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Is an open bar a good idea at a wedding?

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you want everything to be perfect. Deciding whether or not to have an open bar can be a tough decision for many couples. While an open bar can be expensive, it also has many benefits. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of having an open bar at your wedding.

Advantages of an Open Bar

One of the biggest advantages of having an open bar at your wedding is that it is a great way to show your appreciation to your guests. Your friends and family have traveled from near and far to attend your wedding and having an open bar is a great way to reward them for their efforts. An open bar encourages your guests to mingle and socialize, which is especially important if your guests do not know each other well.

Another advantage of having an open bar at your wedding is that it keeps the party going. A little liquid courage can go a long way and an open bar can help break the ice and encourage your guests to hit the dance floor. A lively party atmosphere is exactly what you want on your special day.

An open bar also makes things easier for you and your groom. When you have an open bar, you do not have to worry about cash, or drink tickets. This simplifies things for both you, your guests, and the bartender.

Disadvantages of an Open Bar

The biggest disadvantage to having an open bar is the cost. Depending on your budget, an open bar can be expensive. Soft drinks and beer can often be included in the catering costs, but wine, spirits, and cocktails will typically be charged separately.

Another disadvantage is that an open bar can sometimes lead to overindulgence. While a little bit of liquid courage can be helpful on the dance floor, too much can lead to accidents or inappropriate behavior. It can help to have a professional bartender who can recognize when someone has had too much to drink and take appropriate action. You can also choose to serve only beer and wine or have the bar close earlier during the night.

Things to Consider

When deciding whether or not to have an open bar at your wedding, there are some things you should consider. Firstly, you need to decide whether it is within your budget or not. The cost of an open bar can add up quickly, so it’s important to be realistic about your budget. You can also consider having a pre-dinner cocktail hour rather than an open bar throughout the night.

Another thing to consider is your venue. Some venues do not allow outside drinks or have their own liquor licenses. Be sure to check with your venue to make sure you are following the rules.

You can also consider offering a signature cocktail or creating a drink menu alongside the open bar. This can be a more affordable option while still providing your guests with a fun selection of drinks to choose from.


In conclusion, an open bar can be a great way to thank your guests and keep the party going on your wedding day. However, it is important to consider the cost, potential for overindulgence, and your venue’s rules before making a decision. Ultimately, the choice to have an open bar or not is up to you and your personal preferences and budget. Your wedding day should be a reflection of you and your partner, so the decision should be made with your dreams and wishes in mind.


Is it OK not to have an open bar at a wedding?

Weddings are undoubtedly one of the most special moments in people’s lives. It’s a day filled with joy, love, and celebration, and it’s essential to make it memorable for all the guests. One topic of debate that comes up frequently among those planning a wedding is whether or not to have an open bar. An open bar is a reception where guests can order from a fully stocked bar without having to pay for any drinks at all. While some people believe that an open bar is an essential component of any wedding, others have different opinions on the matter.

The truth is that having an open bar at your wedding reception can be quite expensive. Depending on the location, the number of guests and types of drinks served, open bars can quickly rack up a significant tab. Costs aside, planning an open bar requires a lot of work and attention to detail. Coordinating with caterers and bartenders need to ensure that the drinks are poured correctly, alcohol levels remain manageable, and guests are taken care of, the list of tasks involved in an open bar can be lengthy.

However, just because an open bar is not feasible doesn’t mean that you can’t have a perfectly lovely wedding reception. You can still have a great reception by serving just beer and wine, or beer, wine, and a signature cocktail. Signature cocktails are a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your wedding reception, and they can be easily customized to suit your theme or color scheme. You can even get creative with non-alcoholic drinks, such as virgin cocktails and mocktails, to cater to guests who prefer not to drink alcohol.

One of the main concerns that couples have when it comes to ditching the open bar is the fear that their guests will be unhappy. However, as long as you give them something to drink that they’re not paying for, guests can’t complain about the lack of an open bar. Make sure that your reception follows a clear schedule, and offer several other types of entertainment like music, dancing, games, or photo booths to help guests get excited and engaged.

Having an open bar at your wedding reception can be a great way to ensure that everyone has a good time. However, it’s far from critical in the grand scheme of things. As long as you serve refreshments to your guests, stick to a schedule, and have some fun entertainment lined up, you can rest assured that your wedding reception will be memorable for all the right reasons even without an open bar.

How much do you give for a wedding with open bar?

If you have been invited to a wedding with an open bar, you might be wondering how much is an appropriate amount to give as a gift. The answer to this question can vary depending on various factors such as where the wedding is taking place, your relationship with the couple, and of course, the specifics of the open bar. Appropriate per person open bar pricing can be classified into three main categories: limited open bar, full open bar with limited beer and wine options, and full, premium open bar.

For limited open bar, which usually only includes beer and wine, $15-$20 per person is a reasonable amount to gift. This option is great for budget-friendly weddings where the couple might want to provide drinks but not spend too much money.

For a full open bar with limited beer and wine options, $20-$35 per person would be appropriate. This option is becoming more popular for weddings because it provides much more selection than a limited open bar, without breaking the bank.

Finally, for a full, premium open bar, which includes top-shelf liquor and a full selection of beer and wine, average per person costs can range from $35-$45. If the wedding is taking place in a high-end location or if the couple is known for hosting lavish parties, then this option might be the best choice.

Of course, it is important to note that gift giving is a personal choice and not everyone will have the same budget or desire to contribute to an open bar. it is up to your discretion to decide what is an appropriate gift amount for you to give.

How do you tell your wedding guests about an open bar?

When planning a wedding, it is important to consider the needs and expectations of your guests. One question that often arises is how to reveal to guests that you are hosting an open bar. While it is not a strict requirement to notify your guests about the availability of an open bar, it is a courteous and thoughtful gesture. By informing your guests ahead of time, they won’t have to worry about bringing cash for drinks or scramble around to find an ATM at the last minute.

So, how can you inform your guests about an open bar at your wedding? The first and simplest way is to include the information on your wedding website. Your website should serve as an essential hub of information for your guests, providing them with everything they need to know about your wedding weekend. By prominently featuring an open bar on the homepage or the FAQ section of your website, your guests will know that drinks are on you.

Another option is to include a short note about the open bar on your wedding invitation suite. You can add an information card with the invitation that includes the bar details, such as which drinks will be covered by the open bar and the duration of the open bar. This gives your guests a heads up about the amenities that will be available to them on the big day and can help them plan accordingly.

Finally, you can also remind your guests about the open bar at your wedding by making a brief announcement during the reception. This is especially helpful if you have guests who didn’t visit your wedding website or for those who missed the information card in your invitation suite. Be sure to thank your guests for attending and note that the bar is open and drinks are on you.

An open bar is a wonderful courtesy to your wedding guests, and it doesn’t take much effort to inform them about it. Whether you choose to add this information to your wedding website, your invitations or make an announcement during your reception, your guests are bound to be appreciative that you have provided them with this convenience.