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Pros & Cons of 5 Wedding Bar Options

Alcohol is one of the most expensive wedding day costs, with wedding bar options being one of the most hotly contested topics.

Many feel like an open bar is a must and that getting guests to pay for their own drinks is rude, or a sign that the hosts are party-poopers. However, there are a range of acceptable wedding bar options, with pros and cons for each. When deciding what to do, the best approach is to only offer what you can afford to spend.

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5 Wedding Bar Options to Choose From

When it comes to choosing the type of drinks and how they will be provided at your wedding, you have five main options:

  1. Open Bar – the easiest option for guests, as they can have whatever they like. Although it makes you look like an incredible host, it is also the most expensive option. The downside of an open bar is that it can lead to guests over drinking, which may take attention away from other parts of your wedding like the cake cutting.
  2. Bring Your Own – this is when you pre-purchase alcohol to provide at the venue. This option is a lot cheaper, but is quite a lot of work in the lead up to the wedding. You run the risk of buying too little or too much, so make sure you find a supplier who allows you to return unopened bottles.

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  3. Cash Bar – the thriftiest choice out of all your wedding bar options. Some guests may find it offensive to pay for their own drinks though, so a pre-warning in your invitation wouldn’t go astray. Make it clear to guests that a cash bar will be available at the wedding so they don’t get caught short. A downside to a cash bar is that drinks might be quite pricey for guests if the venue is swanky. To soften the blow of having guests pay for their own drinks you could provide one glass of bubbly to toast the bride and groom.
  4. Limited Bar – you could just provide wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks. This drives down the cost but you can run the risk of some guests not liking what is on offer.
  5. Alcohol Free Zone – this option is usually based on religious beliefs, but may also be a personal choice. For some people, it’s just not a wedding without alcohol so you may need to prepare yourself for some criticism. However, it will drop the cost of your wedding considerably and there are plenty of nice non-alcoholic drinks you can serve.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to your wedding bar options and the right decision will depend on what’s important to you both as well as your budget.

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