Generally speaking, weddings aren’t exactly cheap. And while you may decide to make the centerpieces yourself or have the ceremony in your backyard to save money, there’s one thing you cannot skimp on – alcohol. An open bar is a must for any wedding, no matter how small or budget-conscious. And here’s why.
Your Guests Are Taking Off Work, Finding Sitters, Etc.
Going to a wedding often means taking off work, finding a babysitter, and otherwise making scheduling changes to accommodate your big day. Your guests may also have to spend money on formalwear and hair and makeup depending on how black-tie your wedding is or not.
Even if your wedding isn’t super-formal, you might have other specifications requiring everyone or almost everyone on your guest list to spend money. If your wedding is on a farm, for example, you might implement a casual dress and cowboy boot dress code. Since not everyone owns cowboy boots, they’re going to spend money. Lots of money.
They’re Driving To See You Get Hitched & Possibly Paying For Hotels
Not only are your guests potentially taking time off work and paying a babysitter to watch their kids, they are likely driving to your wedding and possibly paying for hotels. If yours is a destination wedding, plane fare is involved.
Whether driving a long distance or flying halfway around the world in addition to paying for a hotel room, your guests are again spending some serious dough. Weddings are expensive for more than just the bridal party and the parents, after all, they’re expensive for everyone attending.
They Bought You Gifts
In addition to the aforementioned expenses, your guests are purchasing gifts from your registry or giving you money to help you start your new life. They deserve more than dinky wedding favors – they deserve free booze. They’re spending money on you in many ways, so doesn’t it make sense to keep the libations free and flowing?
A Few Budget-Friendly Booze Tips
Don’t panic if you are short on wedding day funds but want to do the polite and – more importantly – correct thing by providing your guests with alcoholic beverages. It is entirely possible to give booze away without going broke. To wit:
Skip The Full Bar
Instead of spending who-knows-how-much money on a full bar featuring five types of Irish whiskey and every brand of clear liquor in existence, stick to wine and beer.
Kegs of the cheap stuff most peeps love, such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller High Life, Budweiser, and even Beast, er, Milwaukee’s Best, won’t put a serious squeeze on your wedding funds and still provide guests with the warm, buzzy feeling they want.
You can also stock the reception bar with cheap wine – you know, the stuff that’s $10 a bottle or less. Your guests won’t care that it’s cheap – they will only care that there are free suds and vino.
Provide A Few Choice Liquors
If you want to offer liquor in addition to cheapie wine and beer, consider purchasing a few handles of spirits almost everyone adores, such aswhiskey and vodka. There’s no need to get into gin, scotch, or triple sec territory, or provide mixes and garnishes. Wine, beer, and several bottles of liquor will do the open bar trick just fine.
You can also encourage guests to bring their own liquor if you have some hard-core spirit drinkers among you. Your guests will understand that you lack the cash for liquor but want them to enjoy themselves all the same. Make it clear you will be offering plenty of free booze and that your guests are free to bring their own if they want. Everyone will appreciate this MUCH MORE than a cash bar. So much more. Sooooo much more.
Making guests pay for booze after spending time and money to witness you say “I do” is rude, plain and simple. Don’t be that couple everyone talks about in a disappointed way – provide libations so your guests rave about how beautiful the ceremony was and how much fun they had.