open bar?
Who here is or has done an open bar? What are the positives and negatives?

Married: 08/13/2011
Posted On: Apr 15, 2011 at 3:17 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

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Shannon S.
Married: 2+ years ago
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:19 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Our venue had a package of wine, beer, and rail liquor for $28/person (a steal in our area). It was nice to know exactly what we'd spend, instead of seeing a bill at the end of the night. And, of course, our guests were overjoyed and had a blast.

Married: 06/04/2011
Reviews: 5
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:21 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
we are having an open bar and to save some serious and wine hard liquor..thats where the CHA-CHING happens!

Also we have some friends who drink til they are stupid on hard thank you!

Kayla & Thomas
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 5
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:22 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Were going to do open bar. We are going to set a limit on it though so that it doesn't get out of hand money wise. We are also going to only offer beer, one red wine choice, one white wine choice and well drinks so that people don't order top shelf everything and break our wallets. A lot of times a wedding people get a drink and sit it down, then get distracted and forget about their full drink and go get a new one. It's very wasteful and adds up quickly especially if you have a large guest list. We talked it over with our venue and they are going to politely announce to our guest that it is a cash bar after we have reached the desired amount we plan on spending. Also if people want top shelf they can still get it and just pay cash for it.

Married: 09/08/2012
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:24 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
The venue I am looking at hires 2 bartenders for #350. We buy all the liquor, we are getting 2 or 3 kegs, some whiskey, vodka, rum and a margarita machine for 150-200 ppl so we shop our own prices, they serve for a set price and no surprises. We will get a list of what can be made and have it as a drink list to choose from so ppl aren't asking for things we don't have. We have some bartender friends helping us with the list and they will let us know what ppl will drink the most of.

Married: 10/09/2011
Reviews: 11
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:27 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We are planning on having a 4 hour open bar since the reception is only 5 hours we figured alcohol for 4 hours was plenty.

Married: 08/11/2012
Reviews: 5
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:27 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We are doing open bar for our wedding, but that is because we have a family full of "social" drinkers. Things must be super cheap over here in Western NY since we are getting 4 hours of top shelf open bar, with bottled beer for $16.50 per person. Huge steal there!!

That one chick who's married to that one dude
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 5
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:27 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We decided on not doing an open bar. We like the idea, but the problem is very few people like to drink who is coming to the wedding and the few that do, prefer hard liquor. We figured it would be a waste of money to pay an extra $3,000 to pay for 20 out of 170 people to drink.

Married: 05/23/2010
Reviews: 5
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:27 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We had a few types of beer, a red and white wine, and a signature vodka based drink. We had lots and lots of booze so that we wouldn't run out. We just hired the bartender from our venue. He was actually really awesome. When the signature drink wasn't turning out how I expected, he made up a new version using house liquor.

Married: 08/13/2011
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:28 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Yeah i want to just have beer and wine BUT FH says he plans on doing some shots with his friends, which is whatever. But we cant just have 5 minutes of liquor. We are doing a bill at the end of the night which kind of scares me. I think I will ask our venue if we can do a flat rate.

Married: 09/03/2011
Reviews: 2
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:30 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Well, there are positives and negatives to both depending on your crowd.

Drink Tab: If both families tend to be a little more reserved and don't seem to drink all that much . . . then perhaps paying drink by drink would be the better bet for you. You could wind up ahead in terms of how much you will pay if not that much liquor is consumed.

Open Bar: If your friends and family like to let loose and party till they drop . . . I'd definately go with the open bar. You can get a set price and its a done deal. Don't forget, if anyone is in to shots, that can send your tab through the roof!

Cash Bar: I think in most circles this is considered tacky. If you are inviting people to celebrate with you . . . be a gracious host and provide both food and drink for your guests. This is not a townie-bar birthday celebration. Its your wedding! Wether it's a causual affair or the most formal event of your life . . . a good host is a good host.

Married: 08/13/2011
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:32 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We are having a small wedding of about 50 guests and its mainly our friends who drink and a few people on FH's side. I read another post and shes paying 3000$ please tell me that that is like WAY high end.

Married: 09/03/2011
Reviews: 2
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:37 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I'd also talk to the venue about combining the options. If you have a 4 hour bar at $30 a head and your event ends at say 11:30 pm. Then you decide to extend the party another half an our or so . . . the venue may say it is another $8 a head per hour. We'll, alot of people will have left by then and alot of your guest may have already had too much! Paying drink by drink at the end of the night may save you some doe.

Good Luck!

Married: 09/03/2011
Reviews: 2
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:41 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Well it depends on the size of her party and the type of drink package she has. I don't know where you are from, but in the Chicago area, the prices we came across ranged from $25-$38 per person for open bar for 4 hours and wine service with dinner.

Married: 08/20/2011
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:42 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We are doing a buffet that comes with 7 h'orderves (sp?) crostini, international cheese display, meat carving table, 2 pastas, chicken AND open bar for only $58/ per person. We're having about 100 guests :)

Married: 12/31/2011
Reviews: 5
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:43 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We are combining, we are paying for a keg and a champagne toast, but liquor costs

Married: 08/13/2011
Apr 15, 2011 at 3:52 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Well I just found out we have two options either an open bar with a tab kept or cash bar. Cash bar is OUT OF THE QUESTION!!! and we have to bring in our own champagne. uggghhh

Married: 08/12/2011
Reviews: 8
Apr 15, 2011 at 4:13 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Well I'm having an open bar. I drink liquor so therefore it made sense to me. Most of my guests drink as well. A tab bar just wouldn't work for us. I would be scared off the bar tab. LOL I personally hate cash bars. I think if you can't afford it, then don't do it.

Married: 10/01/2011
Reviews: 3
Apr 15, 2011 at 4:22 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We are doing beer, wine and set ups. Anyone that wants hard liquor can bring it in. We are at a community center that allows BYOB.

Married: 03/10/2012
Apr 17, 2011 at 10:01 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Our open bar is about 25pp but beer wine and call drinks, but at our location they are only making up pay for who drinks which works out well because myside of the family doesn't drink but my FH does.
Edited On: Apr 17, 2011 at 10:01 PM

Married: 03/09/2012
Reviews: 2
Apr 17, 2011 at 10:05 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We have a 5 hour open premium bar. We really want the night to be a giant celebration, and coming from Irish and Scottish families booze is a must. :) Whatever you do, don't have a cash bar - it' so tacky. If you can't afford a full-fledged open bar, have beer and wine only as it will lower the cost considerably.
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