Chef's Blog

What Are The Different Bar Options For Wedding Catering?

Published March 11th, 2019 by Chef's Catering

One of the biggest questions that couples must answer as they plan their wedding is, "what type of bar should we have?" Answering this question is made easier when you first consider three important factors. How much do you want to spend on a bar (as well as the drinks being consumed)? How long do you want the bar to be open? How many bartenders should you have? Once you have answered these three questions you will be able to explore four popular bar options for weddings of all types, locations, and sizes.

The Open Bar

An open bar is one of the most common bar options for a wedding. As its name suggests, the wedding hosts will pay a flat fee for the bar, which allows the guests to drink as much as they want. The key to an open bar is to decide the following characteristics.

  • What type of alcohol do you want to serve? Keep in mind that the premium shelf liquor will increase the cost of your open bar.
  • How many open bars do you need at your wedding? As a general rule of thumb, no one wants to wait for more than a few minutes at the bar, especially when the dance floor is open and there are wedding festivities to be enjoyed.
  • Will you have an open bar for the entire reception or only the cocktail hour? An easy way to cut down costs is to have an open bar during the cocktail hour, and then switch to a cash bar during the rest of the wedding reception.

The Consumption Bar

As its name suggests, a consumption bar is based on the amount, type, and cost of the drinks consumed. The wedding hosts will be responsible for paying per drink, which can quickly become an expensive option if your guests prefer to consume high shelf liquor. In other words, the consumption bar is like a rolling open tab for every guest at your wedding.

The Soft Bar

A soft bar is one that only offers red and white wine, champagne, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks. This cost-cutting option is a great choice if you are looking for ways to reduce wedding expenses without cutting your guest list in half. Keep in mind that the soft bar can be a bit of a let down for any guests interested in "doing shots" with the bride and groom.

The Cash Bar

A cash bar might not be the most popular amongst wedding guests, but it is certainly the most budget-friendly option for wedding hosts. With this in mind, it is a great idea to tell guests before they arrive that there will be a cash bar at your wedding; otherwise, your guests will be left with a slightly unpleasant surprise if their wallets are empty, and they can't buy a drink. Alternatively, you can achieve a happy balance by offering a free signature drink during the cocktail hour and a cash bar for the rest of the reception.
Choosing The Right Bar With The Help Of Your Wedding Caterer

Whether you want to have an open, consumption, soft, or cash bar, the right wedding caterer can help you to make the ideal choice for your special day. To learn more about achieving the perfect combination of drinks and food for your upcoming wedding, contact Chef's Catering today.

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