Most of our clients want to offer their guests a full bar for the duration of their reception. Most clients, that is, until they get an estimate! Hotels and caterers usually offer a flat rate fee per hour for each guest. During that time they will have unlimited access to beer, wine, soda, and hard liquor (if you opt for it). However, offering a full bar can be extremely expensive and confusing.
Here are some easy-peasy tips for cutting the cost:
1. Offer the lower of the bar packages offered by the hotel or venue. Trust me; your guests likely won't know the difference between a "lower shelf" and "top shelf" vodka or bourbon. If they do, they won't say anything!
2. Cut the hosted bar during dinner. At most weddings guests are sitting during dinner and won't get up for another drink. Closing the bar during the dinner hour can save you thousands. Seriously. Calculate the cost of some hotel bar packages - $15/hour per guest x 200 guests = $3,000! Add gratuity and tax on that and we're nearing $4,000 for a virtually unused bar for one hour during dinner!
3. An option to keep guests happy is to either have wine on the tables or have table side wine service during dinner. You can also opt for a per-glass price during this time if Aunt Edna wants to get up for a glass of wine; it'll likely run you $6-8.By these simple cuts you're saving yourselves while still looking like the fabulous hosts you are!
Aleah + Nick