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Did you have a free bar?

(66 Posts)
Laineymc7 Fri 02-Mar-18 14:31:13

Hello all
We want to have a free bar at our wedding. This will be for about 60 people. Evening bar opens about 7/8 and night goes on until 1am
Did any of you have a free bar? What was the damage? We are trying to budget for it. People are travelling for the wedding and having to stay overnight so we would love to offer this.
Many thanks

OP’s posts: |
MrsGB2225 Fri 02-Mar-18 14:35:09

We did, cost £2k for 70 people. But we had wine on tables and champagne reception that wasn't included in the £2k.

MrsGB2225 Fri 02-Mar-18 14:35:39

We stipulated no cocktails and no shots on the free bar though.

BossWitch Fri 02-Mar-18 14:38:45

Nope. We had pimms with the canapes after the ceremony, champagne for the toast, and a bottle per guest on the table. So I felt like I'd bought enough booze for everyone! Our venue wasn't crazy prices at the bar so that helped.

DaisyLand Fri 02-Mar-18 14:39:30

my wedding was small 25 people for reception and 35 in the evening. We left £500 behind the counter which lasted well into the evening reception for a while.

TheFlis12345 Fri 02-Mar-18 14:42:08

We did, for 160 people (self stocked bar with staff we hired in though, not venue prices). Think it cost around £3k in total (inc. prosecco reception on arrival, champagne for toasts and wine on the tables).

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Fri 02-Mar-18 14:43:55

No, we didn't, but we only had a small wedding with a buffet reception in a social club where drinks were really cheap anyway. We had bubbly for toasting though.

JessyJames Fri 02-Mar-18 15:01:37

We had the reception in my parents' garden.
No actual bar but we provided beer, wine and soft drinks for the night. Bought it from Majestic on a sale or return basis.
70 people I think it was about £500.

JessyJames Fri 02-Mar-18 15:02:28

We also offered champagne and Pimms as everyone arrived and for toasting.

n0ne Fri 02-Mar-18 15:03:14

We did. There were only about 40 guests and we spent €1,500 in the end. Biggest outlay of any of the wedding items but we also had people travelling from abroad to be there so it was important to us to feed and water them well at the very least.

BothersomeCrow Fri 02-Mar-18 15:07:59

We didn't, but FIL put a grand behind the bar which for 100 people effectively made it a free bar all night - it was very hot so many more people were on soft or mixed drinks than usual, and lots of people insisted on buying their own expensive drinks.

Despite BIL buying about 4 bottles of expensive champagne, FIL still got change, which he wasn't expecting and we had to force him to keep.

FinallyARainbow Fri 02-Mar-18 15:08:25

No, our friends would have bankrupted us. None of our group have had a free bar but one of our venue requirements was sensible bar prices. We provided drinks after the ceremony (prosecco, wine, beer), drink of choice for toast, bottle of wine each on table for dinner and another drink at start of evening reception (to ensure evening guests weren't forgotten about).

Antonia87 Fri 02-Mar-18 15:10:52

We put a grand behind the bar which lasted about 2hrs for 120 guests. We also provided Pimms and Prosecco at the reception. Everyone was pretty wasted so I think it was plenty.

Matilda1981 Fri 02-Mar-18 15:11:16

I did but it was in a marquee so we sourced the alcohol and soft drinks ourselves (prosecco, pimms, wine, beer, lager, cider, gin, vodka, whisky and rum) came to a total of around £3k for 200 people drinking from 5pm until early hours of the morning.

ReggaetonLente Fri 02-Mar-18 15:13:17

We did - £2300 for 120 people. 8-12. We said no doubles, no shots.

Be prepared for lots of people to offer to get you a drink grin

Ginger1982 Fri 02-Mar-18 15:13:32

I think a free bar is a very bad idea! We had drinks on arrival, wine at tables, champagne for toast and gave all evening guests a drink too.

MyKingdomForBrie Fri 02-Mar-18 15:15:48

We did, along with prosecco reception on arrival, wine on the tables, champagne for toasts and then free bar inc cocktails/prosecco/spirits but no champagne. Probably cost about 4k in total, going with prosecco kept our costs down.

ScreamingValenta Fri 02-Mar-18 15:17:01

Yes, but it was a very small wedding and the wedding breakfast was in the early afternoon, followed by the bar drinks rather than being an evening do, so the cost was very low. We didn't restrict what people could have but we knew most were beer drinkers anyway.

Caspiana Fri 02-Mar-18 15:18:41

Yes - around £1100 for 120 people. Like others, we restricted drinks (beer, wine, gin, soft drinks were paid for but if you want a triple whiskey or magnum of Bollinger you pay!)

I don’t expect a free bar and don’t think most people do, but it’s is generally appreciated if you can afford it!

RaindropsAndSparkles Fri 02-Mar-18 15:20:01

Sparkling wine, pimms, beer and soft drinks before the meal, wine with the meal, sparkling wine, beer and pimms after until about midnight. Marquee so no bar per se.

MaggieFS Fri 02-Mar-18 15:20:18

We didn't, but provided endless ale and fizz on arrival, endless wine and a novelty shot each at table plus toast fizz and made sure the venue we chose had reasonable bar prices. We'd paid a venue hire fee so the bar prices were pretty much at cost.

Brittanyspears Fri 02-Mar-18 15:21:27

We had free unlimited wine and soft drinks only.

BikeRunSki Fri 02-Mar-18 15:25:45

It was nearly 18 yrs ago, but FiL our £500 behind the bar after the meal (which had wine, fizz and beer provided) and it lasted all night.

FrozenMargarita17 Fri 02-Mar-18 15:26:11

No. They had half a bottle of wine to drink each at the table, and also glasses of bubbly right after the ceremony.

FrozenMargarita17 Fri 02-Mar-18 15:26:23

Oh! And a toast drink as well.

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