Six Essential Ways

 to Manage Bar Costs

at the Reception

Working with a small wedding budget isn’t easy but, with a little bit of planning and research, it’s doable—and can still be stylish. One of the key places to cut costs is on the big-ticket items like booze.

1. A Limited Bar Why not scale down the bar offerings to keep costs reasonable? Offer a selection of beers and wines and do away with the hard liquor. That will prevent having to offer a wide variety of liquor that leaves you with barely consumed bottles at the end of the night.

Here are six essential and creative ways to manage bar costs at the reception:

Rather than springing for a wide variety of hard liquor, create a signature drink—make sure to give it a clever name—to offer along with the wine and beer. Signature drinks are another fabulous way to give your wedding a personal touch.

2. A Signature Cocktail

There are some clever ways to cut costs, such as offering a full bar during cocktail hour and then switching to beer and wine service at dinner. Or, switch to a cash bar after dinner. Perhaps offer one free beer brand after the open bar closes.

3. Limit Bar Hours

“Liquor up!  We switch to a cash bar  at 9 p.m.”

Request quotes from several different beverage companies that offer a variety of alcohol. Opt for a beverage supplier who will reimburse you for any unopened bottles you return.


Unique elements such as signature drinks and wine and beer tastings are another way to personalize your day.