

Post # 9
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I don’t understand why boards on here about open bars are always an “all or nothing” mentality. In my area, it is REALLY common to have an open bar for cocktail hour, then wine at the tables for dinner, then for the dancing portion liquor is cash bar. (but usually there is at least free beer). 

I know you were just writing this in support of people who choose cash bars- and I completely understand. I just wanted to point out another flaw that I have seen in the “open bar” discussion. 

Post # 10
1247 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Don’t per head packages exist? Alcohol is expensive in Australia (beer would be usually around $8, more for some imported) so most people get a package per head for unlimited beer and wine). Having said that we decided to go on consumption cos our venues packages are ridiculous. I’m hoping for 85 people we get away with around 4k taking into account the teetotallers and pregnant/breast feeding people. Even that amount makes me twitch!

Post # 11
9541 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Personally, I would (and did) have my wedding in a different location where I could bring my own alcohol for significantly less and offer a free, limited, bar! But that’s what I chose to do. I’ve never been to an all cash bar wedding, but I’ve been to several that had free beer/wine but you had to pay for hard liquor! Honestly, as long as your guests know what’s going on so that they can bring cash if they want to drink, I think it’s fine. The only time I’ve been upset was when I didn’t think to bring cash with me to a wedding and wanted a rum and coke. But I drank my wine and got over it!

Post # 14
10450 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

That’s insane!!! We did a toonie bar, which I think is pretty common in Canada (at least where I live). It was about $5000 for our behind-the-scenes charge (guests paid $2 for each alcoholic drink and we paid the rest plus juice, pop and fees) and the dinner wine we provided. That’s for 150 guests so I can’t imagine doubling it! Our average was about 5-6 drinks per person, and we had some heavy drinkers. 

Post # 15
1555 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We’ll have around 200 guests, and the reception is from 4 to 9 pm.

Our hotel has a package deal and we’ve chosen 4 wines & 5 craft beers for the hosted bar, plus 5 bottles of bourbon which will be available until finished. 

The package is costing $33/head and is only for the 21+ crowd (so about 160-170 people) and altogether that’s less than $6k for a hosted bar the whole reception long. 

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