Oh the age old question… Should we have an open bar? This can either be a tricky question or a no brainer! There’s a lot to consider with an open bar at your wedding. Make sure you consider everything before you decide! The top three things to think about:
1) What rules does your venue have on open bars? Many require that you pay for all of their own supplies (including mixers and sodas). Some will require that you have a police officer on site (that you will be paying for yourself). Some may not even allow alcahol (that may make up your mind for you or may make you think you need a new location!).
2) Are you paying or a family member? If there is family involved in the payment you may want to take how they feel about it into consideration.
3) And of course, the cost. If your venue is in charge of the bar ask them about different bar packages. There are plenty of ways to save some money and still have a bar. You can forgo the “top shelf” products. You can limit the time of service. If the venue allows it you could supply your own liquor and mixes.
You could also nix the liquor and just go with beer and wine. This is always a much cheaper option. Many venues will allow you to bring in your own wine (they may have a corkage fee, so make sure to ask). Trader Joe’s is a GREAT place to score some tasty wine on a budget. They have their own brand for $2.50 a bottle, and it’s delicious!
There is one other cost saver (however, I do not care for it myself) and that is the cash bar. I have attended weddings with a cash bar and did not care for it as the guest. I didn’t like this for a couple of reasons: 1)because I didn’t know it was a cash bar and I didn’t bring a lot of cash! therefore I couldn’t afford more than one drink 2) the cash policy also applied to nonalcoholic drinks as well (such as sodas and juices). If you do decide to have a cash bar I defiantly suggest letting your guests know in advance. This way they will be pre-pared.