• Natalie
  • posted by Natalie

  • Serving alcohol at your wedding reception can increase your budget significantly! Today's post focuses on ways to serve alcohol without going over your budget. You can read our other Budget Saving Tips for your wedding on the blog.

    When trying to decide what beverages to serve at your wedding, you should pick an option that is right for your budget and wedding. Keep in mind your wedding theme, style, and the guests that will be attending your reception. Here are a few options to choose from:

    Full Top Shelf Open Bar - Providing a fully stocked bar with top shelf liquors is an expensive option. Your guests will have unlimited choices, but this will cause your reception bill to sky rocket!
    Full House Brand Open Bar - If you like the idea of a full bar but don't want to pay the big bucks for the top shelf liquor, just provide house liquors. You will still need a large alcohol budget for this option, but it is definitely more affordable than the Full Top Shelf Open Bar option.
    Beer and Wine with Signature Drinks - This is a great option for couples trying to stay within a reasonable budget, but want to add a pop of personality to their reception. Beer and wine are both affordable options and the addition of a signature drink gives your guests a couple of alcoholic options to enjoy. The signature drink could match with your wedding colors or theme, or perhaps it's your favorite drink! The Knot provides an Ultimate Signature Cocktail Finder that is a great resource for finding the perfect signature cocktail for your reception!
    Beer and Wine Only - This is another common, budget friendly option. Another great way to save with this option is to provide your own beer and wine (if the venue will allow it). There are many good bottles of wine for under $10 a bottle and beer from a keg keeps the cost down as well.
    Beer and Wine with Cash Bar - If your budget only allows for beer and wine at your wedding reception but you want to provide the option of a full bar to your guests, perhaps this option is for you. Beer and wine is provided, but if the guests would like something else, they have to pay for it themselves.
    Cash Bar - While not the most popular with wedding guests, if you have a tight budget and no money to provide alcohol at your wedding, this may be the only option for you. Alcohol is available at your reception, but your guests are required to pay for their own drinks. Want something a little less extreme? What about having an open bar cocktail hour, but a cash bar during the reception?
    Dry Wedding - A dry wedding is a wedding without any alcohol. Couples that do not drink alcohol or are against alcohol for any reason may choose this option. It is also more popular for morning or early afternoon weddings since guests don't usually drink much alcohol earlier in the day anyway. Provide your guests with fun non-alcoholic drink options instead!

  • Sarah and Schuyler chose to have signature drinks during their cocktail hour! The refreshing drinks not only matched the colors of the wedding, but were great for a warm August evening.

  • signature wedding drinks

  • Whatever you decide, keep in mind that non-alcoholic beverages are always an essential at a wedding reception. If you are providing a full bar, water, sodas, and juices should be available to those guests that may not want to drink alcohol. You may also want to provide coffee for your guests with dessert or towards the end of your reception.

    Not sure how much alcohol you will need at your reception? Evite has a Free Drink Calculator where you can specify your party duration, guest count, and what you'll be serving and it will calculate how much beer, wine, and liquor you will need for your event. Check it out!

    Check back next week for more budget saving tips for your wedding! Have a great weekend and happy planning!

    Photo courtesy of The Memory Journalists.

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