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Choosing the right bar option for your wedding reception!

I want to discuss the bar at your wedding, most brides have a hard time deciding on what to do especially if bride and groom don't drink, then you have those brides who know exactly what type and kind of bar they want to have at their reception.  Well here is just my opinion as a planner I've had brides do all kinds of bars at venues who provided the liquor and with some who allowed the liquor to be brought in,  so here are some options to help you make the right decisions based on you spending plan.


Open Bar - An open bar consist of an unlimited flow of alcohol to your guest until the end of your event cost is typically based on the brand of alcohol you want whether its well, call, premium and in some cases super premium its usually charged at a per person price always ask about cost for guest under the age of 21 because of course you don't want to pay for an open bar for guest who aren't old enough to drink.

Hosted Bar - A hosted bar is a bar where the couple, parents or whomever is paying for it all sets a limit on how much they want to spend on alcohol, and once that limit is reached they can turn it into a cash bar.

Cash Bar - A cash bar is where you have a bar but the guest have to pay for their own beverages if they want an alcoholic beverage.  I see this a lot if the bride and groom or their family doesn't drink,  but will provide non-alcoholic beverages.  In most cases when having a cash bar the venue will have a limit as to how much needs to be spent or they will charge an additional fee, In such cases if the venue has a restaurant that has a bar I would suggest having your guest to get their beverages from there instead.  Most people who attend wedding don't expect to pay for their own liquor, but that's really their issue.  The choice is ultimately yours!!


I didn't want to leave out the venues who don't provide catering, some of these venues have preferred caterers who will provide a bar for you but make sure you know what they are offering and understand their pricing.  In some cases for which I have ran into as a planner venues like this will allow  you to purchase and bring your own alcohol, but you need to hire a certified bartender to oversee it.  In this case, I would highly recommend asking your caterer to provide one for you they will charge you a fee but will also provide the necessary items to maintain the bar (mixers, ice, fruit etc.).

For those of you who want to make it a little simpler you can have a self serve bar with beer and wine soft drinks and if you like lemonade, ice tea or what ever other beverages you prefer.

I've planned and executed a wide array of weddings and I have seen a lot of different bar options, choices, and set-ups.  be as creative as you want to be, Its your wedding and all about what you want to provide for your guest. 

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