Alcohol and Your Wedding

How will you serve alcohol at your wedding, an open bar, a cash bar or no bar? What is the best way to go? Alcohol is typically expected at cocktail and dinner receptions, but you can choose from different serving methods. If an open bar isn’t going to fit the budget, consider serving champagne as guests arrive, wine with the meal and beer, wine and specialty drinks after the meal. With an even tighter budget, serve a punch or pre-purchased beer, wine and liquor. Once the alcohol is gone, the bar can serve nonalcoholic beverages.

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On-premise pricing at a restaurant, banquet hall or private club can be done per consumption, or by the bottle or drink; with cocktail reception included and then per consumption; all-inclusive, with the total price of the meal including food and beverage (a good deal if your guests are heavy drinkers); or by corkage fee only, meaning you bring your own wine and champagne and the venue charges you a fee to serve it. If you have under drinking age on your guest, negotiate a lower price for them.

Creating two signature cocktails and have the option of wine and beer could help with keeping costs down. This creates a special option for your guests and helping you keep additional alcohol charges down.

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An advantage to having your reception at a less traditional location and bringing in your own caterer is that you can also buy and bring in your own liquor. Check out prices at discount stores, wine shop catalogs, liquor stores and local wineries. Make sure to buy about 10 percent more liquor than you think you’ll need, and stock up on the ice.

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