Should We Have an Open Bar?: Four Factors to Consider Before You Decide

Should We Have an Open Bar?: Four Factors to Consider Before You Decide

To open bar or not to open bar? That is the question. Brides and grooms have faced this dilemma for generations. Some people say cash bars are faux pas, while others believe that it’s a great way to save a few dollars on the big day. Wondering which option is best for you and your beloved? Here are four factors to take into consideration before you make this difficult decision.

Your Guests
Are your friends and family the types of people that will love and maybe even expect an open bar? Perhaps you come from a more conservative background and believe that your guests wouldn’t even miss an open bar if you paid for it. Catering to your guests is key. Before making any major decisions about the bar, be sure to seriously consider how this will impact your guests’ experience.

Your Budget
There’s no way around it: Open bars are expensive. While there are many things you can do to mitigate the cost, an open bar will always be significantly more pricey than a dry wedding, cash bar, or BYOB affair. If you’re on a tight budget, foregoing an open bar in favor of a cash bar can be a great way to save money. It’s also important to consider a cash bar or BYOB option if you’d like to see your budget go a little further in other areas, like the food or music. If you anticipate that consuming alcohol won’t be a priority for you and your guests, consider alternative options.

Logistical Considerations
An open bar can be pricey, but they’re usually a lot less work than setting up a cash bar. Rather than simply selecting the kinds of alcohol you want to serve, you’ll have to worry about nitty-gritty logistical considerations like accepted payment methods and nearby ATMs. A cash bar also requires guests to ensure that they have cash or credit on hand, so be sure to warn them ahead of time if you plan to have a cash bar.

How Much You Want to Party
Having an open bar will undeniably make your guests feel like they’re at a party. While it’s important to enjoy in moderation, keeping the alcohol flowing ensures that your guests are loosened up, ready to mingle, and itching to dance the night away. However, it’s important to keep in mind that an open bar can also lead to trouble. Everyone has been to a wedding or two where a guest has had one too many. Consider the crowd you're catering to: Are they a rowdy bunch that are prone to overindulge or will a few drinks simply help them relax?

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