Keeping the Bar Tab Down

I often get questions from readers who are having tented weddings, or weddings in locations where they can provide their own alcohol.  This is a great plus, but, if you aren’t careful, it can end up being nearly as costly as having a bar package at a catering hall or restaurant.  Here are some great tips for keeping your bar costs down:
1) Taste Test and Budget.  Even if you are only serving beer and wine, you can blow all that savings by selecting a pricey vino.  Have a night of taste testing where you invite some friends over to bring their favorite bottle of wine that’s $10 or less.  Do a blind tasting and decide on a winner together…. the next day.
2) Limit the amount of hard liquors you serve.  You don’t need to offer the same varied selection that one might find at their local pub.  Pick a few crowd pleasers: vodka, rum, a whiskey and you should  be more than fine with all the right mixers
3) Consider a location for purchasing the alcohol that allows “buy back”.  Guests drink an average of 6 drinks at a wedding. That’s a lot of liquor. However, most couples are so afraid of running out, that they over purchase.  See if you can buy from some place that “busy back”, it will make it much easier at the end.
4) Add a signature drink.  Consider only offering Beer, Wine and a great signature drink.  We did a wedding with a gorgeous limoncello recently and it was served in an awesome glass dispenser.  It made a great showpiece and kept the costs down.

Are you offering a full bar? Do you have any cost saving tips to share?