Six Essential Ways to Manage Bar Costs at the Reception

Six Essential Ways to Manage Bar Costs at the Reception

Weddings are expensive, and finding ways to make them both memorable and affordable can be quite the challenge. Everyone dreams of that picture-perfect wedding day, but nobody wants to embark on a marriage shackled by debt.

Working with a small wedding budget isn’t easy but, with a little bit of planning and research, it’s doable—and can still be stylish. One of the key places to cut costs is on the big-ticket items like booze. The obvious ways to cut liquor costs would be either a cash bar or a dry wedding, but neither are terrific wedding etiquette. There are ways to reduce costs without pouring cold water on the festivities.

Here are six essential and creative ways to manage bar costs at the reception:

  1. A Limited Bar
    Whether to offer an open bar is one of the most hotly debated wedding topics. Who doesn’t love an open bar? But consider this: Depending on factors such as the age of the guests, liquor costs for an open bar—wine, beer, and mixed drinks—can soar as high as $90 per guest, for a four-hour reception.

    Plus, unlimited alcohol can sometimes spell trouble. When you read about weddings gone wrong, serving copious amounts of alcohol was usually a culprit.

    Why not scale down the bar offerings to keep costs reasonable? Offer a selection of beers and wines and do away with the hard liquor. That will prevent having to offer a wide variety of liquor that leaves you with barely consumed bottles at the end of the night.

    Create a variety, such as two white and two red wines, and two or three varieties of beers, and include a mix of both light and dark beer. A fun tip is to offer tastings of local craft beers and wines.

  2. A Signature Cocktail
    Rather than springing for a wide variety of hard liquor, create a signature drink—make sure to give it a clever name—to offer along with the wine and beer. Signature drinks are another fabulous way to give your wedding a personal touch.

    Create “His” and “Hers” drinks. Does he love a Manhattan and does she prefer a Cosmopolitan? Serve those.

    Or match the signature drink to your wedding color scheme. If peach is your color, whip up a batch of bourbon peach sweet tea. Going with a rose-colored palette? Serve blackberry whiskey lemonade.

    To keep the drinks affordable, pick ones with ingredients that are already included in your standard bar package, like vodka and orange juice, and then add your own unique twist.

    A batch drink like punch is another cost-effective option.

  3. Limit Bar Hours
    Be creative with your bar hours—and that doesn’t mean shutting the bar down completely. A closed bar is a subtle signal to guests that the party is over. It’s one step from turning the lights up bright and playing the last song, and guests keen to keep drinking will go in search of another venue.

    But there are some clever ways to cut costs, such as offering a full bar during cocktail hour and then switching to beer and wine service at dinner. Or, switch to a cash bar after dinner. Perhaps offer one free beer brand after the open bar closes. Cash-strapped guests will happily drink the free beer, while other guests won’t mind paying for their own drinks later at night.

    Post a clever sign—“Liquor up! We switch to a cash bar at 9 p.m.”—gives guests plenty of warning.

    One tip: Don’t make a “cash bar” a cash-only bar—who carries cash around these days? Make sure credit cards are welcome.

  4. BYOB
    Bringing your own booze comes with its own set of hurdles, as liquor laws vary from state to state. But, on the plus side, it’s considerably more affordable to provide your own liquor than ordering it through your venue or wedding caterer, and you can choose your own bottles.

    First, find a venue that permits providing your own alcohol. Then shop and compare. Request quotes from several different beverage companies that offer a variety of alcohol. Opt for a beverage supplier who will reimburse you for any unopened bottles you return.

    One bonus of supplying your own booze is you get to take home what’s left at the end of the night. You may just start out your marriage with a fully-stocked bar.

    Hire a bartender.

  5. Skip the Champagne Toast
    It’s traditional to provide a glass of champagne to every guest in the room for the toasts. But that can quickly add up, to the tune of hundreds of dollars, particularly if your tastes run toward the pricier brands of champagne.

    Guests can toast the bride and groom with whatever glass they have in their hand—there’s no rule that says it must be champagne. Or forgo the fancy French bubbles and choose a more reasonably priced alternative such as a sparkling wine. Prosecco from Italy and Cava from Spain are terrific bubbly alternatives.

  6. Host a Day-Time or Weeknight Wedding
    We all tend to drink considerably more at night and on weekends. So, consider hosting a daytime wedding, which will save money on more than just your booze bill. Many wedding venues offer discounts for daytime weddings because they can double up on the day and host another wedding in the evening.

    Sunday mornings are becoming particularly popular, because you can offer a terrific brunch or lunch spread, significantly reducing your food bill as well as the bar tab.

    If guests are keen to keep partying into the evening, have a few suggestions on hand of nearby bars or dance halls where they can continue the festivities.

    Many couples choose a weeknight wedding, which also doesn’t cut down on just the bar bill, but virtually the entire event. Most guests will refrain from bellying up to the bar all night if they must show up for work bright and early the next morning. Guests can still enjoy a lovely cocktail hour and drinks with dinner, but weeknight weddings tend to shut down earlier than weekend weddings.

Some Final Thoughts

While we all love an open bar, they’re far from a wedding requirement or expectation these days. Why go into a marriage weighed down with debt? Brides and grooms are even moving away from the traditional sit-down dinner and, instead, thinking of creative options such as picnics with finger foods or cocktail receptions with a punch and hors d’oeuvres.

There are plenty of creative ways to cut bar costs without reducing the fun factor. Unique elements such as signature drinks and wine and beer tastings are another way to personalize your day.

Hair Comes the Bride: Perfect Hairstyle for Modern Brides

Everything that you need for the wedding is all set! The venue, the foods, the wedding favors, the entourage and guests, the decorations and even the gown and suit already fits perfectly. But, wait! My dear bride, preparation is not yet over. Yes, you already chose the gown, the shoes as well as the accessories that you’ll use. But, have you decided what will be your hairdo? How will the artist style your hair on the day of your wedding? For sure you don’t want to appear having a messy hair!

Your make up should fully match your theme, your color motif, your gown and most importantly, your skin tone. And of course, your hair should be well-fixed so that it wouldn’t be a big distraction on your big day. If having an outdoor wedding, and you know that it’s going to be windy, make sure that your hairstyle will be perfect for the outdoor set up. Make sure that your hair won’t be a very big distraction as you express your promises of love.

The make-up during your big day should also be kept simple and will be perfect ’till the evening celebration. If worn out during the ceremony, simple make up can easily be retouched. Thus, saving your time and more time to party with your guests!

To fully prepare for your big day, let’s take a look at some of the Hair and Make up looks for a modern bride like you. You might find some inspiration from these hair and make up looks.

1. Simple Curl and Light Make Up

You can never go wrong with curls. Short, medium or long length hair, wavy or curly hair will surely be perfect. Add a flower crown to hold your veil, and viola! You’re now set for you garden wedding. Mix it with a simple and light make up, for sure your beauty will stand out!

2. Mermaid Braided Hair

Another ideal wedding location is the beach. You and your future husband maybe a big fan of the beach but holding your ceremony their might have advantages and disadvantages. Too much wind might be a big problem during the big day. So, if you have a long hair length make sure to have them fixed well. Braided hair will still the best option.

3. Keep it Straight

This hairstyle never goes out of style. garden, backyard, beach or even for the traditional church wedding. Keeping your hair straight is always one of the best options. Look how this bride glows with her hair just simply flow down her shoulders, matched with a nude lipstick and lashes are emphasized.

4. Clean Updo

Nothing beats a well fixed hair on your big day. You don’t need to worry about being distracted by strands of hair during the ceremony and most importantly, you can party all you want during the reception. You can dance all you want without being afraid of having your hair look messy. A bun or an updo can be perfectly accentuated with a headdress, something that perfectly matches your wedding theme.

5. Headdress Styled Short Hair

Maybe you’ll wonder, “what about for those brides with short hair? What could be the best hairstyle for them for their big day?” Well, if you are one of those brides with short hair, this is probably one of your biggest problems: how to style your hair. well, short hairs will be perfect with just some simple  head accessories. You can choose between a headband or a clip so your hair won’t look to simple and boring.

If you’re one of those brides who’s experiencing trouble with the hairstyle for the big day, hope this gives you an inspiration which hairstyle will suit you. A bride friendly reminder: Make sure to use a waterproof make up to prevent the smudge especially when you get too emotional as you exchange vows and say your sweetest ” I Do”

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