Open Bar vs Hosted Bar

Does anyone have any experience with hosted bars? 
We're looking at some places that charge exclusively by consumption, and we're not sure how much our friends and families drink or not drink. 

Thinking back on my own experiences, I definitely have gotten drinks at a wedding and then left them behind unfinished, only to get another one. My friends have all said they've done the same thing. 

So at $5/drink....if I had 7 that's about $35 for the duration of the ceremony.....
But I know people (FI's friends) that can put down 10+ drinks.

Anyway, any thoughts, ideas, advice?

Thanks, girls!

Re: Open Bar vs Hosted Bar

  • edited December 2011
    When we were doing the same math we finally just decided to go with the "open bar" even though about 20 of our 100 guests dont drink at all.  We just figured it probably equals out in the end and one less thing to worry about.  We are doing just beer and wine though... we've been to a few weddings that offered liquor and seen guests partake a little more than we'd like at our wedding.
  • n82ureluvr915n82ureluvr915 member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I would do open bar. To help save money you could do beer and wine and a a signature cocktail or two.
  • em01092em01092 member
    edited December 2011
    Our venue doesn't have the "open bar" option. If you want everything available to your guests, you just pick up the tab, so we'll see how it goes....

    Fortunately, FI's parents have offered to pay for this, including the RD, but that is all they are covering. 

    Are all drinks the same price? Beer is usually cheaper than liquor, and I'm just assuming your FI's friends are downing 10 beers. I could be wrong though. 

    And I think you meant duration of the reception...I hope people wouldn't down 7 drinks during your ceremony! haha =P 
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  • mrsbrantleymrsbrantley member
    edited December 2011
    I'd go with an Open Bar.  Like PP mention, people do drink (and waste) a lot more when it's free. That way no surprises when you get the bill, and you won't wonder if you got overcharged (how do they accurately count drinks served anyway? There has to be some margin of error I think). If you want to keep it light, or your guests don't go for the hard stuff that much, a beer/wine bar is a good option as suggested. Also, an option I've seen done a lot to help with the cost is to stop the bar for an hour - usually from the time the reception gets started (ie you walk in) until after dinner. So basically, a 1 hour bar for your cocktail hour, then no bar for an hour while you do the pleasantries and dinner is served, then X hour bar for the rest of the night.
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