While stocking a bar yourself and providing the alcohol may sound like a good idea in theory, it can prove to be very difficult, time-consuming, and sometimes even more expensive than purchasing through your venue – not to mention, much more STRESSFUL! There are many logistics that go into it besides just walking into a liquor store and purchasing a few bottles. How much do you need to purchase? How will the alcohol get to the venue? Who will be dropping it off? What about ice? (No one wants ice melting in their car.) Did you remember to get cups? What about napkins and straws? Wedding planning can be tough enough, so there is no need to add the extra headache! If your venue offers the ability to purchase your bar through them, do it!
When it comes to purchasing beverage packages through your venue, there are two main options – an open bar and a cash bar. The most popular, and my personal favorite, is an open bar because it provides a great experience for your guests. Most of your guests have purchased gifts and paid for traveling expenses to get to your wedding, so providing them with an open bar is thought to be a kind gesture. Think about it this way - would you want to go to a wedding and have to pay for your drinks? For most people, I think the answer to that question is NO. Cash bars seem to be a thing of the past because most guests don't plan to bring anything besides themselves and their gift for you. (And why should they? They're your guests!) While you may think that a cash bar will help with your budget, a lot of guests believe that it is tacky and your big celebration may feel more like a night out to them... One thing to keep in mind when it comes to cash bars is that it can cause a line to form, which increases wait time for a drink and can make your guests very impatient
Purchasing alcohol through your venue should be something that you welcome - they're alleviating the stress and making it easier on you! A venue’s open bar packages will be a fixed price per head with many different options and tiers to fit all budgets, with the price ultimately depending on the level of package that is chosen and how many people are drinking. A lot of venues will offer beer/wine only and beer/wine/liquor package tiers. Venues will also have the bottles in bulk, so there is no need to worry about running out. Can you imagine running out of liquor before dinner is even served?! If there are certain bottles you want that are not included in the packages, most venues will also allow you to order them a la carte. This can be a really fun way to personalize your bar and make sure that all your guests’ beverage needs are taken care of! Wanting to customize your bar even more? Choose to do a signature cocktail or two that show off your personality! (This is a great way to include your pets in on the big day if they can’t be at the celebration!)
Photo Credit - Emily Antonelli Photography