Each weekend an average of 44,230 weddings take place. Although the number of weddings has not decreased on average, the costs have. People are more conscious of the high costs of weddings and are looking for ways to save money. With liquor and beer being one of the largest portions of the budget, this is a great way to cut costs. You do not have to simply cut out all alcoholic beverages, but instead, find ways to reduce the costs.
Reduce drink options
Approximately 20 to 25% of the average catering bill will be dedicated to alcohol if you opt for an open bar reception. While an open bar is often the better financial decision, it can get expensive. Most catering venues will offer discounted packages for reducing the number of drink options. Only serving lower to medium level wine and spirits can reduce the bill significantly. With the majority of drinks containing mixers, your guests will not even notice the difference. Also, eliminating an entire type of drink, such as wines, can also reduce the cost.
Create a signature drink
Many couples are creating signature drinks that are more cost effective. When you advertise the drink to wedding guests, they are more likely to choose that drink over more expensive of options. Additionally, creating a signature drink can be a fun process. You and your spouse to be can come up with a unique drink that reflects your personalities or life together. Consider brewery or wine options for lower cost drinks. The five most popular varietals of wine include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Each of these wine choices makes for a great base signature drink.
Encourage beer choices
Beer is one of the most affordable alcoholic drinks available. However, beer is not one of the most popular wedding drinks of choice. Encourage your guests to choose beer by offering fun beer activities, including beer games. Beer games provide both entertainment and a cheaper alcohol bill. Also, while your guests are filling up on beer drinks from the beer games, they are less likely to switch to a more expensive drink choice later on. With upscale brewery options today, you can also still achieve a sense of style and class by offering exciting beer games at your wedding.
Purchase your own alcoholic beverages
Backyard weddings and some venues allow you to bring in your own alcoholic beverages. When you purchase from a wine store in bulk, you can receive discounts. Some stores even allow you to return unopened items after the wedding. You have greater variety to choose from and someone can always make a run to the local liquor store for more choices. Hire your own bartender or enlist a trusted friend to mix drinks. The liquor for the wedding will be substantially cheaper and you can still arrange fun beer games.
Limit open bar times
Another great way to cut down on alcohol costs is to limit the open bar times. Encourage guests to drink non alcoholic beverages during dinner and the wedding ceremonies. Close the open bar an hour or two before the end of the reception for safety purposes. If guests are insistent on drinking during these times, they can visit the cash bar and purchase their own drinks. Some will choose this option, while others will find the limited open bar time acceptable.
Weddings are extremely expensive. You have to provide all of your guests with both dinner and alcoholic drinks. While you cannot cut out dinner, you can make minor cuts to the alcohol budget. Creating a signature couples drink with cheaper alcohol content will drastically cut costs. Also, consider purchasing your own liquor, pushing beer games, and limiting the open bar times for even greater of cost savings.