Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Weddings  > Open Bar

Open Bar Cost


How Much Does an Open Bar Cost?

 
low costLow: Beer & Wine $11-$33 per personaverage costMedium: Mixed Drinks $15-$90 per personhigh costHigh: Premium Liquor $18-$95 per person
post E-mail post Post  
  Typical costs:
  • The average cost for bartender service at a wedding reception is $2,800, according to the Bridal Association of America[1] . The average number of guests is 170, making it $16.50 per guest.
  • Most caterers advertise an open bar as unlimited mixed drinks, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. From a sample of wedding sites across the U.S., open bar costs typically range from $15 to $90 per person for a four-hour reception. In most cases you can upgrade to premium liquors for $3 or $4 more per person.
  • Serving beer and wine only will save you some money with most caterers, typically costing $11 to $33 per person for four hours.
  • Open bar costs may double or triple in big cities and resort areas.
  • Some customers save money by providing their own wine and asking friends and family to run the bar. Super Weddings[2] suggests 2 glasses per guest with dinner. With some wines under $5 per bottle, costs start at $2 per guest, and can easily climb to $20 per guest, depending on your selection.
  • When providing your own domestic and imported beers, estimate $2 to $5 per person for each hour of the reception. Costs for creating mixed drinks varies widely, depending on the types and quality of liquors provided.
Related articles: Wedding Caterer, Champagne Toast, Espresso Cart Rental, Wedding Reception Venue

What should be included:
  • An open bar serving mixed drinks, wine and beer may include: vodka, gin, scotch, light rum, bourbon, Seagram's 7, tequila, white and red wines, champagne, domestic and imported beers, soft drinks, water and juice.
  • At least one bartender should be available for every 100 guests.
  • Cups and napkins should be provided, as well as setup and cleanup services after the reception.
Additional costs:
  • Caterers often charge a setup cost of $30 to $200 per bartender working the event. Sometimes this amount is included in the per-guest fee.
  • Many caterers require you to pay an hourly fee for the bartender, around $25. Alternately, this may be included in the setup fee.
  • Unless gratuity is included in your total fees, plan to tip 10% to 20% of the total alcohol bill to the head bartender, to be split between all bar staff. Additionally, some bartenders will set out a tip jar, where guests may choose to tip $1 per drink.
  • If providing your own wine, many caterers charge a per-bottle corking fee in the $1 to $15 range. For each six-pack of beer that you provide, bartenders may charge $1 to $5 in service fees.
  • Expect to add $2 extra per person to substitute glassware for plastic cups.
Discounts:
  • Ask about limiting your bar to certain liquors or a signature cocktail, which may cut costs.
Shopping for an open bar:
  • When shopping for a caterer, ask if an open bar is included in the quoted price. Ask if providing your own alcohol is allowable.
  • Bartenders should be covered with liability insurance[3] . Ask to see proof of coverage before signing a contract.
  • The Knot lists tips for stocking your own open bar[4] , including quantities.
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


Forgotten Expenses In a Home Addition Budget
Items like construction costs, permit fees or debris removal aren't the only expenses to consider when calculating the total costs of a home remodeling project. || Posted August 5 2013


7 Ways to Stretch Your Reduced Food Budget
End of the year budgets are tight for everyone, especially in this economy.It's especially hard for the millions of Americans who depend on government programs like food stamps to help make ends meet. || Posted November 11 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With an Open Bar
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * Total, with Tips
Number of people: Type of Drinks Served: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.bridalassociationofamerica.com/Wedding_Statistics/
  2.  www.superweddings.com/wedding-planning/wedding-planner/
  3.  www.servercertificationcorp.com/bartending.html
  4.  wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/diy-do-it-yourself-weddings/articles/how-to-stock-...
More Weddings Topics
Check Out All Costs for Weddings How Much Does a Wedding Dress Cost? How Much Do Wedding Invitations Cost? How Much Does a Wedding Reception Venue Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com




Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Brake repair
Paid: 348.00
I first priced new brake pads and shoes at the register. Then told them to do the job... [more]
-rickdg
Tune-up Cost
Walgreens in North TX
Paid: 31.99
Much less painful and less costly than influenza!... [more]
-Tex Girl
Flu Shot Cost
tune up
Paid: 375.00
Is this normal? I paid $375... [more]
-kelly freeman
Tune-up Cost
Not ready for another baby yet!
Paid: 50.00
I am 24 yrs old and I already have a 6yr old little girl. Im not ready for another baby right now for sure!! I have unprotected sex with my fiancé last night and we just wanted to make sure... [more]
-Fiancé's Passion Needs Relaxin'!
Morning After Pill Cost
Pressure Washing
Paid: 85.00
This lady was so polite and detailed. She pressure washed my driveway, walkway and sidewalk all for $85.00. She also done my neighbor house... [more]
-Miss.Adams
Pressure Washing Cost
garbage disposal and install
Paid: 265.00
I feel I got ripped off. Guy was here 20 minutes took out the old one and replaced with a new one with no brand name that can see. He didn't even break down the charges on the bill. Just a flat 265.00.... [more]
-#sucker
Garbage Disposal Cost