One of the most expensive parts of planning a wedding is the alcohol. Alcohol is expensive already and when you attach it to a wedding list, it gets even pricier. Fortunately, there are ways that you can cut down on your wedding alcohol budget, without losing the quality of drinks.
Plan a cash bar
A cash bar simply means that you are covering your guest?s food costs, but that they are responsible for drink costs. This is a great option if you have a lot of drinking guests. Most guests find it acceptable to purchase their own drinks when celebrating at a wedding. They will appreciate that the food was covered and they can spend their money on drinks instead. Planning a cash bar is also easier if you choose a brewery as your wedding reception venue. Otherwise, 20 to 25% of the average catering bill will be dedicated to alcohol if you opt for an open bar reception. Depending on the size of the wedding, you could end up saving thousands by planning a cash bar.
Provide guests with a limited drink menu
Open bar prices can get more expensive if you allow top grade alcohol or a wide range of alcoholic choices. Providing guests with a limited drink menu allows them to pick from a couple of paid for drinks. If they want something that is of higher quality or off the menu, they will have to pay for it. For a lower cost budget, stick to beers and moderately prices liquors. You can still create a unique menu of craft beer options, without appearing cheap. Put a unique beer brand twist on the reception and guests can choose from their favorite beer brands.
Have a wine only reception
Wine is another affordable alcohol option. Many guests enjoy wine and it is often seen as a celebratory drink, making it perfect for wedding celebrations. Additionally, the younger your guests are, the more they will appreciate the wine only reception. Younger drinkers are thirstier than older oenophiles, drinking an average of 3.1 glasses, compared to 2.4 for Gen Xers and 1.9 for boomers. With so many brands and tastes of wine to choose from, your guests will have enough options.
Consider a BYOB event
Bring your own beverage events are often used for house parties, but they can make for a unique wedding reception too. Just make sure that your reception venue allows for outside beverages. If you are hosting your wedding at home, this should not be a problem. You can also supply a large amount of the alcohol. Rather than asking guests to bring alcohol to supply to other guests, consider asking them to bring their favorite growlers or wines to share with others. This is a great way to have a wide variety of alcohol choices. With over 7,700 wineries across the country, in all of the 50 states, you are likely to have a good selection.
Hire your own bartender
Hiring your own bartender or using a trusted family friend can significantly cut the alcohol costs of your wedding reception. When you purchase alcohol at store cost, you don?t have to pay the high upcharges that most venues charge. Additionally, you can get good discounts on needed mixers, like juices, sodas, and energy drinks. If you hire a family friend, you might not even have to pay them for their services. Simply allow guests to tip them, and you can save costs on labor too.
Your wedding is the most expensive event that you will plan in your lifetime. There are ways to cut down on many of the costs associated with weddings. With alcohol being one of the priciest parts of the reception, finding alternatives can save you a lot of money. You can also create a unique event by planning bring your own growler or wine parties and hiring a family friend as your bartender.