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How much is alcohol costing you? I know its different in other areas but would like a general idea of what to spend for 5 hours beer and wine.

Re: Alcohol

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    This varies greatly.  Your city/state, type of venue and guests lists all contribute to the varying costs.

    For example, I got married in South Jersey at a location that allowed us to bring our own alcohol.   
    Guests - 147   
    Top shelf bar alcohol - about $3k
    Bartenders costs another $660 + tip.

    If I went with just wine and beer it would have been much less.  Had I gone to a venue down the road it would have been more, because I wouldn't have been able to bring in my own liquor.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited December 2015
    I'm spending $23.00/per person for full open bar with medium grade liquors.  Bartenders are another $100 each (we're hiring 3).

    ETA - That's in metro-Detroit.
  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We did a consumption bar at my wedding. We got married at a winery and served their wine and also brought in a keg. The quarter keg was $140 from a local brewery and the winery charged $5 a glass for wine, and I think $2 for bottled water and soda. All in, we spent $1,000 on alcohol, soda, water and beer for 4 hours for 54 people.
  • I did an all inclusive venue and upgraded to top shelf in Buffalo, NY. I think our total ended up around $80/pp, which included a plates meal and appetizers.
  • We paid by consumption for beer, wine, and sodas for 5 hours. For 40 people it came in at just under $700 which when you divide it into per person was half the price they charged for an open beer, wine, and sodas. My side of the family doesn't really drink so that is why we went with consumption. This was in New Hampshire.

    Honestly your best bet is to talk to your favorite venues about what they offer and if you are allowed to bring your own (cheapest option). Most of the PPs have very different answers so I don't think you're going to get the ballpark you are looking for.
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  • I did an all inclusive venue and upgraded to top shelf in Buffalo, NY. I think our total ended up around $80/pp, which included a plates meal and appetizers.
    I'm doing the exact same in the NYC area, with no upgrade, and it's coming to around $120/pp. It's impossible to give an estimate without more info.  
  • We had an all inclusive package that included dinner, decor, ceremony space set up and transition to reception, service, gratuity, and an open bar. The bar was mostly well drinks, but there was a variety (beer, wine, pop, water, liquors) and a few items on the medium scale.

    The bar cost $15/pp for 6 hours (which was the difference between the cost for an adult and the cost for a minor)

    We were also married in January, so we had a pretty good package price all around. 

  • edited December 2015
    We paid by consumption. On the outskirts of Austin in October. For about 70 our bar tab (craft beer, wine/Prosecco) was around $1,000 before tax/tip. We also had the bar open before the ceremony and encouraged people to grab a beverage to take with them on the way to the site, since our ceremony included a toast. Also, because why not? :)

    ETA: Our bill probably would have been higher, but we were having a big bottle share after the reception and many of our heavier drinkers left a bit early to go get started on that. Had they stuck around to the end they probably would have put away more, and I think beers were around $5 ea.
  • Remember when you're getting quotes to also include quotes for non-alcoholic drinks! 
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  • We purchased our wine and beer by the bottle and keg through the venue (they would only allow us to purchase alcohol through them). I want to say mine was about 2k for wine and beer only. We couldn't afford soda (it was crazy expensive) but also had lemonade and/or punch and tea.

    Had we done their wine and beer "unlimited" plan it would have been something like $10/person/hour for a nearly 8 hour reception, so with 150 people that would have been crazy expensive. We had about 3 kegs and 30ish bottles of wine, and didn't run out :)
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Our venue allows us to bring in our own alcohol which is saving us a TON of money! We're expecting the costs to be around $700 - $800 for beer, wine, and a couple signature drinks. And the liquor store we are purchasing through will allow us to return anything extra. Our guest list is at about 85 people. All the non-alcoholic beverages are included in the price of the venue as well as the bartender.

  • We are allocating around $5,500 (in your money) to alcohol for 92 guests of drinking age for a 5pm till midnight reception.  However our bar is on consumption so it could be less or more.  Average drink cost is around $6 so that's budgeting for around 10 drinks per guest.  Hope this is around correct or our credit card is going to take a bit of a hit the next morning!
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