How to do your Bar on a Budget

Bar bills for weddings can add up quickly! As experienced wedding planners, we know it can be a significant expense, but we have some tips for how to do your bar on a budget. Read through all the ideas below and choose what options make the most sense for you. We promise, all your guests will still have an incredible time and plenty of drinks to keep the party going without breaking the bank!

Choose a venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol

Having a venue that allows you to bring in your own alcohol typically results in a huge cost savings! If the caterer or venue requires you to use their bar package, it can be quite a bit more expensive. Being able to bring your own gives you the option to have exactly what you’d like at the price you buy it at from the store.

Have signature drinks instead of a full bar

Consider having a signature drink or two instead of a full bar. This way there are still some mixed drink options without providing multiple different kinds of liquor. Stick to the signature drinks along with beer and wine to save on purchasing lots of liquor.

[Learn More About Planning In Our Course: Design Your Wedding Day]

Consider having a keg for beer

Having a keg is generally much cheaper than purchasing cans or bottles. This may mean you have fewer choices since it’s a larger quantity, but it will help keep costs down. Plus your friends will feel like they’re back in college!

Stick to beer, wine, and seltzers

Think about forgoing mixed drinks all together. These days, there are tons of seltzer options to mix in with beer and wine, so there really is something for everyone! Get your favorite drinks in bulk and have them iced down and ready to go for your guests. An extra bonus with this is that you don’t need a bartender. Simply have the drinks in coolers or an accessible place for guests to grab one when they’re thirsty.

Choose 2-3 liquor options instead of 5-6

If you want to have some liquor, but still want to save a bit, consider having fewer options. You don’t need to have every single option available. You can keep it simple with a vodka and whiskey. Guests will still have plenty of choices and this helps keep the cost down, while still having a variety of selections at the bar.

Now you know how to do your bar on a budget, but you might need some support on planning a wedding (or helping a friend plan).  Is getting everyone on the same page a bit like herding cats? Use this template to communicate with your wedding party or family about dress code, rehearsal times, day-of responsibilities, and other important expectations. This 3-page guide includes an email sample as well as prompts to consider all the information you need to share with your VIPs in the weeks leading up to your wedding.

Hilary and Tommy’s Wedding Vendors

Planning: Ponderosa Planning
Photographer: Ely Roberts Photography
Florist: Flowers by Eryn
Catering and Bar: Bleu Bite Catering
Rentals: Curated Event Rentals and Wood N Wedding
Lighting: Illuminate Your Night
DJ: Flip Flop Sounds
Dress: Bespoke Bride
Cake: Treeline Baking Co.
Dessert: Bonta Gelato

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