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Sylessia
Dedicated March 2020

Beer, Wine, and Signature Cocktails vs Full Bar

Sylessia, on June 18, 2019 at 2:24 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 1 15
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My fiancé and I are trying to decide if we should have a full bar or instead incorporate a few signature cocktails (at least one brown and one white liquor). We are trying to be budget friendly since it is a small wedding with 65 people being able to drink and both being full-time graduate students. Thoughts?


15 Comments

Latest activity by Sylessia, on August 16, 2019 at 10:26 AM
  • Tonia
    Expert October 2019
    Tonia ·
    • Flag

    We are doing signature drinks (one white, one dark) and beer/wine for cocktail hour, and then having a full bar during the reception. This allows us to save on alcohol during the cocktail hour.

    • Reply
  • Cristy
    Master May 2021
    Cristy ·
    • Flag

    We decided to save on alcohol by only having beer and wine. Our catering package also includes a champagne toast.

    But there's also a bar right in the same building, next to our reception room, so if anyone wants a hard drink, they can get it for themselves.

    • Reply
  • MrsD
    Legend July 2019
    MrsD ·
    • Flag

    It would depend on the signature cocktail, but I'd assume you would save money buying only one liquor rather than several for a full open bar.

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  • Alli
    Devoted October 2020
    Alli ·
    • Flag

    We are only doing beer and wine. No cocktails. I think as long as people have something to sip on, it will be fine. It also depends on what time your wedding will be and how long you plan on it lasting.

    • Reply
  • Allie
    Master August 2019
    Allie ·
    • Flag

    We are doing 3 types of wine, 3 types of beers, and 2 signature cocktails.

    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    Full open bar is so much more costly usually. Think people would be equally satisfied with just beer and wine.
    • Reply
  • Wendy
    Dedicated April 2020
    Wendy ·
    • Flag
    We are doing beer, wine and signature cocktails. I think this many options are more than adequate and will help stay on budget 😊
    • Reply
  • Mandi
    Master October 2020
    Mandi ·
    • Flag
    My feelings on going to weddings and getting free alcohol: "if you dont like what they are serving, shut up and dont complain"
    I think the beer/wine/signature cocktails will be much more budget friendly than a full open bar.
    • Reply
  • Jo
    WeddingWire Administrator May 2015
    Jo ·
    • Flag

    If you want to be sensitive to your budget then I think you're fine with only beer and wine, and you're especially good if you also include a signature cocktail or two.

    • Reply
  • Maria
    Super October 2019
    Maria ·
    • Flag
    We are only doing beer and wine. Guests still have the option to purchase liquor if they want. Two signature cocktails seems great to me, especially if they have the option to buy their own if they aren't happy with all the free choices.


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  • Sylessia
    Dedicated March 2020
    Sylessia ·
    • Flag

    Thanks for all the insight!

    • Reply
  • Iva
    Super September 2019
    Iva ·
    • Flag
    Beer, wine & signature cocktails are plenty! If you want to save $ you can skip signature cocktails as well. If anyone complains there is no full bar, that’s honestly their problem. You are providing alcohol & that should be enough.
    We are doing signature cocktails only during cocktail hour, beer & wine all night, and champagne for cake cutting toast. I was very adamant about not having full open bar, not because of the budget, but because I don’t want people getting super drunk at our wedding. I really don’t like being surrounded by drunk people & if I could, I wouldn’t serve any alcohol 😆
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Legend March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    It’s totally ok to just offer beer & wine!

    If you really want, what about one signature cocktail? A “Just Married Martini” or “Mr & Mrs Margarita?”
    • Reply
  • Sinéad
    WeddingWire Administrator January 2025
    Sinéad ·
    • Flag

    Hey Sylessia!! What have you decided to do for your wedding?

    • Reply
  • Sylessia
    Dedicated March 2020
    Sylessia ·
    • Flag
    I decided to to fill bar!
    • Reply

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