There is almost always a bar at wedding celebrations, regardless of whether or not the guests are heavy drinkers themselves. It’s easy to become paralyzed by all of the possibilities when preparing for a wedding. Cash bar or open bar? Do you buy a pre-packaged beverage or pay for what you use? Then, there are the “signature” drinks. Stacy Snyder, a bar expert, made it a big deal and helped us sort through all of the alternatives for your next event.

Bar Service For Wedding

Bar service Is Currently Open

An open bar is, in Snyder’s words, “an arrangement where customers don’t have to pay for any of their beverages.” It’s a free-for-all, with no one else paying a dime. You can order whatever you want at the bar service, whether it’s a big variety or a smaller one bud light.

She points out that the word “open bar service” can mean several different things. You’ll have more options if the wedding is held in a hotel or restaurant with a bar service already on site.

“If you’re having a “white box” wedding, where you carry everything in yourself, you might be a little more constrained in terms of what you can do. “

According to Snyder, there are two primary pricing models for open bars:

Packages Of Bar Service

Consumption-based pricing

If you’re looking to hire a wedding planner, it’s important that you get to know your client’s loved ones and what kind of event they’d want to have.

Pricing by consumption indicates that the hosts pay for the number of beverages ordered; the more the visitors drink, the larger the bill will be for the hosts. When it comes to catering, Snyder says, “This is a good alternative if most of your guests aren’t heavy drinkers. The catering service team will tally up the drinks consumed.”

A bar service package, on the other hand, will charge a predetermined fee for each guest (or per adult guest). It’s an excellent choice if you’re planning a long cocktail event or a livelier celebration, says Snyder.

Many caterers and open bar offer varying levels of service and pricing for their open bar, which typically contain booze in addition to beer and wine.

When it comes to spirits, you’ll often find “a basic option triple sec; then a premium option, and a super-premium option,” he explains. In the end, “it all comes down to how much money you have and what you can afford for your guests.”

Your Wedding Open Bar Service: Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know

Cocktails with a twist

Snyder points out that “signature cocktails” are becoming increasingly popular at weddings. What role do they play in your open bar’s overall service?

A complete open liquor bar may be included in some wedding receptions, but many couples instead choose for a limited wine, beer, and specialty cocktail menu that simplifies the bartender’s workflow and keeps expenses in check. According to Snyder, “there are two types of specialty cocktails that consumers can think of for their guests.”

For the couple, “One” is a well-known cocktail. A daiquiri if they went to Cuba; a Manhattan if the bride liked whiskey if they traveled to New York.”

A mixologist who creates a “signature cocktail” for an event can cost significantly more than a bartender who creates a standard drink, according to Snyder. The expense of hiring a mixologist to produce such a drink (or a series of them) is likely to be higher.

Choosing A Name For Your Wedding Cocktail’s Signature Recipe

Beer and wine are both examples of alcoholic beverages

When it comes to wedding alcohol, Snyder suggests an open bar that just offers beer and wine as an option for those who don’t want to emphasize cocktails. In addition, “it’s a terrific choice for guests on a daytime or lunchtime weddings.”

Hosts can save a lot of money by serving simply beer and wines during a party. With regards to budget decisions, Snyder argues, “It is an effective technique of adding value.”

If you want to make your beer and wine bar look more upscale, there are plenty of ways to do so. Some of the wine is available for those who are looking for something a little more out of the ordinary.

An elegant wines pairing supper could be an excellent choice for a small gathering. Weddings that solely serve beer and wine to guests can be spectacular, and the spirits haven’t been missed.”

Wedding Drinks: Everything You Need To Know

Tack room

Of course, some couples prefer to forego the consumption of alcohol at their weddings for religious, cultural, or personal reasons. Non-alcoholic beverages will save a lot of money.

A non-alcoholic sparkling cider was provided for toasts at a casual wedding weekend, but attendees were welcome to bring their booze like tangueray gin, pinot grigio, pinot noir, white sangria and crown royal, if they so desired. Soda water is available for those that dont drink.

The Cashier’s counter own drinks

You pay for your drinks when you’re at a cash bar like you would at an open bar or restaurant. Cash bar can save the hosts money, of course, but they also place additional obligations on the guests, such as beginning a tab, tipping, or needing to shut out a credit card, all of which can lead to long lines and slower service.

This is a trade-off that is worth considering when planning an event. In Snyder’s opinion, cash bars are a good idea when the bulk of guests aren’t drinking, but there may be a few that do. While the option is there, it doesn’t take center stage at any given point in the celebration.”

Different venues for Cashier bar

In some venues, even if guests pay for their drinks, they may still be responsible for the bartenders’ wages; it all depends on where the event is taking place and availability of signature drink for your special event.

Guests dislike cash bars because they have to pay for their drinks while attending a wedding reception. When money is at a premium or the risk of overconsumption is high, this strategy is frequently adopted. Alcohol-fueled difficulties are less likely to emerge when monetary restrictions are applied.

A Cash Bar at Your Wedding: Everything You Need to Know

 Everything you need to know

Pricing bar services

Wedding bar cost is rather straightforward: the more alternatives you offer your guests, and the more expensive those selections are, the more you’ll have to spend for them. And the monetary values are all over the place as well.

Hotel fully stocked bar

 Even if the bar packages at a Manhattan hotel are almost identical, a small-town venue is likely to charge significantly less. Try out the bar/restaurant if you’re thinking about renting a space there. Not making a fuss about it—just getting a feel of the venue’s prices.”

That $22 martini price at the hotel bar indicates that a bar package at the hotel will not be inexpensive.

Bar for fun

As a rough rule of thumb, “alcohol is approximately 20% of a wedding budget,” says Snyder. However, this might vary greatly as well.

It’s all about deciding what’s most important to you and your fiance. Price alone isn’t enough to determine the finest wedding bar for your guests, for the celebration, or even for yourself.

A successful wedding reception, in the opinion of the majority of attendees, would be incomplete without delicious food and drink.

Wedding receptions have a long tradition of using alcoholic beverages as an integral part of the celebration. At a wedding reception, you’re more than likely to see one of these sorts of bars.

Bar for fun

Open bars

As a thank you from the hosts of a wedding, an open bar is an appropriate gesture. However, an open bar can quickly become the most expensive part of the wedding if guests aren’t charged a fee to attend.

Guests are free to keep drinking as long as they like, and the host will pick up the cost if they don’t. Here, the bar options are unlimited. You may choose to have jack daniel’s whiskey, pineapple juice or any shelf liquors. Cocktails may be margarita mix. Other drinks include bacardi rum, tomato juice, cranberry juice and other mixed drinks.

Only a few beers on tap

A small bar allows hosts to customize their drink menus. For example, if the hosts only wish to serve alcoholic beverages during the reception, a limited bar would be available during this time.

It is possible to dramatically save costs by limiting the amount of time that alcoholic beverages are offered. These bar packages allow you to own drinks on your wedding day.


To save money on booze, an alcohol-free bar is a possible option in circumstances when attendees are unlikely to or do not drink or maybe serve signature cocktails and maker’s mark bourbon, seasonal fresh fruit cocktails and orange juice. You may serve alcohol to those who insist to have own alcohol regardless of the bar packages.

Sparkling grape juice and non-alcoholic mixed drinks are used to create a joyful ambiance in this method. This mimics the effect of a traditional toast but without the hangover the next day.

Alcohol-free bar