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Wedding Forum - Open Bar Debate- So unsure of what to do!...

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    • KieraG75
      Got married 25 months ago
      Posted: Sep 24th 2018
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
    Hello all!
    Sorry if this is so long, I just need some help.
    So we have everything booked and set for next year, end of May 2019. We will be providing dinner and drinks for the wedding party through the day, but the evening reception is booked from 6:30pm to late and, we have got bubbly sorted for a welcome drink, and there will be a buffet of typical party foods. So this is where my problem arrises lol..
    I inquired with our venue (which is a music hall with a fully stocked bar) about having an open bar etc. and they have no set open bar price- we simply have to buy in all drinks we want to include from them at full bar price. As an open bar would then not be an option, we thought wine and beer only but again this leaves a big predicament as it is £18-22 per bottle of wine and £4.50-£5 per beer at our venue. For us to buy enough to do a 4-5 hour reception party at those prices it would set us back a fortune. Most of the forums i've read seem to be really really down on cash bars and say its embarassing and that they wouldn't even go to a wedding that didn't have a full bar as its cheap and nasty lol. That being said a lot of those forums are American and I am not sure if UK/Ireland have a different etiquette. None of the wedding receptions I have ever been to have had an open bar or even wine and beer provided past dinner, and the same goes for my fiance.
    So instead of an open bar, do you think it is acceptable to say, provide those at the reception at 7:30pm with a welcome drink of bubbly, and then have a beer and wine "happy hour" from 8-9pm where all beer and wine would be provided, or a first drink on us sort ot thing and then cash bar from then on? I am just so nervous as costs are a concern and we aren't made of money- but I don't want our guests to think we are cheap and tacky! The whole wedding will be a pretty laid back affair and this is literally the only thing I am stressing about (so far haha.)

    Sorry for a massive ramble. Any help anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you xx
    • KennyM38
      Got married 23 months ago
      Posted: Sep 26th 2018
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
    Hi, i have never been to an open bar in the uk granted i have only been to half a dozen or so weddings.

    We are having a welcome drink, drink for the meal and a drink for the speeches again that seems to be the norm with ones we have attended here.

    Unless you are filthy rich dont worry about an open bar its not necessary as people expect to buy their own drinks.

    regard kenny
    • KieraG75
      Got married 25 months ago
      Posted: Sep 27th 2018
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
    Hi KennyM38,

    Thank you for your reply. I suppose you're right there. I was just really worried about it so its great to have a second opinion! Thank you so much :)

    • Kimmie89
      Got married 22 months ago
      Posted: Sep 27th 2018
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
    I've been to only one wedding with an open bar, and that was because they held it in a family member's house and bought all the booze themselves! The norm is to provide a welcome drink, wine/water on the table during dinner and a drink for any toasts (plus reception drinks between the ceremony and reception).

    We're sort of having the same debate, between providing drinks for a set list of people, only paying for beer/wine/soft drinks for the whole reception, or providing tokens as part of the favours. The last one seems to be quite a common theme on blogs etc that I've seen and would be a nice way of providing a couple of drinks but not having to fork out a ton.

    I wouldn't say asking people to pay for their drinks is tacky at all!

    (Honestly, for the last couple of weddings we've been to where we've known the bar prices will be steep, we've actually taken a hip flask with vodka in and then just bought coke all night.)
    • Sillymoo
      Got married 26 months ago
      Posted: Oct 12th 2018
      Just marriedBadgeBadge
    I've only been to one open bar wedding, it was in the '80s, as a child I didn't get any benefit from it! :)

    I think these days they are not as popular, people tend to take advantage of it and over indulge.

    We are getting married in May 2019 too, we're going to be providing welcome and toast drinks for the guests that come to the ceremony only, which for us is just family (40 and 10 of those are children). The guests that come for the evening celebration will have to buy their own drinks.

    I don't think it's tacky to expect guests to pay for drinks either. We're having our reception at the local rugby club so the drinks are reasonably priced :)
    • AbdulH28
      Got married 3 weeks ago
      Posted: Nov 2nd 2018
      Just marriedBadgeBadge

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