Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business sports 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 Post   Comments (2)  
  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. AA www0.epinions.com/content_3809058948>With some winesunder $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 Post   Comments (2)  
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 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Wedding
Amount: $7,500.00 Total, with Tips
Posted by: a user in Cape Cod, MA.Posted: December 21st, 2017 12:12PM
Number of people: 200Type of Drinks Served: Full Bar
From a Beverage Catering Service - Picked Premium liquors but not top shelf. Averaged out to be about $37.5 a head.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam
Wedding bar
Amount: $10,000.00 Total, with Tips
Posted by: a user in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: July 29th, 2016 01:07PM
Number of people: 150Type of Drinks Served:
Most venues charge around $75 per person for a three hour open bar - $15 - $20 per hour after that
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

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
Portneuf medical hospital ER
Paid: 210.00
they told us that the bill for the ER visit was only $210. later on we receive a bill for $1000. i got around 4-6 blood tests. all im mad about is that they lied to us... [more]
-Gino Smile
Blood Tests Cost
Renovation ducting...never had central AC
Paid: 1250.00
Renovating a guest house that never had central AC, therefore had no ducting...owner removed the ceiling as it had to be replaced anyway... [more]
-CPace
Ductwork Cost
Flu symptoms
Paid: 5932.68
Couldn’t stand headache pain when I caught the flu in March 2019. Threw up pain relievers, couldn’t eat or drink. After 5 hours of pain decided to hit ER... [more]
-GayLynn
Emergency Room Visit Cost
Financing
Paid: 20000.00
How do people afford wells? No one finances?... [more]
-Kourtney
Well Drilling Cost
1 yr 23lb Male Neuter
Paid: 424.08
The price would have been $282.08, but I opted for the blood work and to have it done via laser versus scalpel. I was still surprised by the cost, but I didn't really have anything to compare it to... [more]
-Joelle
Dog Spay or Neuter Cost
Is this cost of tax preparation correct
Paid: 1845.00
Each year our tax preparation cost goes up faster than inflation. we started at $800.00 in 2012 and now our bill for preparing taxes this year is $1,845.00... [more]
-smallbizchris
Business Tax Preparation Cost