In an open up bar, the wedding hosts will shoulder all the costs. Open bars began as a trend and also are now a requirement in many wedding receptions. Having one at your wedding agree is appropriate if you great to provide your guest a much more memorable experience.

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An open up bar expenses anywhere indigenous $1,650 come $3,450 ($11 to $23 per head) for 4 hours, assuming you have a total of 150 guests and offer restricted drinks. If you great to provide an assortment of alcoholic beverages (beer, whiskey, gin, tequila, brandy, rum, vodka, etc.), the average starting rate per individual would be between $15 and also $90 ($2,250 to $13,500).

There are plenty of pros and also cons when opting for an open up bar. What the wedding hosts and also wedding organizers have to take most into account is the in its entirety budget. The price of an open up bar counts on number of factors, such together the selection of alcoholic drinks to be served, the number of guests, and also the form of open up bar.

Average price of an open Bar at a Wedding


Alcoholic beverages are a clip in wedding receptions throughout many cultures. Consequently, numerous couples choose open bars regardless of the reasonably high cost to indulge their guests.

As pointed out earlier, numerous factors add to the as whole cost that an open bar. Depending on the an option of drinks, the price can be classified right into three: low-range, mid-range, and high-cost.

Low-Range open Bars

The average expense for an open bar is $11 come $23 every head, and that’s just for traditional wedding receptions the last 4 hours. It’s far-ranging to keep in mind that the drink of selection is minimal for this classification (e.g., wine and also beer only). If you have actually 150 guests, the estimated cost would be approximately $1,650 come $3,450.

Mid-Range open up Bars

In a mid-range open up bar, a much better selection of alcoholic beverages (e.g., tequila, whiskey, brandy, rum, vodka, gin, etc.) is provided. The projected cost is between $15 and also $90 for each person.

For a complete of 150 guests, the cost amounts anywhere from $2,250 to $13,500. You have the right to also administer non-alcoholic beverages if girlfriend opt because that this form of open up bar.

High-Cost open Bars

If you great to offer premium liquor like Macallan, Johnnie Walker, and Hennessy to her invitees, an open up bar would approximately cost $18 to $95 every individual. Accordingly, the anticipated cost for a total of 150 guest is in between $2,700 and also $22,500.

7 Tight-Budget advice to gain the open Bar of your Choice

1. Decide that Will carry out the Alcohol

You can choose to to buy alcohol in mass to minimize the all at once cost that the open up bar. Purchase the alcohol (preferably in warehouses where you can obtain a discount) you yourself will allow you come save an ext money.

After all, bar catering companies generally bill by intake (an median of $20 to $30 every guest). The even better if you have the right to buy alcoholic drink from a store that has a refund plan for unopened products.

2. Decide on the selection of Alcohol


You require to recognize the typical serving size per party to estimate how plenty of of every beverage you should cater to every the guests. A bottle of wine can fill five glasses, while a bottle of champagne can fill eight. A party of liquor have the right to fill 18 glasses, and also a party of beer is an excellent for one person.

Now that you have an idea the the serving dimension per bottle, you have the right to rely ~ above the list prior to for a fair estimate of the variety of bottles you require for her wedding reception.

Drink the ChoiceNo. The Bottles because that 100 GuestsNo. The Bottles because that 150 Guests

3. Choose between Flat-Rate Pricing or Billing through Consumption

For open up bars, friend can select a package through flat-rate pricing or opt for pricing by consumption. In the former, yes a fixed price for each adult guest because that a collection time (can be per hour or the whole duration the the wedding reception).

Flat-rate pricing is a better option if you already have a last guest list all set at hand and also you’re unfamiliar through their drink habits. Bar caterers typically quote a price every guest.

On the other hand, in billing by consumption, you get charged based upon the variety of drinks each guest consumes. This different is ideal if you’re mindful that the invitees aren’t specifically heavy drinkers.

4. Determine What form of open Bar you Want


Beer and Wine open up Bar

There space many varieties of open bars. Among them is the Beer and also Wine open up Bar, i m sorry is perfect for daytime weddings. Girlfriend can additionally opt come offer endless beer and also wine since they’re relatively less expensive 보다 liquor.

Signature Cocktail open up Bar

If you and also your partner have actually a signature drink friend both love, you can opt to offer just that drink at the open up bar. This option enables you to produce a unique theme for your wedding reception. The might likewise be an ext budget-friendly because you can estimate the price right away.

Limited open Bar

An open up bar in ~ a wedding reception that lasts more than the mean of 4 hours have the right to hurt her wallet. A minimal open bar is an ideal an option if you’re anticipating the your wedding reception would expand for a much longer time.

In a limited open bar, the guests will be served alcoholic beverages for just a fixed duration (e.g., an initial two or three hours of the reception or throughout the critical segment).

5. Take into consideration the Venue


The expense of an open up bar can vary greatly relying on the venue of her wedding reception. That might double in part cities. If you host your wedding agree in a resort, the price might even triple.

6. Compare rates from different Bar Caterers

The best method to have actually an open bar ~ above a budget is come compare prices from various bar caterers. The determinants that impact the overall cost are the choice of alcoholic beverages, the number of guests, term of the wedding reception, ar of the venue, and the bartender fee.

If friend ask a bar catering firm to host the open bar, the bartender fee will certainly most likely be had in the package. You should ensure that the bartender has liability insurance. Note that you can hire a bartender if the bar catering firm or the meet doesn’t administer one.

7. Coordinate with the Bartender

One trick to do an open bar at a wedding reception an ext budget-friendly is come ask the bartender to fill only half a glass. The bartender should likewise know when to avoid serving an ext drinks to guests who are drinking excessively.

Some open Bar Alternatives

Wine bottle Per Table


You can constantly opt because that other choices if an open bar is out of her budget. Rather of an open up bar, you can provide a good bottle of wine because that each table the 5 or 6. This alternative will save you a substantial amount that money.

One party of wine deserve to fill up to five glasses. 2 to three bottles every table v 5 come 6 guest is considered ideal. Below is a perform of part fine however inexpensive wines.

Wine Brand Price

McBride sister Red blend $20.99

A to Z Chardonnay $15.99

J Vineyards California Pinot Gris 2019 $15.99

Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco Rosé $11.99

Borsao Tinto Garnacha $8.99

La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2018 $7.99

Beringer co-founder Estate Pinot Noir $6.9

Cash Bar

In a cash bar, your guests can choose from a selection of alcoholic drink (from cheap to premium), yet they must pay for everything they consume. A cash bar is the best option if you’re on a chop budget. Friend can consider this type of bar if most of her guests don’t drink alcohol.

However, it’s significant to note that this is the less hospitable alternative. The guests have spent your time and money to to visit the wedding and also give friend a gift. They can have a less enjoyable time and might awareness the wedding master unfavorably if they additionally need to pay for their drinks.

Self-Service Bar


If you have time in your hands for an ext planning, an additional cost-effective alternate to an open bar is a self-service bar. In a self-service bar, the party master stock your drink of selection and let the guests serve themselves. This is the ideal option for tiny and intimate weddings.

Self-service bars came to be a tendency in DIY weddings, and also just prefer anything DIY, self-service bars entail much more effort and planning. You need to think of wherein to set up the bar, who will make certain the bar doesn’t run out that drinks, ice, glassware, etc., and what drinks you’ll serve. For the beverages, you have the right to stock increase on crate or bottled wines, beers, and cocktails.

Dry Wedding

A dry wedding is the best alternate if alcohol no a far-reaching part of your culture or tradition. Hosting one will considerably reduce the as whole cost of her wedding. However, you must ensure to provide your guest a heads-up and also not forget to cite in your invitation that you will do it be hosting a dry wedding.

Even there is no alcohol, you can still store the crowd satisfied through serving fun or delicious drinks, such as fresh fruit shakes, mocktails, or even bubble tea. Aside from the beverages that choice, you must also pay fist to the food selection. You can additionally plan other tasks to ensure the you and also all the guests have actually a fun and memorable celebration.

Other expenses You must Consider


Liability Insurance

Regardless the the type of bar girlfriend choose, it’s recipient to confirm that you’re spanned with legal responsibility insurance. Many venues and bar caterers room covered v liability insurance, and also this extends to you. Remember come consult v the staff of the venue or the bar catering service about this matter.

Corkage Fee

If friend opt for a self-service bar or any kind of DIY bar, you will do it be inquiry to salary a corkage fee every drink or every guest served. The charge depends on the rates as proclaimed by the to meet staff. It’s best to review the contract thoroughly before agreeing to their conditions.

Physical Bar

Some venues don’t have a physics bar. You deserve to either rental one native a bar catering company or be resourceful and also make one yourself.

Tip for Bartenders

You only have to tip the bartenders if yes no gratuity or business fee included in the bar parcel or contract. A tip of 15-20% the the final expense is ideal in such instances. Otherwise, tipping is optional.

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Final Thoughts

Full open up bars room significantly an ext expensive 보다 the other varieties of bars, such together self-service bars or cash bars. Although numerous couples select to have actually an open bar at your wedding reception, her doesn’t necessarily need one. Still, if you wish to conserve money and please your wedding guest at the very same time, friend can take into consideration an in-between option and host a modified open up bar.