1. Bring your own booze
Bringing your own booze comes with its own set of hurdles, as liquor laws vary from state to state. But, on the plus side, it’s considerably more affordable to provide your own liquor than ordering it through your venue or wedding caterer, and you can choose your own bottles.
First, find a venue that permits providing your own alcohol. Then shop and compare. 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.
One bonus of supplying your own booze is you get to take home what’s left at the end of the night. You may just start out your marriage with a fully-stocked bar.
Hire a bartender.
2. Skip the champagne toast
It’s traditional to provide a glass of champagne to every guest in the room for the toasts. But that can quickly add up, to the tune of hundreds of dollars, particularly if your tastes run toward the pricier brands of champagne.
Guests can toast the bride and groom with whatever glass they have in their hand—there’s no rule that says it must be champagne. Or forgo the fancy French bubbles and choose a more reasonably priced alternative such as a sparkling wine. Prosecco from Italy and Cava from Spain are terrific bubbly alternatives.
3. Host a day-time or weeknight wedding
We all tend to drink considerably more at night and on weekends. So, consider hosting a daytime wedding, which will save money on more than just your booze bill. Many wedding venues offer discounts for daytime weddings because they can double up on the day and host another wedding in the evening.
Sunday mornings are becoming particularly popular, because you can offer a terrific brunch or lunch spread, significantly reducing your food bill as well as the bar tab.
If guests are keen to keep partying into the evening, have a few suggestions on hand of nearby bars or dance halls where they can continue the festivities.
Many couples choose a weeknight wedding, which also doesn’t cut down on just the bar bill, but virtually the entire event. Most guests will refrain from bellying up to the bar all night if they must show up for work bright and early the next morning. Guests can still enjoy a lovely cocktail hour and drinks with dinner, but weeknight weddings tend to shut down earlier than weekend weddings.
Some final thoughts
While we all love an open bar, they’re far from a wedding requirement or expectation these days. Why go into a marriage weighed down with debt? Brides and grooms are even moving away from the traditional sit-down dinner and, instead, thinking of creative options such as picnics with finger foods or cocktail receptions with a punch and hors-d’oeuvres.
There are plenty of creative ways to cut bar costs without reducing the fun factor. Unique elements such as signature drinks and wine and beer tastings are another way to personalize your day.