{Monday Muse} Drinking the night away – do we provide a free bar at our wedding?

Good morning & happy Monday! It’s a brand new week & we have lots of exciting & beautiful inspiration lined up for you over on A Vintage Wedding Guide! Today, I thought we’d start a debate! Something to muse over while you while away those hours in the office or discuss with your partner in the run up to your big day! It’s a dilemma we all face at some point in our wedding planning – should we provide a free bar for our guests? So, let’s discuss the options!

free bar

A totally FREE BAR

This sounds like a great idea, right? Your guests have paid to be at your wedding – possibly taken a day off work, travelled to your venue, booked a hotel room, bought you a present so you want to thank them by providing them with a great night! What better way to repay them but to offer a completely free day of entertainment, food & drink as a thank you. We were lucky enough to be in the position of offering a free bar because our venue was on our own land and it meant many, many trips to the supermarket to stock up! But, if you’re having your wedding in a venue and the paid bar is going to be free, be ready for a hefty bill. A friend who recently got married was faced with a staggering £7,000 bar bill at the end of her wedding! They were prepared for it, but think about how this will impact on the rest of your budget! And we all know about those rogues who decide a free bar is an opportunity to drink as much as they can! Be sure your guests aren’t the type to get blind drunk and cause problems! There’s nothing worse than Uncle Richard letching over your bridesmaids or Auntie Cath telling your mum exactly what she thinks of her after all these years!

shots

 

Pre-paid bar

Another good option is to consider putting some money behind the bar for the start of the night. Most guests will expect to pay for something during the evening, especially those who haven’t attended all day. Start off with a sensible amount you can afford and, when it’s gone, it’s gone! You might be surprised with how far this will stretch and, if you’re feeling generous after a few more glasses of champagne, you can always increase it (or convince your dad too!)

 

A fully paid-for bar

Not all of us have the luxury of being able to ply our guests with alcohol all night, and that’s totally OK. I would always turn up to a wedding with cash in the full expectation that I will have to pay for my drinks after the meal. I would say, make sure you check out the bar prices when you visit venues and before you book. Bear in mind that some hotels will have quite expensive bar menus so it’s always worth seeing how much your guests might have to fork out during the evening. Also, think about the effect this might have on the night. If your friends and family have to have a few drinks inside them to get dancing, you might want to consider having something like one free drink per person, just to make sure that dance floor isn’t totally empty!

receipt

 

Don’t worry about what others think!

People always have an opinion on weddings. You won’t be able to please everybody. Do what’s best for you, your budget & your venue! It’s YOUR day, do it YOUR way.

 

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