Having an Open Bar at your Wedding? Why or why not?
Your wedding day is one of the most special days of your life. You have your family and closest of friends attending and you want everything to be perfect! And, celebrating the perfect day usually includes enjoying some libations during your event. The question is, will you be hosting an “Open Bar“, one where there are free and unlimited cocktails being served, or will your guests be responsible for their own drinks?
There are many factors to consider when making this decision, and usually, the main factor involves your budget. Typically the number of guests you have attending your wedding will play a part in this decision. Many of our brides take this into consideration well in advance of their wedding day, so they are able to budget and save to accommodate this part of their reception. And for many others, they feel the budget and other reasons (cons listed below) will not offer an open bar.
So, let’s look at the Pros of having an Open Bar at your Wedding Reception:
1. Having an open bar is one way of thanking the guests, many who have spent money and traveled far to help you celebrate. An open bar is a great way to say “Thank You”.
2. An open bar at your wedding will certainly make the entire celebration more upscale and memorable.
3. An open bar will keep your guests happy!
Now, the Cons of an Open Bar at your Wedding:
1. The biggest one… unlimited drinks can sometimes lead to unruly and poor behavior from some of the guests.
2. We already discussed budget, and some open bars can become very expensive.
3. Safety upon leaving the wedding celebraton, as you want to make sure all of your guests arrive home safely following your reception.
So, what shall you do? Considering that everyone bride and groom will be different in their budgets, and the importance of having an open bar, there is always some room to meet in the middle for the rest of us!
Some things you can do to help meet halfway are:
1. Offer unlimited wine and beer. This will control your budget while still presenting the wedding in a classy manner and a way of saying thank you to your guests who have already spent money to be in attendance with you!
2. You can always set a time limit on the number of hours that you are offering an open bar. This will at least control your costs to some degree while still presenting the wedding in an upscale manner, as well as saying thank you to your guests!
It is important to always take into consideration your guests, however, remember that this day is about you and your wedding. Sometimes trying to accommodate everyone’s feelings ends out hurting you in the end.
One last tip, when working with your venue or caterer, ask if there is a package/fixed price for the bar or if you could pay on a consumption basis. Guests sometimes will surprise you and not drink as much as you originally might have thought or planned. You can save a fair amount, especially on those guests that will nurse a drink all night long.
If you need any further information on planning your reception, please contact our wedding planning experts at Lakeside Weddings & Events! We are here to assist you!