{Tips & Advice} Is An Open Bar Really Worth It?

When you’re faced with the decision to serve alcohol at your wedding, there are many different ways of doing it… Some say just serve beer and wine, while others say all you need is a champagne toast. Some choose to have a fully stocked cash bar, and still more say go all the way – have a fully stocked, open bar with the finest liquor in town! Regardless of what type of bar you choose to have at your reception, we can all agree that it will be expensive! The trick is to learn what you can do to control costs…


According to Info.com, “for a four-hour reception, the open bar will cost between $12.50 and $20.00 per person.” These figures do not include service costs, taxes, glassware fees, and gratuity. So if you’re having a wedding with 100 guests, you’re looking at upwards of $2,000 just for the bar! Since the figures can vary so much, it’s important to know how you can control those costs as best you can. We’ve listed some tips on how you can control costs… After calculating how much your bar will be, you can decide if it’s really all that worth it!

1. Guest Count

Since the price of an open bar is based on the number of guests, limiting this number can really help you save!

2. Type of Alcohol Offered

It’s important to be aware of the types of alcohol included in your bar package. The price of a bar offering just beer and wine can be up to half the cost of a fully stocked liquor bar!

3. Hours the Bar is Open

Guests will drink for as long as the bar is open, so it’s important to control that timing. It is very common to close the bar during dinner and an hour before the reception is over. That will prevent guests from driving under the influence, and it can save you some cash!

Still unsure of what kind of bar will fit your wedding best? Contact Red Spirits and Wine for all your bar needs and questions! They can do everything from simply dropping off the alcohol you’re wanting, to staying and serving it themselves. And be sure to come by the Wedding 101 studio for more tips on how you can save on your wedding day!


Floral and Design provided by Savoir Faire.

Images provided by Alan Williams Photography.

Punch provided by Vintage Cakes and Catering.

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