Will You Offer A Free Bar At Your Wedding?

Champagne in flutes in serving tray held by waiter

Are Open Bars More Trouble Than They’re Worth?

As the evening unfolds at your wedding reception, who will be funding the party spirit?

Couples in the UK are now spending an average of £16,005 on their big day in comparison to last year’s average of £15,171. Although these figures were released by Bridebook before the pandemic struck, they still highlight the rising costs associated with traditional wedding celebrations. One of the questions you might consider when putting together your budget, is whether to offer a free bar to your wedding guests. Will they expect it? Can you afford it? Here’s a guide to help you make the right decision for both your wedding and your finances.

Rewarding Your Guests

If your guests have travelled far and wide to attend your celebrations, then this may have hit their wallets hard, as well as your own. American Express reports that the average British wedding guest in 2019 spent £391 each time they attended a wedding. These costs cover attire, accommodation, travel, hen or stag dos and wedding gifts. Looking at it from the guest’s point of view, you might wish to thank them for their attendance by making sure the drinks are in free flow throughout your celebrations.

Can You Afford It?

Of course, the number of guests attending your wedding might play a large part in how you wish to play this. If you’re having a small, intimate wedding then it could make sense to want to cover all the costs. On the other hand, your guests will already have indulged in a three-course wedding breakfast with tea and coffee, cheeseboard, wedding cake and evening buffet, as well as canapes, champagne and half a bottle of wine. That’s an incredible amount of freebies to have enjoyed without having to dip into their own pockets. If you’re hosting a larger gathering, then you don’t want to feel nervous all night watching people line up for the bar you’re paying for, so it’s really important to get the balance right and make a decision about this during the planning stages of your wedding.

Striking A Compromise

Speak to your wedding coordinator to discuss what is possible at your Essex barn weddings venue. Crondon Park offers a fully stocked bar and an alcohol license, so we’re able to take care of your guests and ensure that the drinks keep flowing regardless of who is paying for them. If you’d like to offer your guests a free bar, but don’t quite have the budget to go all out, then it’s often possible to strike a sensible compromise. You might choose to offer free wine, beer and soft drinks, but leave the guests to purchase their own spirits, Prosecco or cocktails if that’s more their thing. Another option is to put a set limit behind the bar, and allow your guests to order whatever they like until the tab is closed. After that, they’re welcome to dip into their own pockets to fund the rest of their evening.

When planning your wedding, remember how important it is to keep within your budget, so base your decision on offering an open bar around your own personal finances.