Our wedding was about celebrating our marriage and throwing a great party for all our friends and family...because who doesn't love a good party!? We prioritized the food and drinks as an important part of our budget because that was important to us but we were still able to save some money at our bar using the tips below.
If possible, look for a venue that will allow you to bring in your own beverages. Many locations will charge a corkage fee for this service, a fee per bottle, allowing you to bring in your own alcohol which can be a huge cost savings. This is also a great option if you're particular about the brand or flavour of beverages you bring in as you can choose for yourself this way, or, if you're into home brewing, you could create a special vintage of wine or beer made especially for your Big Day.
2. Limit your bar options
A huge opportunity to save some money is by limiting the options you offer at your bar. So often, we want to provide as much choice as possible, similar to the bar at a restaurant or club, but in all honesty, your guests will just as likely appreciate any options you're providing. Consider one or two types of white and red wine, a couple of beer options and a signature cocktail or two. You could be creative with your signature cocktail, naming it something unique and special to the two of you, while providing your guests an alternative to the regular beer and wine options.
3. A cash bar is not tacky
No one says you have to have an open bar. Especially if you feel like your friends and family may take advantage of the fact the bar is free and may or may not finish all their drinks, don't be afraid to have a cash, or "toonie" bar. Many couples are paying for their weddings themselves these days and a cash bar is a great way to offset the cost of liquor...and, as it's becoming more and more popular, many guests could expect a cash bar anyways. It's a good way to reduce waste, potentially limit embarrassing levels of consumption and still provide your guests an opportunity to let loose and have fun!
Throwing a great wedding reception is made better by great food and drinks but those options don't have to break your budget. A few small opportunities can save you heaps of money while not affecting you or the experience for your guests. And saving money on your drinks means you can spend money in other places!
Photo Credit: Wedding Recycle