Wedding Bar Options
To drink or not to drink, that is the question. Serving alcohol at your wedding reception can be a costly, and at times controversial, decision. An open bar is the most generous (and expensive) option for your reception, allowing guests free alcohol and unlimited drinks of their choosing. However, if cost or controversy is a concern, here are a few alternative beverage options, of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety:
Limited Bar: If you’d like to offer alcohol, but want to avoid a massive bill or the risk of guests overindulging, consider offering a bar with limited choices and hours of operation. Set a specific alcoholic drink menu with a few options for guests and then limit the times when drinks are available. For example, simply offer beer and wine that is only available during the cocktail hour or just through dinner.
Soda Bar: Offering unlimited soft drinks is certainly more cost effective than liquor and it can be done in a way that’s unique and creative. Serve sodas out of classic glass bottles for a nostalgic vibe or glam them up with fancy fluted glasses for a more elegant affair.
Espresso Bar: Set up a complete coffee bar for guests to indulge in cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas before and after dinner. When served in elegant china, coffee drinks can take on a sophisticated and swanky air. Serve in mismatched coffee mugs for a more relaxed, laid-back feel. To spice things up, consider offering alcoholic alternatives. Alcoholic after-dinner coffee drinks are classy, delicious, and more cost-effective than mixed cocktails.
Cider/Hot Cocoa Bar: Warm up chilly guests at a fall or winter wedding with an apple cider or hot cocoa bar. In addition to the hot beverages, offer a buffet of toppings, like whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, peppermint, sprinkles, and chocolate shavings, for guests to sweeten their treat.
Juice Bar: Liven up a summer gathering or afternoon brunch with a variety of juice options for wedding guests. With chic glassware and an array of garnishes, juice can be both refreshing and classy. Embellish beverages with a splash of alcohol for light, fruity cocktails.
I help manage a Birmingham banquet facility and am asked this question all of the time. For a few other ideas on how to save money on your drink budget, see an article that I published at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6014780/eight_ways_to_save_big_on_alcohol_at.html. Hope it helps!