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Weddings and Money
Many wedding receptions typically have some type of alcohol that is used for toasts or for the
general enjoyment of your guests. Managing the alcohol can be a somewhat challengin process
in terms of costs, in terms of quantities of alcohol, and in terms how it is consumed.
Generally, there are 5 different ways to manage the bar that can be used to keep the costs
managable and to direct the general flow of the celebration. The next several sections will
outline these options.
This solutions is often used if there is a reason for not having alcohol. One of the most common
reasons to not have alcohol is for religous reasons. Some people do not want alcohol in the
celebration and if it were present, then they might not be able to enjoy themselves. This is one
reason to consider not serving alcohol. Another reason is if a family member or relative was an
alcoholic and may be proned to abuse the alcohol if available. If you are confident that this
would ruin the reception, you may not want ot serve alcohol in this case. Finally, the cost of
having alcohol can dissuade people from having it - often alcohol is one of the most costly items
at the reception.
The open bar is one of the most costly alcohol options out there. Your guests will be able to
order as much alcohol as they want during the course of the reception. You are typically billed
a fixed amount or a per drink charge, depending on the bartender or the establishment handling
the reception. Often, this option is perceived as the most generous option by your guests. For
any high end wedding where social pressures are high, this option is almost a requirement.
However, this option is not the best way to save money.
Limited Open Bar
A limited open bar can be one of the best balances between cost and generosity toward your
guests. This option puts certain restrictions on your guests in terms of the amount or type
of alcohol that they can order through the bar. This has the effect of keeping costs down,
while giving your guests the ability to order certain types of alcohol for no charge to them.
Another way to limit the quantity of alcohol ordered is to put limits on the times that guests
can obtain alcohol. Most of the time this is provided just before and during dinner.
The cash bar is not recommemded. The cash bar means that your guests will bear the cost of
obtaining alcohol. Hwoever, the cash bar is typically not looked on favorably by guests. It
is almost preferable to to have no alcohol than to have a cash bar.
Another way to regulate the consumption of alcohol is to have it passed out at one of two key
times during the reception by servers. This has the effect of making sure that everyone who
wants alcohol will be able to abtain it and that no one will have too much alcohol.