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Weddings are famous for toasts and the raising of glasses -- a few drinks of bubbly are essential for most couples and guests. But where does all that liquor come from? Setting up the bar takes planning, and we're here to show you your options.
How much liquor will you need for 100 guests? Talk to your bartender; in the meantime, here are some averages:
Ask if your beverage catering service will take back any unused alcohol.
An open bar is the most gracious approach -- no guest should pay for anything at the wedding -- but it's also the most expensive. Guests can order any drink on the planet, and you'll have to pick up the hefty tab when the party's done. Because there’s no limit, people may drink like guppies. Know anyone who tends to imbibe too much? Tell the bartender in advance.
You offer a selection of drinks -- beer, wine, and mixed vodka drinks, for example -- and set specific consumption times, such as the cocktail hour, the toasts, and an hour after dinner. Consider hiring waiters to pass drinks on trays rather than letting guests go up to the bar. You'll have to pay for the waiters, but you'll probably save money on alcohol, and fewer guests will go overboard. If you limit the amount of time the bar is open, make sure the waiters circulate during dinner to refill glasses of water and soda.
Don't have a cash bar without a great reason (there really isn't one). After all, you don't invite people to your house for dinner and then charge them for the butter. Trust us on this one. It's not a good cost-cutting solution and is way too controversial.
If you, your families, and most of your guests don't drink alcohol, skip it. Serve sparkling water, soda, and nonalcoholic mixed drinks instead. If you want some bubbly for toasting, go for some token champagne or sparkling cider.
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