Let’s face it, alcohol is not cheap. In fact an open bar depending on how many guests you have in attendance can run several thousands. Let me repeat, it can break your budget by SEVERAL THOUSANDS depending on the size of your wedding. Now, before you revert to prohibition or ask all of your family to come prepared with 2 or 3 flasks of choice liquor, take a moment to breathe. Here is one solution to an open bar to consider that may just help you get your buzz on without breaking the bank.
What Is A Signature Cocktail?
Why serve the same well drinks and beers that every other couple serves at their nuptials when you can have a cocktail designed and served that is all your own. How about a Mixology Class Date? Or, you can check out some of Austin’s finer mixology bars to sample a few cocktails. Choosing a signature cocktail can become an activity to share with your bridal party as well if you know your partner is a straight whiskey on the rocks kind of imbiber. If you know a bartender who can help dream up a cocktail for you from the clouds, or you find one you love at a local bar, a signature cocktail will set your wedding apart.
So how does this save you money?
While no one likes to cut down on choices and liquid courage to party hard on the dance floor, your budget may say otherwise. Instead of an open bar all night with limitless choices on well drinks, beer and wine, think about shortening that liquor list or the entire list for that matter. If you had planned on having liquor at your wedding, take it off the open bar menu.
Instead, ask your server staff to pass the signature cocktails instead. This does two things.
1. When you pass the drink rather than serve it buffet style, it slows down the rate of consumption. The servers roam and thus the drink is not always available within 5 feet. This works well during a cocktail hour before the reception.
2. Your server staff can keep an eye on inventory in the back and make sure to not run out before the cocktail hour ends. The last thing you want is to run out because someone’s uncle somehow snagged 10 or more within the hour. Keep an eye out for tipsy toms.
Another way to look at the signature cocktail as a money saver is picking cocktails or a cocktail that only uses one type of liquor.
Mixers are cheaper than bottles of liquor by far. If you do not open a bottle of liquor it can be returned as can mixers if your liquor is coming from a warehouse. While some guests may only like gin and may frown upon a rum only cocktail, it will save your budget from having to buy those random bottles of gin to appease your aunts.
One last way to save with your cocktail is to check with the venue if the catering is in house, like a hotel, to see if you can piggy back on other inventory orders.
Hotels that provide in house catering for your wedding ask for a guest count 3-5 business days in advance because they must put in an order for your food and beverage needs. If another wedding/event is taking place on the day before your wedding or within a week of your, ask if you can piggy back on their F&B order. What do I mean by this? A hotel would much rather order 100 bottles of vodka of the same variety than 60 bottles of Grey Goose and 40 bottles of Skyy. Why? The same reason some people prefer Costco to HEB. You can buy in bulk and you save. This means you can negotiate a better price per bottle and per head for your cocktail. The same principle can be applied to your food and other beverage needs as well. However, I am not sure you want the same chicken the corporate dinner is serving the night prior.
Check out these fun cocktails to fit any color scheme for your wedding to get the creative juices flowing!
Feature Image Credit: The Wedding Chicks