Do You Need to Have an Open Bar at Your Wedding Reception?

Although a wedding reception is designed as an event to celebrate the bride and groom, the lovely couple should also know that it’s important to ensure that their guests can socialize, keep themselves occupied, and most of all, have fun! In fact, while great food and music are certainly essential for guests to enjoy themselves, giving them the chance to have some drinks throughout the night may be exactly what they need to keep conversations going, and the dance floor full the entire time.

While serving beer and alcohol is the norm for most weddings, we know that some couples find it difficult to decide if they should have an open bar, cash bar, or limited bar.

Why choose to have an open bar?

First of all, keep in mind that you don’t have to have an open bar. You don’t even have to serve beer, wine, or liquor. But, there are also many reasons that you might want to go the open bar route. First off, it’s likely that your guests will be excited that they get to take advantage of an open bar. Second, there is no denying that it will help to keep your guests happy, active, and dancing.

Choosing an open bar is not without its downsides. Open bars can be expensive, and paying for one can be a drag if not many people choose to take advantage of the open bar.

Why might you choose a cash bar or limited bar?

Some view a cash bar as a party killer, and it’s often viewed this way by wedding guests because they have to pay for their drinks. Whatever the case, you still have booze available at your reception, and most guests will probably buy a few drinks throughout the night. While the biggest benefit of choosing a cash bar is that you save money on the beer, wine, and alcohol, another is that it will reduce drink consumption levels and thus lessen the chances that you have to hear an embarrassing story from your Uncle or Aunt.

If you still want to serve free booze, but don’t want to spend a pretty penny, choosing a limited bar option is your best bet. While a drawback of this is that your selection is limited, your guests will be happy to drink for free (even though they can’t make have that specialty cocktail or martini made.)








As caterers that serve Bucks County and Philadelphia, we have been to weddings with an open bar, cash bar, and a limited bar. And, if you were to ask us which option is the best, we would tell you that it all depends on how you envision your ideal wedding reception, and what you are willing to spend on the booze.