By Yours Truly
When planning your wedding reception, you need to determine which liquor to serve, as well as if you prefer your wedding guests pay for drinks themselves. It would be nice if all of us could afford an open bar bar flowing with the best liquor in the world. However that's not feasible, particularly for those couples planning a wedding on a budget.
Here are the different options for handling the alcohol at your wedding. Depending on your personal preferences and finances, you can choose the best option for you.
A cash bar is the most inexpensive option for the bride and groom, as the wedding guests foot the bill. At a cash bar, guests pay for each drink they order. Some people may consider a cash bar to be tacky, as they think it is not proper to ask for your guests to pay for anything at the reception. However, as long as you indicate on your wedding invitation with a phrase such as, "Dinner buffet with cash bar," it can be appropriate. Most wedding guests understand the high costs of wedding planning.
An open bar is a bar with everything -- hard liquor, beer, wine and soft drinks. Guests pay for nothing as the bride and groom pick up the tab. You can limit your costs by only offering house brands of hard liquor instead of the premium brands. But this option will still be pricey, particularly if you have invited guests that drink a lot of alcohol.
With a limited bar, you limit what types of alcohol are served. You could choose just to provide beer and wine, or opt for a couple signature drinks instead. Signature drinks are very trendy right now and save the bride and groom a lot of money. You select one or two special mixed drinks and only serve those particular drinks at the bar. Here are some ideas for signature cocktails for your wedding. You could also choose to only offer table wine (as well as soft drinks). By placing a few bottles of wine on each table, you will limit how much alcohol is consumed throughout the reception.
Another way couples can save money on the bar bill is to have the wedding reception early in the day. People drink a lot less in the daytime than they do at an evening reception.
Whatever bar option you choose, don't go into debt over it. Only plan a wedding reception that you can truly afford.
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