Wedding Bar Options

glasses of wine with wine bottles and an event bar station

Wedding Bar Options - glasses of wine with wine bottles and an event bar stationOffering your guests more bar options while keeping your beverage budget low!

(alternative title: “having your tequila and drinking it too!”)

When it comes to planning a wedding, there are a variety of ways to lower costs. Offering guests complementary drinks at your wedding can add up quickly.  We have found that many of our clients look for ways to simplify their wedding bar options to save money.

Here are some common misconceptions when it comes to choosing your guests’ wedding bar options:

Q: Can we offer beer and wine only rather than a full bar (with liquor and mixers)?

A: Most are under the assumption that a bar package with just beer and wine is more affordable but it’s actually not and here is why:

Your bartender can pour 5 glasses from one bottle of wine (max) and ONE drink per bottle of beer. A bottle of vodka serves 25 drinks. As you can imagine, 25 servings of wine and/or beer ends up being greater in cost than 25 servings of liquor (with mixers). Eliminating mixed drinks as a bar option and serving only wine and beer will end up costing significantly more at the end of the night.

Q: If I just add one hard liquor (like vodka) to a beer and wine package will it be cheaper than a full bar option?

A: In most cases, adding just one type of hard liquor will increase the volume of that liquor consumption. Increasing the consumption of just one hard liquor ends up driving up the cost as opposed to a full bar option where volume is shared across the various liquors.

Let us explain further: you might save a few dollars in comparison to the “Beer & Wine Only” option by offering one liquor to choose from but this bar option may force your guests to drink beer or wine if they don’t like your liquor choice. Say for instance, one of your guests wants a whiskey and cola, but you have added only vodka as the additional option.  Now you are paying for the vodka bottles sitting behind the bar and still putting your guests in a position to consume more beer and wine, which cost more than the mixed drink they would have consumed.


When you choose a full bar option rather than beer and wine for your wedding, you know that every guest will have his or her drink of choice and you will also be saving money.  Win-Win!