Welcome to Saving Money for a Wedding. This blog was created to help you find GREAT money saving deals, learn about GREAT new products and details on how to plan the BEST wedding ever. Sit back and relax, I am glad to have you here.
Custom Search

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Open Bar vs. Cash Bar

This week I want to tackle a difficult topic: Open Bar vs. Cash Bar at your wedding.

In these tough times, I hear more brides and grooms considering a cash bar to minimize cost. I am not a fan of cash bars. Think about it- you are inviting your guests to your wedding, they are bringing you a gift and they are assuming you are providing a day/night of good food, drinks and entertainment.

Here are a few ways you can limit your alcohol expense:

1. Serve only beer and wine
2. Open the bar during cocktail hour only
3. Offer specialty drinks
4. Offer lower shelf liquors

Most hotels/banquet halls offer different packages for alcohol. You don't see top shelf liquor at too many weddings these day. Most packages are per person, but I have heard of some per hour. Remember you don't have to pay a bar expense for guests that are under age.

*If you are having a brunch/afternoon wedding, an option is offering Mimosa's and Bloody Marys for your guests.

I would love to hear ways you limited your wedding bar expenses. Enjoy!


  1. My venue has a two hour alcohol service time limit, which sucks but will end up saving us money. Plus we can bring our own alcohol, so we can get it as cheap as it comes basically, with no corking fee. I would suggest looking for a venue with flexibility on bringing your own alcohol!

  2. I agree that you cant have a cash bar. It is way tacky. Im not engaged yet (soon I hope), and I know from friends how expensive it is, but limiting to beer and wine is a great idea.

  3. I can certainly understand the desire for a cash bar with finances and budgets but I agree you would be better off to limit it to wine and beer or even go non alcoholic and offer lemonades, different types of soda or even some mock cocktails.

  4. Cash bars are a no no. Even with the economy.