Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash

When it comes to the reception, one of the most common debates amongst the bride and groom is whether or not to have an open bar. We all know booze tends to liven up a party, but it shouldn’t be the sole reason you decide to have an open bar. Here are some tips to help you decide if an open bar is the right thing for your wedding.

Weddings tend to be expensive already, so cost is one of the most important factors in deciding whether or not to have an open bar. Take the time to think about what you want to spend a chunk of your money on or what aspect you want to be the most glamorous. If you want to splurge on your ceremony, an open bar may not be in the budget for you. Your venue will likely be a leading factor in the overall cost of your ceremony. Those with cheaper venues can often splurge on their reception, as the cost of the wedding ceremony won’t be as high. Once you figure out what you value more, it will become easier to decide whether or not an open bar is a good call for your big day. (13)

Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash

Some fear that not having an open bar may look tacky, but once you look at the cost, the “how things look” cares go out the window. If you want to provide some alcohol, a cheaper option is to provide wine and beer and then allow a cash bar for all other beverages. In some instances, providing solely wine and beer or having a cash bar can be the safer option. Free booze tends to be abused more often than not. With a cash or limited bar, you won’t have to worry about half of your party guest drinking themselves to sleep. On the slim chance that they do, at least it will be on their dime! Also, if you choose to do a cash bar, warn your guests in advance so they can plan to bring a little bit of extra cash. You can erase the fear of a cash bar looking tacky by eliminating the element of surprise for your guests. (15)

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Having an open bar is not a make or break decision in terms of whether or not people will attend your wedding, and if it is, you don’t want those people at any of your wedding festivities anyway. Alcohol costs a lot more than people think, and if they aren’t chipping in for the wedding, they shouldn’t have too much of a say in what or how you spend your wedding funds. (16)

Photo by Tristan Gassert on Unsplash

At the end of the day, guest aren’t coming to your wedding to get drunk; they are coming to celebrate you and you new husband or wife! Don’t feel pressured to do anything that your bank account can’t cash later. If you are able to afford an open bar, by all means, let the booze turn your reception all the way up! At the same time, if you aren’t able to afford an open bar at the wedding, don’t worry about outside perceptions from other people pertaining to your wedding. This wedding is about you and your spouse only, so don’t get hung up on the booze!

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