The key elements of a wedding bar include wine, beer, bubbly and cocktails – plus soda “mocktails” and other nonalcoholic drinks. As you consider your options, just remember: A cash bar is the ultimate no-no.
For a formal affair, you may want to offer premium beverages all night long. If you have limited funds, stick with wine and beer and a signature cocktail. You can also limit a full open bar to just the cocktail hour. Some venues let you bring in your own bottles and pay a house corkage fee, which can be economical if you can buy wholesale or get a great deal at a liquor store.
Consider your crowd. If you and the majority of your guests love wine, serve your favorite red and white. Inviting a lot of college friends? Perhaps beer is fine. Or maybe spirits are a must if your crowd drinks gin martinis.
DRINKS & DOLLARS
Plan for one drink per person per hour of the reception. IF you are serving a special sparkling wine for the toast, opt for a budget-friendly Spanish cava or Italian prosecco (one glass per adult). Kegs run about $1 per 12-ounce glass of craft beer, or 63 cents per glass of domestic beer. As for liquor, a 750 ml bottle contains about 17 drinks (a good value, but you need ice, mixers and more bartenders).
Photo: Lindsey George Photography
Want more planning tips on etiquette? Click here, page 58.