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How Much Is An Open Bar At A Wedding? 2024

Mercy Brice


How Much Is An Open Bar At A Wedding?


Do you want to know how much is an open bar at a wedding? If that is the case, then this article will review all the hidden costs of an open bar.

Before we get started, please ensure to read this article carefully to the end without jumping any parts, because all information about open bars are covered in this article.

An open bar appears to be a good idea, but how much does one cost? We have the answers to your wedding preparation questions right here. Continue reading to learn about all of the aspects to consider before selecting an open Bar.

When considering an open bar, also consider your current financial situation. If an open bar is something that can ruin your finances later on, you can look for another alternative.


Now let’s jump right into the costs of an open bar at a wedding ceremony. And if there’s any other questions, please use the comment form below.


How Much Is An Open Bar At A Wedding?

This is based on 50 guests.

The price of providing alcohol at a wedding can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. The choices a couple makes can have a big impact on the final price of their wedding and the bar services.

The biggest element affecting almost every other expense is how many guests you have on your wedding day.

The overall cost of the bar increases as more individuals consume alcohol. Whether you hire a bar or venue to offer alcohol or buy wine and beer at a bulk price, headcount is important. You would have to pay a set fee for each visitor, depending on your wedding bar package.

Just keep in mind that the cost of an open bar totally depends on what you’re providing.

Non-alcoholic beverages, even fancier choices like LaCroix or Pellegrino sodas, will cost much less. The cost of beer, wine, and alcoholic beverages is extra for visitors.

The cost per head will increase as you provide more alternatives. The bill may go through the roof if you’re offering Champagne, red Burgundy, and 12-year Scotches. You might be able to save money by bringing refreshments yourself if your location is more accommodating.


What Is The Cost Per Person For An Open Bar?

It’s essential to have a solid grasp of the services offered and the facilities that should be there if you’re looking for a bar manager. Remember that you might only be able to find a few different estimates on bar service based on where you are.


How Much Does An Open Bar Cost For 50 Guests At A Wedding?

Be aware that you might only be able to find a few different rates on bar service depending on where you live.


How Much Does An Open Bar Cost For 100 Guests At A Wedding?

Please remember that although this is an average estimate, prices occasionally might change based on where you are.



How Much Does An Open Bar Cost For 200 Guests At A Wedding?


Who Supplies The Alcohol?

Alcohol can be purchased by the host of the event or by the bar catering business, who will add the amount to the final bill. The host can save money by buying the alcohol in bulk from warehouses while doing so.

Alcohol is normally charged per person by bar catering firms, with initial costs typically in the low hundreds. In Los Angeles, the beginning price per person for an open bar ranges from $15 to $40.


How Much Alcohol Will You Need For Guests?

Guests Drinking Alcohol In Wedding

You will need about 600 drinks for a 4-hour party with 150 guests: 250 beers, 218 glasses of wine (from 46 bottles), and enough for 144 individual cocktails (amounts will depend upon what type of cocktail you serve). Plan on offering 360 cocktails if wine isn’t available.

There should be one beer per visitor each hour of the celebration if alcohol is offered at your wedding reception. Take the estimate of beer drinkers and the duration of the reception to determine the required amount of beers.


What Amount Should You Budget For Alcohol At A Wedding?

Amasvos estimates the average cost of an open bar with all expensive liquors to be $4,200, while an open bar with only budget-friendly spirits runs an average of $2,600.

Although having an open bar wedding is the most expensive option for most couples, it is also the most preferred choice— for 58% of couples.


Bartending Fees

A bartender often makes $50 per hour. You can pay a fixed price for events lasting fewer than 2 to 3 hours. However, the bride and groom should prepare a greater tip. 

Some guests could bring cash to tip their bartender. Don’t forget to thank the bartenders for their assistance; making mixed cocktails at lengthy occasions is not always straightforward.

A bartender’s basic party fee can range from $15 to $60 per hour, according to study. For a few hours, some bartenders may charge as much as $300, while others may just charge $15 per hour.



How Does A Wedding Reception Bar Package Work?

You will have to work with their packages if you’ve hired a caterer or if your venue is providing food and beverages on site. The majority will present you with a cheap, medium, or expensive bundle.

There will be fewer options and generic drinks at the cheaper pricing. You must select the more expensive bundles if you want top shelf liquor and more options.

Your bar will be set up by the caterer to accommodate the schedule of your celebration. The bar will typically be open during cocktail hour and closed for dinner at most locations. After dinner, the bar will reopen and remain open until the reception is over.


How Much Does A Wedding Bar Package Cost?

The real cost is determined on where you reside, the time of year, the venue, and the caterer. If you choose a caterer for your wedding, they will also provide you with a bar package. It’s normally charged per person per hour, with a 3 or 4 hours threshold.

Caterers might charge as low as $15 to $30 per person, per hour for a bar package in some places. In larger cities, the average per person per hour is closer to $20 or $50. In the most costly locations, such as San Francisco, bar packages start at $35 to $60 per person per hour.


How Many Bars Should A Wedding Have?

For a beer and wine celebration, one bartender should be assigned to every 70 wedding guests. We recommend one bartender for every 50 wedding guests if you have a full bar and/or a formal event.


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What Is An Appropriate Amount Of Guests For A Wedding?

Amasvos considers weddings with 50 to 150 guests to be “normal,” and weddings with more than 150 guests to be “big.”

We divide weddings under 75 guests into 2 categories: An intimate wedding will include between 50 and 75 individuals. A small wedding has less than 50 people.



What Is A Small Wedding?

These figures may vary slightly depending on who you speak with, but a small wedding normally has 50 or less guests, a medium wedding has 50-150 invitees, and a large wedding has over 150 guests.


How Long Should A Wedding Reception For Drinks Last?

How Much Is An Open Bar At A Wedding?

The ideal duration of your drinks reception isn’t predetermined, but as a general guideline, it should run between 90 minutes and two hours, 30 minutes. Your guests will have plenty of time to drink their preferred beverage, socialize, and eat a selection of small bites during this period.

A normal wedding reception may last up to 4-5 hours, giving you plenty of time for cocktails, supper, toasts, and, of course, dancing!

You can even opt to include some type of entertainment at your cocktail reception to truly make it stand out. There are several methods to produce the ideal conversation starter, ranging from mixing musicians and magicians to dancers and gymnastics.


How Long Is Too Long For A Wedding?

5 hours may be acceptable. If the great majority of your guests are under the age of 40, they will most likely have the stamina to stay longer. Anything above 5 hours can be considered too long.

Please keep your wedding as short as possible to provide guests adequate time to journey back to their respective locations.


When Do Most Weddings Begin?

4:00 p.m.—This is the time you may indicate on your invitation as the formal ceremony start time. 4.15pm— Allow an extra 15 minutes to formally start the ceremony, so the bride may either be slightly late or allow for any unexpected traffic in preparation periods.


Is $20,000 A Suitable Wedding Budget?

A wedding on a $20,000 budget is achievable. The price of the venue, the catering, and the decorations will be covered by more than half of your money. Keep in mind the following areas as well: clothes, entertainment, vendors, rings, stationery, and other costs.

Even with a $15,000 budget, you may still have a fantastic wedding. The trick is to limit the guest list to 50 individuals or less with a $15,000 budget. Sending invites through email and selecting a venue’s buffet option rather than a plated meal are two other strategies to stay inside your budget.

The average wedding expenses, including the engagement ring, are $33,900, according to The Knot 2019 Real Weddings Study. 


However, as this is only an average, the price of your wedding might be significantly higher or lower. For instance, you’ll need a lot less money if you simply invite a few family members than if you invite hundreds of people.


Should A Wedding Have A Free Bar?

How Much Is An Open Bar At A Wedding?

It is not a must to have a free or open bar at a wedding destination. Therefore, even while they won’t automatically think you’ll have a free bar, many of your guests will anticipate some gratis refreshments, especially if they’ve attended a destination wedding previously.

As an alternative, many couples will provide the refreshments on the actual wedding day, but for the celebrations the night before or on Day Two, they’ll offer a cash bar. This is a lovely way to treat your guests without going over budget.

Consider alternative free or affordable methods to express your thanks to friends and family if you are unable to afford to provide your visitors with a complimentary bar. This will ensure that everyone has a good time.


What Is The Function Of A Wedding Cocktail Hour?

The cocktail hour at a wedding is typically exactly what its name implies: A time when guests can partake in beer, wine, specialty cocktails, and light snacks in between the ceremony and reception.

Everyone may unwind during the cocktail hour following the formality of the wedding. They may talk about the event, get in touch with distant relatives, and start to feel celebratory.


Can You Cancel Cocktail Hours?

You can cancel a wedding cocktail hour.

Cocktail hour contributes to the overall experience of an event by giving your crew time to set up dinner and get things moving. If you skip it, you’re doing yourself a disservice.


What Can You Do At A Wedding In Replacement Of Cocktail Hour?

Another delicious option to a standard cocktail hour is a wine or beer tasting. You could even share a favorite local vineyard or microbrewery with your fiancé. 

To lead your visitors through a sampling of a selection of either your favorites or local favorites, you may employ an expert.



Is It Considered Insulting To Not Have An Open Bar At A Wedding?

Is It Considered Insulting To Not Have An Open Bar At A Wedding?

No. Everything is up to you and your financial circumstances. However, it is completely OK to serve only beer and wine, or beer, wine, and a specialty drink. 

Guests can’t complain about a lack of an open bar as long as you provide them with anything to drink that they aren’t paying for.

If you can afford it, offer your guests a full or restricted bar, but please do not have a cash bar. Because guests expect to see a free bar. If alcohol is not provided for guests, it is the bride and groom’s obligation to look for another alternative.


Is It Worth Having Open Bars?

Yes, but there are other methods to make it happen. You could stick to wine, beer, and special beverages before calling it a day.

Having it available all night is an expensive bonus, but guests value it. There is no getting around the fact that an open bar is costly. An open bar may cost you several thousand dollars, depending on how many people you’re expecting and the sorts and grade of alcohol you want to serve.

An open bar might be risky in some situations. Because you offered alcohol at your gathering, you will be held responsible if one of your guests starts to fight.

Nevertheless, as it is also fantastic and enjoyable, you might have an open bar at your event.


Final Thoughts

Please keep in mind that couples have several options that might also affect the overall cost of their wedding and bar services. As a couple please ensure to plan wisely.

According to amasvos, the number of guests that attend your wedding is the most important element in determining the cost of an open bar. That’s to say “the more guests you invite, the more budget” and “the less guests, the less budget”.

Wedding expenses may rapidly add up, and alcohol can easily become one of your major expenses. Please prepare properly if you are in the early stages of organizing your wedding, to save money in the long run.

So, ensure to plan wisely before making any decisions. And if our article was helpful to you, please let us know in the comment section below and subscribe to this blog. Thanks.

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