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Reception Ideas

4 or 5 hour open bar

My venue comes with 4 hours of bar time.

6-7 open
7-8 closed for dinner
8-11


I can buy another hour, but an trying to save money... Without upsetting guests.

Thoughts?

Re: 4 or 5 hour open bar

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I'd buy the hour during dinner and cut your budget somewhere else.  If I didn't know and went up to get a glass of wine to have with my dinner and found the bar was closed I'd be disappointed.
    icecreamS04TeddiD34
  • mlg78mlg78 member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited August 2013
    I think 6-10 is fine...I think closing for a full hour is a lot.  If anything, could you just do a half hour?  Or can it be no booze for the last hour to save money?  Most people won't want alcohol that last hour since they're sobering up...or do a host bar, I think it's call where you pay per drink (you, not the guest).


  • The dj would announce when it was closing.
  • I thought about asking about a half and hour. It's somewhere around 3.50 a guest to open another hour. So with 250 guests... That's a lot!
  • The reception is technically booked for a 6 hour reception 6-12. Ugh, decisions decisions.
  • Erinp2005 said:
    My venue comes with 4 hours of bar time. 6-7 open 7-8 closed for dinner 8-11 I can buy another hour, but an trying to save money... Without upsetting guests. Thoughts?
    I would just do 6-10pm and call it good. Guests may leave when the bar closes but it's not the end of the world.

  • I agree with just trying to do 6-10pm, that way you can leave it open for dinner.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    When the bar is closed for dinner, will wine be served with dinner? We closed our bar for dinner. However, each table had bottles of red and white wine. We also placed a small framed sign at each bar to indicate to our guests that the bar would be closed during dinner. In that way, guests who preferred a "drink drink" had the opportunity to obtain their drink just prior to the start of dinner.
    SKPM
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    mobkaz said:
    When the bar is closed for dinner, will wine be served with dinner? We closed our bar for dinner. However, each table had bottles of red and white wine. We also placed a small framed sign at each bar to indicate to our guests that the bar would be closed during dinner. In that way, guests who preferred a "drink drink" had the opportunity to obtain their drink just prior to the start of dinner.
    We closed ours for dinner as well but we had it highly advertised around the bar that it would be closed during dinner.  We also had the bartenders let our guests know of the bar closing for dinner as the time came closer.  This worked well for us and our guests.

    I think as long as you make it known that the bar will be closing during dinner then you should be fine.

    Also, since your reception is scheduled to go till midnight and if the bar closes at 10pm 90% of your guests will most likely leave when the bar closes for the night meaning you may not have anyone left for the last hour to hour and a half of your reception.

  • I would also keep it open during dinner and close it an hour earlier (with coffee/soft drinks/etc available during that hour) if you need to save the hour.  Ultimately I would probably try to pull the money from something else to cover the extra hour, but if you can't then I would do this over closing it during dinner.

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  • mobkaz said:
    When the bar is closed for dinner, will wine be served with dinner? We closed our bar for dinner. However, each table had bottles of red and white wine. We also placed a small framed sign at each bar to indicate to our guests that the bar would be closed during dinner. In that way, guests who preferred a "drink drink" had the opportunity to obtain their drink just prior to the start of dinner.
    We closed ours for dinner as well but we had it highly advertised around the bar that it would be closed during dinner.  We also had the bartenders let our guests know of the bar closing for dinner as the time came closer.  This worked well for us and our guests.

    I think as long as you make it known that the bar will be closing during dinner then you should be fine.

    Also, since your reception is scheduled to go till midnight and if the bar closes at 10pm 90% of your guests will most likely leave when the bar closes for the night meaning you may not have anyone left for the last hour to hour and a half of your reception.
    Ohh I didn't read thoroughly enough - if your reception goes until midnight, I would definitely not close the bar at 10 PM.  Can you limit what the bar serves to save money?

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  • I vote for keeping the bar open during dinner. If toasts etc. ending lasting a long time this can be a bummer to guests, being stuck without a drink. I've seen it happen.

    The last thing you want is unhappy guests.

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  • I would def pay for another hour and have coffee seved from 11 on.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Keep the bar open and find some other way to cut costs.
  • I never understand closing the bar at dinner. No one has a cocktail or wine with their food? IMO keep it open.

     

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I never understand closing the bar at dinner. No one has a cocktail or wine with their food? IMO keep it open.
    If you read my response as well as Maggie0829, even with closing the bar at dinner, we both made sure no guest went without their preferred beverage.  In our case, every table had bottles of red and white wine.  Additionally, guests were given ample "warning" that the bar would be closed during dinner.  Those guests that preferred cocktails to wine during dinner were able to ensure they had their beverage choice at dinner as well.  
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited August 2013
    mobkaz said:
    I never understand closing the bar at dinner. No one has a cocktail or wine with their food? IMO keep it open.
    If you read my response as well as Maggie0829, even with closing the bar at dinner, we both made sure no guest went without their preferred beverage.  In our case, every table had bottles of red and white wine.  Additionally, guests were given ample "warning" that the bar would be closed during dinner.  Those guests that preferred cocktails to wine during dinner were able to ensure they had their beverage choice at dinner as well.  

    In addition we also had water and iced tea available at the tables.  Trust me, no one went thirsty.

    Also, I generally grab a drink before I sit down for dinner and that lasts me while I am eating.  And if not I just drink the water provided.  By the time I finish my food whether it was served or was a buffet the bar has reopened and I can resume my cocktail intake.


  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited August 2013

    I never understand closing the bar at dinner. No one has a cocktail or wine with their food? IMO keep it open.
    I don't get it either. I'm not saying it's bad, but will someone tell me why people close their bar during dinner.

    ETA: And does the kind of dinner make a difference? I can't imagine shutting my bar down during the buffet, but it may be different if it was a sit down dinner.



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  • Our bar had to close for a half hour by law.  We did it during dinner and we had table wine service for all of dinner, including while the bar was closed (weird that that was legal) and non-alcoholic drinks were still available at the bar.  I honestly don't think that a single person noticed it was closed and I was really concerned about it.  

    An hour does seem long though... can you do with just a half hour and close the bar a half hour earlier at night?  By the very end of the night, most people are done drinking so that they can drive home anyway.  Again, by law, we had to close a half hour before the end of the event and I didn't notice anyone attempting to go near the bar by that point.

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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    We decided to close the bar for an hour during dinner after a discussion with our venue coordinator.  She said that the use of the bar goes down astronomically during events (at the venue we used) because most guests are busy getting up and getting their food and eating.  She said other couples had closed the bar but provided wine and tea and water at the tables and it worked out well.

    I also know from personal experience that during dinner whether that be buffet or served I tend to just sit and eat and chat with people at the table.  I will also usually grab a drink from the bar prior to sitting down for introductions and dinner service so with a glass a water and a full cocktail I am good to go for an hour.  An hour may seem like a long time but in reality when you are getting food and chatting it up with your table it goes by pretty fast.

  • I never understand closing the bar at dinner. No one has a cocktail or wine with their food? IMO keep it open.

    Our venue requires that the bar is closed during dinner. We don't have a choice. The servers with food are coming through the same doors that guests would venture to the bar through, and they don't want accidents. It will be closed for an hour but we will be giving everyone ample notice beforehand and we will be providing wine, water, soda and coffee with dinner.


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