So my fiancee and I are going round about the stupid alcohol situation. We have to use our venue for alcohol. He just wants to buy kegs from them and set them up in the reception area. I want to use the bar and set a certain dollar amount where people can come up and get beer and wine until the money runs out. I feel like it's classier and if we set the same limit as we would spend on the kegs: who cares? Obviously cash bar for hard liquor.
His deal is he doesn't want people ordering microbrews and wasting all the money and he doesn't want to pay ANOTHER gratuity to the bartender since the venue has added tips in everywhere.
I think pumping your own beer outside of a frat party is tacky and we are only spending a certain amount on alcohol regardless of which way we go. After it runs out guests are welcome to use the bar at their own expense. Plus I'm sure that gratuity is in there whether the bartender pours the drink or just sets the keg up.