A heated topic often between everyone involved in the planning process of your wedding… cash bar vs open bar. Everyone will have their own opinion and everyone will believe their opinion is the right one. The biggest concern is going to be the cost. There will be pros and cons on each side. But how do you decide what the right choice for your wedding will be. Here are some helpful hints on deciding which option might be best for you:
- An open bar is less worry for your guests to make sure they brought enough cash with them
- Consider who will be paying for the liquor. If a parent is offering to pay for this expense, an open bar might be an option. If it is up to the bride and groom, this can be a huge expense for a newly married couple to incur.
- If you absolutely want to have an open bar, consider scaling down what you serve. Maybe you only need beer, wine and a specialty cocktail rather than a fully stocked bar. You can also stock mid-range alcohol rather than top shelf.
- Cash bars are not the party killer that you may have been led to believe. Having a minimal fee (generally $2/drink) for your bar is not going to end the party early. Your guests will understand.
- Guests are more likely to ‘overindulge’ with an open bar. Definitely consider your guest list when making this decision. Although you uncles lengthy musical toast may be a funny conversation for later.
- Another option is to have a cocktail hour where the bar is open for an hour before dinner at no charge to your guests. After the dinner is it is completely acceptable to convert to a cash bar.
As with any event serving alcohol, safe rides home must always be considered. Be sure your guests are aware of local cab number and have the DJ announce this frequently.
Ultimately this decision is going to be best decided based on the wedding budget. If the budget allows for an open bar, then it is a great option. However, if it does not, DO NOT STRESS out about it. There are so many other things when wedding planning that will cause stress and the bar should not be one of them. You planned, prepared and worked hard to get to this point. Enjoy it!