One of the biggest questions we get at The Sheene Mill is whether the bridal couple should have an open bar or not?
There is no simple answer to this question. The answer will depend on several things, including:
- Size of Wedding
- Day of the week
- Accommodation of your guests
- Evening Buffet
The most important of all the above is budget. If there isn’t room within your budget to have an open bar then the answer is quite simple. If this is the case then consider putting slightly more wine on the tables during the meal so that your guests don’t feel hard done to when they only get half a bottle. Tips on choosing wine for the table.
If you have room in your budget for an open bar but have no idea how much this could cost you then consider doing the following:
- Limit / restrict open bar to a set amount
- Limit open bar to a certain time
- Restrict the types of drinks made available
You may find that for a 100 guest wedding a £1000 bar tab will go a long way and ensure that all of your guests get at least 1 free drink and those cheeky University friends get a couple more.
Its always a good idea to let the venue restrict certain drinks on the open bar to make the money last a little longer. Instead of allowing full access to the top shelf liquors why not offer single measures of any house spirit, glasses of house wine, soft drinks and any pint of beer. This stops the party animals that order a round of shots at 8pm and drop them all on the floor!
Having an open bar for a specific length of time gives a good opportunity for everyone to celebrate a drink with the newly weds. Don’t forget that some people will have to leave your special day early due to other commitments.
A few more things to consider is the day of the week that you hold your event. You can expect drinking on Sunday – Thursday to be much lower than at the weekend which is always worth considering.
If your guests have all booked into a big local hotel you can be certain that you will get those that will want to drink late into the night until the taxi arrives. This could affect the spend at an open bar.
Signature Cocktails… Make your special day even more so with a signature cocktail made available at the bar for your guests.
If you know your friends and family to be big drinkers then it is always worth considering your evening buffet. It is likely that there will be no fast-food options available locally as your carriages await. Why not arrange with the venue to have sandwiches or additional buffet food available for the evening?