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Trying to figure out our bar

One of my first posts here was about having a 1 hour open bar during cocktail hour then switching to cash. You guys tore me up, rightfully so, and have since been trying to figure out some type of compromise with FH. He refused to pay for more than 2 hours of an open bar and I just couldn't get him to budge. He did agree to a beer and wine only bar if the price is comparable to the 2 hour open bar. The initial (bad) plan was 2 hours open, free sodas all night, skipping the champagne toast and applying that savings towards the 2nd hour. Do you guys think 4-5 hours of beer and wine would be somewhat comparable in price to 2 open hours? I know the actual prices vary place to place but I figured some of you probably compared the prices of an open bar to a limited one.

Next, FH only really drinks one type of liquor, and it's not a popular one in our crowd. Goldschlaugger (sp?). I know if we have them get it for him it has to be offered to everyone else. Would it be okay if we only had the venue get 1-2 bottles of it?

Last, the type of "beer" I drink has to be brought in as well. MIke's Hard Cranberry. How much of that should be have the venue bring in? Do you think it would be a popular choice? The majority of guests aren't big drinkers. Most are fine with wine and beer. I don't picture too many people wanting either FH or my type of drinks but want to make sure we have enough at the same time. Oh, we'll have 80 guests at the most.

Thanks!

After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

Re: Trying to figure out our bar

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    If most of your guests are not big drinkers anyway: how about paying for liquor by consumption and a fixed amount for soda, wine and beer for the night?

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    acove2006 said:

    One of my first posts here was about having a 1 hour open bar during cocktail hour then switching to cash. You guys tore me up, rightfully so, and have since been trying to figure out some type of compromise with FH. He refused to pay for more than 2 hours of an open bar and I just couldn't get him to budge. He did agree to a beer and wine only bar if the price is comparable to the 2 hour open bar. The initial (bad) plan was 2 hours open, free sodas all night, skipping the champagne toast and applying that savings towards the 2nd hour. Do you guys think 4-5 hours of beer and wine would be somewhat comparable in price to 2 open hours? I know the actual prices vary place to place but I figured some of you probably compared the prices of an open bar to a limited one.

    Yes, probably. Beer and wine are cheap.

    Next, FH only really drinks one type of liquor, and it's not a popular one in our crowd. Goldschlaugger (sp?). I know if we have them get it for him it has to be offered to everyone else. Would it be okay if we only had the venue get 1-2 bottles of it?

    Do you know what Goldschlager is?!?! It's an an 87 proof cinnamon schnapps. It's really for shot taking only, and it gets you really effed up. Does your venue allow shots? They wouldn't serve this type of liquor as a mixer or on the rocks...at least a responsible bartender shouldn't.

    Last, the type of "beer" I drink has to be brought in as well. MIke's Hard Cranberry. How much of that should be have the venue bring in? Do you think it would be a popular choice?

    If you have 80 guests, bring in 7-8 twelve packs. You can ask the liquor store if you can return the unopened cases, or you can drink the rest at home.

     

    The majority of guests aren't big drinkers.

    You'd be surprised. People always tend to drink more at weddings. It's a fact.

    Most are fine with wine and beer. I don't picture too many people wanting either FH or my type of drinks but want to make sure we have enough at the same time.

    Also something you'd be surprised about. Since it's a "special occassion" people tend to try something different.

    Oh, we'll have 80 guests at the most.

    Thanks!


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    I agree with PP...most venues will let you set your limit of how much money you want to spend and then they will run the bar as an open bar until that amount runs out... if not many people are heavy drinkers you will probably be fine
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    Something here has to give. I would think open beer/wine would be like 2 hours of open, but it could vary so much that no one here will be able to give you a good answer. I suggest cutting back somewhere else so you have the money to properly host a bar, if not, a dry wedding is always an acceptable option.
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    If most of your guests are not big drinkers anyway: how about paying for liquor by consumption and a fixed amount for soda, wine and beer for the night?

    I second this.

    Also, assume every adult drinks 1 drink per hour and price out the cost of a consumption bar vs a bar package.  If your crowd doesn't drink heavily you may save a lot of money paying per drink instead of the package.

    Example: Assume a bar package is $30 per person for the whole night and individual drinks are $5 per person (pulling numbers out of a hat) and your reception is 4 hours.  Your guests would have to drink 6 drinks during your reception to get "your money's worth" out of the package and it will most likely be cheaper to just pay the tab at the end of the night. 

    Obviously your numbers may be different and you may have a few guests drink more but overall with a light drinking crowd it is probably safe to assume that it will be cheaper to pay per drink.  

    If you venue allows it you can limit the bar to certain drinks if you want.  Just make sure you can cover the tab for everything that is offered.
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    Get a quote from your caterer on 4-5 hours of beer/wine. Ask about their buy back policy on wine. Lots of caterers will have a list - if you pick from the list, they'll only charge you for the bottles you consume and they'll "buy back" the rest. When you get the quote, do a light and a full-bodied domestic (cheap), a pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon for your red and a pinot grigio or chardonnay for your white. Those are pretty well-liked across the board.

    If you and your FH want special drinks, you need to offer them to everyone. If I were you, I'd just not drink. You won't have much time for it anyway and it sounds like it's going to complicate stuff at the bar. 
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    Get a quote from your caterer on 4-5 hours of beer/wine. Ask about their buy back policy on wine. Lots of caterers will have a list - if you pick from the list, they'll only charge you for the bottles you consume and they'll "buy back" the rest. When you get the quote, do a light and a full-bodied domestic (cheap), a pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon for your red and a pinot grigio or chardonnay for your white. Those are pretty well-liked across the board.

    If you and your FH want special drinks, you need to offer them to everyone. If I were you, I'd just not drink. You won't have much time for it anyway and it sounds like it's going to complicate stuff at the bar. 
    This is what I am doing.  The wines offered at our venue are not to my taste but since I am not a heavy drinker and we will be with our guests I'm not going to worry about it.  I can get a vodka based drink if I really want something (I'm guessing I won't).
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    We'll make the beer and wine only work. Shots aren't allowed but they get past it by just serving on the rocks. FH would drink it like that lol. Worse case scenario we'll just do the beer and wine. If we did bring in his drink we'd get a few bottles so it would be available to everyone. I was able to get FH to budge on the beer and wine, but he will not go for a dry wedding. We're meeting with our venue next week so we'll work numbers then. I just wanted to see if my thinking was totally off. We're cutting other things out to afford the bar, no worries there

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

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    One of the venues I looked at gave me a couple of different estimates for prices. Beer and Wine was cheaper than liquor, but not half as much. I think it will end up costing you more. 
    Anniversary
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    acove2006 said:
    We'll make the beer and wine only work. Shots aren't allowed but they get past it by just serving on the rocks. FH would drink it like that lol. Worse case scenario we'll just do the beer and wine. If we did bring in his drink we'd get a few bottles so it would be available to everyone. I was able to get FH to budge on the beer and wine, but he will not go for a dry wedding. We're meeting with our venue next week so we'll work numbers then. I just wanted to see if my thinking was totally off. We're cutting other things out to afford the bar, no worries there

    As to the bolded...that's hardcore. I find it funny that he's so anti-bar, but drinks booze like that.
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    itzMS said:
    acove2006 said:
    We'll make the beer and wine only work. Shots aren't allowed but they get past it by just serving on the rocks. FH would drink it like that lol. Worse case scenario we'll just do the beer and wine. If we did bring in his drink we'd get a few bottles so it would be available to everyone. I was able to get FH to budge on the beer and wine, but he will not go for a dry wedding. We're meeting with our venue next week so we'll work numbers then. I just wanted to see if my thinking was totally off. We're cutting other things out to afford the bar, no worries there

    As to the bolded...that's hardcore. I find it funny that he's so anti-bar, but drinks booze like that.
    It wasn't my impression that the groom was opposed to the bar, just opposed to paying for it.  My FI was the same way in the beginning.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
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    itzMS said:
    acove2006 said:
    We'll make the beer and wine only work. Shots aren't allowed but they get past it by just serving on the rocks. FH would drink it like that lol. Worse case scenario we'll just do the beer and wine. If we did bring in his drink we'd get a few bottles so it would be available to everyone. I was able to get FH to budge on the beer and wine, but he will not go for a dry wedding. We're meeting with our venue next week so we'll work numbers then. I just wanted to see if my thinking was totally off. We're cutting other things out to afford the bar, no worries there

    As to the bolded...that's hardcore. I find it funny that he's so anti-bar, but drinks booze like that.
    It wasn't my impression that the groom was opposed to the bar, just opposed to paying for it.  My FI was the same way in the beginning.

    I guess I meant "being a stickler" when I said anti-bar.

    My DH & I like to drink, so there's no way we would've done anything but a full open bar at our wedding. Seems like her FI certainly likes to drink if he's a fan of Goldie on the rocks...so it just made me laugh that he's so stingy when it comes to guests.

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    Hi - I think beer and wine is fine. And honeslty, I would NOT be offended if just the groom had goldschlagger. please, he's welcome to my shot of it!! haha. it's your wedding, he shoudl have what makes him happy, and it's not like your pouring Dom for yourselves and serving everyone else sparkling cider.
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    @itzMS it is really odd. He doesn't drink often but when he does that's really the only thing he has. Though he had zambuca (spelling again, I suck at this lol) which is just as nasty IMO. My family won't drink, neither will his, but our friends will definitely have a few but I know beer and wine would be readily accepted by them. Our package includes 1 hour of open bar and the additional 3 hours would be just under $1000 extra. We really can't swing that. So many say how much money a limited bar saves, so I figured it's gotta be an affordable way for us. With that we could apply the $200 for unlimited soft drinks towards the bar too. We could swing an extra $600 or so. We'll see what the golf club says on Sunday. They've been crazy flexible so far. We'll make it work. I refuse to have a cash bar so now that I have him in agreement I'm not going to screw it up! lol

    After 6 years and 2 boys, finally tying the knot on October 27th, 2013!

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    If your families won't drink and only your friends I would see if you can just do the unlimited soft drinks and alcohol by consumption.  You can always pre-set a certain amount and have them ask you if you want to extend the amount if you get close.
    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
    image
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    Get a quote from your caterer on 4-5 hours of beer/wine. Ask about their buy back policy on wine. Lots of caterers will have a list - if you pick from the list, they'll only charge you for the bottles you consume and they'll "buy back" the rest. When you get the quote, do a light and a full-bodied domestic (cheap), a pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon for your red and a pinot grigio or chardonnay for your white. Those are pretty well-liked across the board.

    If you and your FH want special drinks, you need to offer them to everyone. If I were you, I'd just not drink. You won't have much time for it anyway and it sounds like it's going to complicate stuff at the bar. 
    I totally agree with the bolded. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy having some drinks at weddings. But at my own, I had 2 drinks total throughout the night. Going to the bar just wasn't a priority - I was too busy talking with guests, dancing, and eating (yes, I did manage to actually eat my dinner) to worry about having a drink in my hand.

    Good luck working out the logistics! And good for you for getting your FI to come around to the idea of not having a cash bar during the reception!
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