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VIP February 2019 Quebec

Alcohol options for the reception

Kacy, on May 25, 2018 at 06:47 Posted in Wedding reception 0 7
Good morning everyone!

My FH and I are planning a brunch wedding for Feb 2019. Given that it’s brunch and that the price of open bar is too high for our budget (50$ pp), we are considering other alternatives for our bar options, such as paying for a specific amount of alcohol or paying for our guests to have unlimited amounts of “signature drinks” (ex: Bloody Caesar and another drink, maybe like an orange juice-based one).

What have your experiences been with that kind of arrangement, either as guests or as the bride/groom?

It would depend on the amount of money that it would come out to and guests’ drinking habits of course, but did you find that the “money” ran out quickly and guests were forced to pay for their own drinks rather quickly or did people pretty much stick to the signature cocktails and enjoy themselves?

And if you wouldn’t mind sharing, how much did either of these bar alternatives come out for you? We’re trying to gauge how much budget to allocate for this part...

thank you so much in advance and happy planning to you all!!


Latest activity by Kacy, on May 29, 2018 at 11:19
  • Kacy
    VIP February 2019 Quebec
    Kacy ·
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    Wow, thank you very much everyone for your awesome responses and suggestions!! Very helpful Smiley smile

    We were definitely planning on having at least one mimosa per person for the toasts (hopefully we can switch the orange juice to mango, yyuuuummm) and then for the cocktail hr/meal/party time we are torn between having unlimited signature cocktails (rest of the bar being a cash bar) or drink tickets. As you've suggested, we'll have to price it all and decide how much money we can dedicate to this...

    All of your drink suggestions are amazing, and make me want to make myself some drinks Smiley winking

    Thank you all again, you're all amazing! Best of luck with your respective planning xox

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  • Tori
    Top October 2019 Manitoba
    Tori ·
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    I would recommend drink tickets! It was offered at one of the venues I checked out and it seemed great if we weren't able to swing an open bar (OMG IT IS SO MUCH $$!).

    Basically - price out what you would want to pay for drinks and divide it by people. It usually works out to 2 or 3 drinks pp. Give them their tickets at their tables and have it noted that "those drinks are on us" and the rest will be cash bar.

    You could even incorporate a couple games at the wedding towards winning more drink tickets Smiley smile Hope this helps!

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  • Jessica
    Super March 2018 Ontario
    Jessica ·
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    I would suggest either doing a signature drink menu that would be more of a brunch option such as mimosa's, Bellini's, etc.... or doing drink tickets so you can choose how much you want to pay and then if guests wish to purchase any more drinks they can do the cash bar option.

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  • Stephanie
    Master July 2018 Alberta
    Stephanie ·
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    We’re having a dinner buffet and providing our own alcohol. We are offering signature drinks wine and beer. I’m okay with alcohol running out to be honest so we are only planning on spending about $1000 for about 85 people
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  • Marcia
    Super August 2018 Manitoba
    Marcia ·
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    Hi Kacy,

    I haven't been to a brunch wedding yet, but I've been to both an open bar, and cash bar wedding. Open bars can get expensive (if some of your guest are heavy drinkers). We opted for purchasing a bunch of red and white wine bottles to seat at the table, while also having a cash bar. It might be a good idea for brunch to have mimosa's, signature cocktails, or bottled wine that you have paid for, and also have cash bar to give your guest options. I found this option to be a cheaper alternative. The last open bar wedding I went to my friend end up paying over $10,000 on drinks, turns out all the guest were heavy drinks, and the venue she chose was also expensive though. You can also buy drink tickets for your guest as another option.

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  • Sara
    Devoted October 2018 Ontario
    Sara ·
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    We're having a dinner reception, with cash bar. We're buying drink tickets for cocktail hour, toast and dinner. We decided on this because we know that at least half of our guests won't drink more than those 5 drinks, so it would've been way out of budget to pay all that money for open bar and then have no one drink it.

    I think for brunch you're pretty safe with having a paid bar or signature drinks as it is middle of the day and not too many people are into day drinking. You could also do mimosas for orange juice options plus all the ones that Allison mentioned.

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  • Allison
    Master October 2019 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    Hi Kacy!

    I've never been to a brunch wedding but I feel like most guests won't drink a whole lot and I think you could stick to the signature drinks.

    A few suggestions you could have for your orange-juice based drink: mimosa (can add a drop or two or grenadine to it, looks like a sunrise), tequila sunrise (tequila, orange juice, grenadine), screwdriver (vodka and orange juice), fuzzy navel (peach schnapps and orange juice). Just to name a few that come to mind Smiley smile

    We're having our reception in the evening and our guests can drink a lot so we opted for an open bar, although it is more.

    Good luck with everything!!

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