Open bar battles the pink robots.

Okay, not battling any pink robots, just battling some other options.

The idea of an open bar is great. Everyone can drink whatever they want, however much they want. The only problem? Expensive as all get out! There’s no way Adam and I will be able to afford an open bar unless we win the lottery (which, by the way, we have been playing in the form of scratch tickets every now and then. Can’t hurt). So we’re going to need a Plan B.

We have already come up with a few Plan B’s…so we’re up to Plan F by now. Here are our solutions to the open bar problem:

Plan B: A wine bar.

The idea of a wine bar really appeals to both of us. There are so many different kinds of wine out there that there is sure to be something to appeal to everyone, and it would probably look really amazing with all the different bottles lined up. Plus, at places like Trader Joe’s, one can purchase really good wines for as low as $3 a bottle. I know it sounds cheap, but trust me when I say that Charles Shaw tastes far better than the $38 bottle I tasted a couple glasses of. And it’s not like we’re trying to hide the fact that we are on a budget. On the contrary. We’re practically bragging about it. So a wine bar is definitely our #1 option at the moment. If we do this, we want to provide sparkling grape juice (in red and white, of course) and regular grape juice (again, in both red and white) to those who prefer not to drink and for the kids. That way everyone would get to enjoy it! The main issue with this option would be people who don’t like wine but would still want to drink, and I know many people like that. I would hope that a wide selection of wines (and possibly a tasting option?) would help even those people find something tasty.

Plan C: Beer and wine.

This is also a fairly feasible option if our budget allows for it. Those who would want beer could have it, and perhaps we could even include some malt beverages or wine coolers in the mix. I’m less enthusiastic about this than I am about the wine bar, but it’s not just about us. We have to consider our guests when we are planning the wedding, of course!

Plan D: Signature cocktails.

This is a really popular thing to do for weddings on a budget. Find a tasty mixed drink or two, and serve those as your only alcohol (besides the champagne, of course!). There are so many great-sounding drinks out there, and  his-and-hers cocktails would be pretty adorable. The only problem with that is the fact that liquor can be pretty expensive, and if everyone is drinking cocktails, it could really add up. We’d have to really be careful with our budget if we go this route.

Plan E: Signature cocktails, but only during the cocktail hour.

I like this idea. We could still have the signature cocktails, but just serve them during the time before dinner. Then we’d have a dry bar for the rest of the reception, until it’s time for champagne. It’s not quite as exciting as the wine bar or the signature cocktails being served throughout, but it would still be nice!

Plan F: Dry bar.

Eh. I’m not too enthusiastic about a dry bar. While it is the most economically sound option for such a large event, I would still much rather be able to serve alcohol at the wedding. We’re only going to resort to the dry bar if money is really tight. If it is, we’ll find a way to make it work for us (maybe with virgin cocktails of some kind, and sparkling juices as well). Of course, the “Dry bar” option doesn’t mean the champagne won’t make an appearance. I absolutely love champagne and dang it, it will be at the wedding if I have to figure out how to make it myself!

What are your thoughts? Is there an idea I have not touched upon?


3 responses to “Open bar battles the pink robots.

  1. Caroline…it is soooo super expensive for an open bar!! I don’t want to burst your bubble, but a lot about this decision will depend on your venue. We found that some places will not allow you to bring your own alcohol in so you have to check on that…and many places, if you bring your own wine and champagne, there is a “corking fee” per bottle. Also, I want to say we ran into an issue with having to get a liquor license at some places if we did our own stuff…but I’m not 100% sure on that. But if you can bring your own stuff, look into wholesale vendors who will allow you to buy in bulk at cheaper rates. My sister Amanda did a wine only wedding so she might be able to help with ideas for that. Your guests will be fine with whatever makes you the most comfortable. Don’t over analyze what “other people” want or you will make yourself crazy. You will never please every single person so just plan according to your own tastes and budgets…everyone there will be so happy just to be sharing your day with you!

    • Yeah, pretty much the only way that ends up being relatively inexpensive is by doing the dry bar. What’s lucky for Adam and I is that we’re planning to call in pretty much every favor and friend we have to make this happen on a better budget, so who knows? If we use a venue with good connections, we might be all set. I think we definitely DON’T want an open bar…too much hassle, too much money. I’ll probably be calling on you and Amanda to give us some guidance for all of this! Thanks so much Corinne ❤

  2. Ok, this is reason number 2 why you need to go look at Amber Grove (number 1 being the barn). We are having open wine and beer bar with ONE signature cocktail, available all night. We’re bringing in our own wine (um…hello Trader Joe’s) and beer so the cost is minimal. And no cocking fee. You get to infuse your theme and personality on the cocktail and still everyone will find something they like. That’s my thought. 🙂

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