One of the biggest things I encourage when planning a wedding is to have an open bar at your wedding reception. I tell clients that their reception images will be better if they have an open bar – nine times out of ten, they think this is a joke and laugh at me. But after having been to weddings with every possible bar set-up (from completely dry, cash, toonie, to open), I promise you that it’s the truth.
Here are 5 reasons to have an open bar at your wedding reception:
1. An open bar is a courtesy to your guests.
I realize there are a lot of different opinions about this, but providing an open bar at your reception is a courtesy to your guests. Many of your guests have booked time away from work, have paid for airfare and accommodation, and have brought a gift in order to celebrate your marriage with you. Providing your guests with food and drinks for the evening is a courteous way to thank them for their time and support.
2. Your guests will spend less time waiting at the bar.
At weddings with cash bars, the line-up for the bar (especially if they have Interac machines) can be really long! The bar is usually set-up outside of the reception room which often results with guests missing events during your reception. By eliminating the payment step, bartenders are able to serve your guests more quickly and keep lines to a minimum.
3. Your guests will stay longer.
In my experience, the majority of guests at weddings with cash bars will stay until the final formal event at the reception. Weddings with open bars, on the other hand, typically have guests staying until the last song of the night.
4. Your guests will dance.
If the open dancing portion of the evening is important to you, you’ll definitely want to have an open bar at your reception. Most adults have some inhibitions around dancing and these quickly disappear with a little liquid courage. The laughs that will be had watching your parents ripping up the dance floor and your uncle jumping around with his tie around his forehead will be totally worth it.
5. An open bar can be a great way to stock your home bar.
Depending on your reception venue, hosting an open bar wedding reception can result in a fully stocked home bar to start your marriage. If you are supplying the alcohol for your open bar, whatever bottles are left at the end of the evening are yours. Unopened bottles can often be returned if that’s what you would prefer, but a home bar is also a nice little wedding gift to yourselves.
Question of the day
What are your thoughts on alcohol at wedding receptions?