You want your guests to have a good time, but that doesn’t have to mean footing a runaway bar bill. Use these tips to keep your beverage budget from going overboard.
Forget about hard liquor: Hard liquor and mixed drinks cost more than other alcohol. Cut them out and offer choices of beer, wine and soft drinks instead.
Homebrew: Do you know someone who homebrews their beer? Ask them to consider providing beer for your wedding at cost.
Make your own wine: Some vineyards allow you to make your own wine. Depending on your choice, this can cost less than $5 per bottle. For even more savings, print your own label and give extra bottles away as attendant gifts.
Toast with white wine instead of champagne: Champagne can get expensive, and not everyone likes the carbonation. Save money by offering a nice white wine instead.
Offer a specialty drink instead of a full bar: A full bar with a variety of liquors can be very expensive. Narrow your drink choices down to one crowd pleaser to keep costs reasonable.
Limit bar time: You don’t have to keep the alcohol flowing all night. Have a cocktail hour, then serve only wine and beer with dinner. Offer champagne or white wine with dessert.
Don’t serve alcohol: You can cut this cost altogether by not serving alcohol at all. This, of course, depends on your crowd.
Have a coffee bar instead of an alcoholic one: If you’ve decided to nix alcohol, your guests may appreciate an alternative beverage bar. Consider having a coffee bar with a barista who can whip up espressos, lattes and other specialty coffee drinks.