Six Essential Ways to Manage Bar Costs at the Reception

By: Ronnie Burg

Weddings are costly, and discovering methods to make them each memorable and inexpensive might be fairly the problem. Everybody goals of that picture-perfect wedding ceremony day, however no person needs to embark on a wedding shackled by debt.

Working with a small wedding ceremony funds isn’t straightforward however, with a bit of little bit of planning and analysis, it’s doable—and might nonetheless be fashionable. One of many key locations to chop prices is on the big-ticket gadgets like booze. The apparent methods to chop liquor prices can be both a money bar or a dry wedding ceremony, however neither are terrific wedding ceremony etiquette. There are methods to scale back reception bar prices with out pouring chilly water on the festivities.

Listed here are six important and inventive methods to handle bar prices on the reception:

1. A Restricted Bar

Whether or not to supply an open bar is without doubt one of the most hotly debated wedding ceremony matters. Who doesn’t love an open bar? However take into account this: Relying on components such because the age of the visitors, liquor prices for an open bar—wine, beer, and blended drinks—can soar as excessive as $90 per visitor, for a four-hour reception.

Plus, limitless alcohol can generally spell hassle. If you examine weddings gone flawed, serving copious quantities of alcohol was often a offender.

Why not scale down the bar choices to maintain prices cheap? Provide a collection of beers and wines and cast off the exhausting liquor. That may stop having to supply all kinds of liquor that leaves you with barely consumed bottles on the finish of the night time.

Create a spread, similar to two white and two pink wines, and two or three styles of beers, and embody a mixture of each mild and darkish beer. A enjoyable tip is to supply tastings of native craft beers and wines.

Six Essential Ways to Manage Bar Costs at the Reception

2. A Signature Cocktail

Fairly than springing for all kinds of exhausting liquor, create a signature drink—ensure that to present it a intelligent identify—to supply together with the wine and beer. Signature drinks are one other fabulous solution to give your wedding ceremony a private contact.

Create “His” and “Hers” drinks. Does he love a Manhattan and does she choose a Cosmopolitan? Serve these.

Or match the signature drink to your wedding ceremony colour scheme. If peach is your colour, whip up a batch of bourbon peach candy tea. Going with a rose-colored palette? Serve blackberry whiskey lemonade.

To maintain the drinks inexpensive, choose ones with components which are already included in your customary bar package deal, like vodka and orange juice, after which add your individual distinctive twist.

A batch drink like punch is one other cost-effective choice.

3. Restrict Bar Hours

Be inventive together with your bar hours—and that doesn’t imply shutting the bar down fully. A closed bar is a delicate sign to visitors that the celebration is over. It’s one step from turning the lights up vivid and taking part in the final track, and visitors eager to maintain consuming will go seeking one other venue.

However there are some intelligent methods to chop prices, similar to providing a full bar throughout cocktail hour after which switching to beer and wine service at dinner. Or, change to a money bar after dinner. Maybe supply one free beer model after the open bar closes. Money-strapped visitors will fortunately drink the free beer, whereas different visitors gained’t thoughts paying for their very own drinks later at night time.

Publish a intelligent signal—“Liquor up! We change to a money bar at 9 p.m.”—offers visitors loads of warning.

One tip: Don’t make a “money bar” a cash-only bar—who carries money round nowadays? Ensure bank cards are welcome.

Six Essential Ways to Manage Bar Costs at the Reception


Bringing your individual booze comes with its personal set of hurdles, as liquor legal guidelines range from state to state. However, on the plus aspect, it’s significantly extra inexpensive to offer your individual liquor than ordering it by your venue or wedding ceremony caterer, and you may select your individual bottles.

First, discover a venue that allows offering your individual alcohol. Then store and examine. Request quotes from a number of completely different beverage corporations that provide a wide range of alcohol. Go for a beverage provider who will reimburse you for any unopened bottles you come.

One bonus of supplying your individual booze is you get to take residence what’s left on the finish of the night time. You could simply begin out your marriage with a fully-stocked bar.

Rent a bartender.

5. Skip the Champagne Toast

It’s conventional to offer a glass of champagne to each visitor within the room for the toasts. However that may rapidly add up, to the tune of a whole bunch of {dollars}, notably in case your tastes run towards the pricier manufacturers of champagne.

Friends can toast the bride and groom with no matter glass they’ve of their hand—there’s no rule that claims it have to be champagne. Or forgo the flowery French bubbles and select a extra moderately priced different similar to a glowing wine. Prosecco from Italy and Cava from Spain are terrific bubbly alternate options.

Six Essential Ways to Manage Bar Costs at the Reception


6. Host a Day-Time or Weeknight Marriage ceremony

All of us are inclined to drink significantly extra at night time and on weekends. So, take into account internet hosting a daytime wedding ceremony, which can lower your expenses on extra than simply your booze invoice. Many wedding ceremony venues supply reductions for daytime weddings as a result of they’ll double up on the day and host one other wedding ceremony within the night.

Sunday mornings have gotten notably well-liked, as a result of you’ll be able to supply a terrific brunch or lunch unfold, considerably lowering your meals invoice in addition to the bar tab.

If visitors are eager to maintain partying into the night, have a couple of solutions available of close by bars or dance halls the place they’ll proceed the festivities.

Many {couples} select a weeknight wedding ceremony, which additionally doesn’t lower down on simply the bar invoice, however just about your complete occasion. Most visitors will chorus from bellying as much as the bar all night time if they need to present up for work vivid and early the subsequent morning. Friends can nonetheless get pleasure from a beautiful cocktail hour and drinks with dinner, however weeknight weddings are inclined to shut down sooner than weekend weddings.

Some Remaining Ideas

Whereas all of us love an open bar, they’re removed from a marriage requirement or expectation nowadays. Why go into a wedding weighed down with debt? Brides and grooms are even transferring away from the standard sit-down dinner and, as an alternative, pondering of inventive choices similar to picnics with finger meals or cocktail receptions with a punch and hors d’oeuvres.

There are many inventive methods to chop bar prices with out lowering the enjoyable issue. Distinctive components similar to signature drinks and wine and beer tastings are one other solution to personalize your day.

Six Essential Ways to Manage Bar Costs at the Reception