Your wedding can be one of those occasions where everyone weighs in with their two cents’ worth of advice. One of the sticking points can be whether you want to offer your guests free drinks and/or a cash bar. You will most likely have to choose an option that will suit your budget, but let’s run through the good points versus the bad:
- Guests will like an open bar because they don’t have to worry about what they spend, instead they can concentrate on having good time.
- Your guests can choose from a variety of drinks.
- If you have an open bar you can save on hiring waiting staff as guests will get their own drinks at the bar.
- We all know a few friends who can go overboard so there is the possibility that some guests will exploit the offer of free drinks.
- Offering drinks to your guests can be expensive (this will be your main consideration when deciding whether to have an open bar or a cash bar).
- If your guests are more interested in having a party, they may spend more time at the bar, instead of focusing on the focal point of the reception: the newlyweds.
- This is much cheaper, freeing up your budget for something else at the wedding.
- Those aforementioned friends might not drink themselves to a standstill.
- Some guests may have had to travel far to get to your wedding and may not be entirely happy to have to fork out even more just to have a drink at your party. So think carefully about where you have your reception, your venue can have a direct bearing on what your guests will have to pay for drinks.
Limited Bar (cash or open)
- So a limited bar means that you limit the choice available to your guests. For instance you will only have one type each of red and white wine, maybe three selections of beer, a few soft drinks and so on. Champagne should be on offer for when speeches are made. All of this should be easier on your budget
- You will find that guests do not veer off from their normal drinking habits and will be happy with beer and wine.
- This is the middle of the road option, so it should keep everyone content.
- If the choice is limited, guests may not want anything that you have on offer and this can lead to a few guests being disgruntled.
To conclude, a few hints when making your final decision about the bar. Perhaps go with a mix of free drinks and a cash bar at your wedding reception. For example, you can serve free sparkling wine (less expensive than champagne) with your canapes and also have some in reserve when it comes to the speeches and toasting of the bride and groom. The norm these days is to have bottle of red and white wine on each table for your guests to help themselves. The rest of the drinks can then be available at a cash bar. However, consider procuring the alcohol yourself and offer the drinks at cost price to your guests. You can even negotiate a sale or return deal with your supplier, so that you don’t lose out when you have too many unopened drinks left over.