Happy #WeddingWednesday! We thought it was time for a Happy Hour Post!
Setting the bar: Which bar type is right for you?
Open Bar: Your guests can drink as much as they like based on the duration and bar options you have selected. There is no additional charge to you other than the flat fee you have agreed on and your guests will never be charged. Typically you can choose various packages. One common one is open bar during cocktail hour, bar closed during dinner and wine is served, bar reopens after dinner for an additional 4 or 5 hours. Although 7 & 8 hour open bars are certainly quite popular as well.
The main thing to keep in mind is that some of your guests may get out of hand if they overdrink. Yes, the bartenders and servers will be smart served, but even they can’t control if others are ordering the drinks and they can’t assume who can and can’t control their liquor.
Consumption Bar (also called a Host Bar): Similar to an open bar however the bar keeps a tally on what is consumed instead of taking an average per person like the open bar. The Host Bar works well in combination with a flat fee ‘d non-alcoholic open bar in a crowd that may not be drinkers. Here are what fees you might encounter: an hourly or flat bartender fee, each wine bottle uncorked will typically be charged in full and not by the glass. Some places will charge alcohol per drink and others by measuring the bottles of liquor at the end of the night.
Some things to keep in mind are that staff may clear up half full drinks, if you are not sure about your crowd, the bill might get expensive, if you can’t do a non-alcoholic open bar then prices might add up quick even for non-drinkers. You really need to gage your guests well so that you are not left in shock when the bill comes.
Cash Bar: Your guest’s pay for their drinks. This is largely frowned upon. This is a celebration where your guests are there to honour you. It is supposed to symbolize an extension to your home. Just as you wouldn’t charge your guests for drinking at your home, you shouldn’t at your wedding. If you truly can’t afford it, perhaps a non-alcoholic or limited bar would be a better option.
Limited Bar: this option is great if you are on a budget. What it means is that you can limit your bar to what you want only. So if Wine and Beer is your thing, limit it to those options instead of have a variety of liquor options. Other options: A signature drink as your only alcoholic beverage and a non-alcoholic open bar; or a simply a non-alcoholic open bar – although the latter is also not very desirable, it’s much better than charging your guests for drinks.
Gratuities and the Tip Jar: Tips for the servers and bartender are not always included in your final venue fee, so some venues feel it’s okay to put out a tip jar. This is not okay and will bring your event to a low point. Although some couples agree to this so that they don’t need to worry about tipping their bartender at the end of the night, it is a terrible thing to expect your guests to do that. It also looks bad on the venue. Your guests are not at a resto-lounge, bar or club, they are at an invited social function hosted for the wedding couple.