wedding bar
Leah Moyers
Editorial Category: 
Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wedding Bar

In planning your wedding bar, you may be torn between your three most popular options: an open bar, a cash bar, or serving only beer and wine. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages to consider, depending on the details of your unique celebration. Below, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of each in order to help you best decide which works best for the wedding of your dreams!

Photo by: Erin Lee Allender


  • Open bar. The most traditional choice (as well as the guest favorite), an open bar is exactly what it sounds like: a fully-stocked bar offering everything from soda water to hard liquor to be served at will to your guests with no expectation of guest payment. If your wedding guests are big partiers, this will, without a doubt, be the best option for your wedding—unless you’re on a tight budget. Since guests aren’t paying for their individual drinks and everything they could ever want is already on-hand, this will be your most expensive bar option—on the low end averaging upwards of $15 per person for a four-hour reception.

  • Cash bar. If an open bar is too expensive—or too rowdy—for your wedding guests, consider having a cash bar. This bar offers the same options for your guests, as the bar should still be more or less fully stocked, but instead of putting the entire tab on you, your guests will pay for their individual drinks. This option also leads to fewer drunk patrons, if you know that you’re dealing with a more rambunctious crowd. However, if you're following classic wedding etiquette, this option may lead to a few side-eyes from your more traditionally minded guests.

  • Beer and wine. For a more reserved event with a laid-back vibe, simply serving beer and wine could be your best option. Yes, the cost falls to you again, but beer and wine are far more affordable than an assortment of liquors, not to mention all of the mixers and accoutrements that an open bar necessitates. Furthermore, the beer and wine option also lends itself to a calmer environment with no one getting too out of control.

No matter which choice you make, remember that any alcohol at your wedding must be served by a licensed and insured bartender, the absence of which could lead to your venue shutting down the entire event, depending on the severity of the infraction. But as long as you have that, eat, drink, and be married!

login or register to show your love.

Featured Vendors:

Related Inspirations / Ideas