That Your Guests Will Love!
Congrats, you’re hitched! Maybe you’ve been saving financially for this big day for years, maybe your engagement was a little out-of-the-blue, or maybe times have been tough lately and you've have to dig into your wedding budget for everyday life. No matter what economic state your bank account is in, who doesn’t enjoy saving some some money here and there? Especially when you find yourself feeling like an ATM continuously spitting deposits and cheques out for DJs, caterers, photographers-the list goes on. Of course you want to invite all of your friends, family, and co-workers, and show them the best party they’ve ever seen! Not to mention wanting show your guests how much you appreciate the impact they make on your life as a couple by supplying them with endless amounts of food, favours, and of course- unlimited alcohol. Open bars are an awesome way to show your guests some love, but when the time comes around to "pay the Piper”, you may wish you tried to be a little more savvy with your wedding budget. Here is a breakdown of ways you can still treat your guests to some complimentary goodies while avoiding that hefty open bar charge.
Purchase Your Own Alcohol (For Backyard/Private Property Ceremonies)
Despite hiring a bartender to serve your guests at your backyard wedding, you may still need to decide whether or not you will have the bartender buy your alcohol or if you will do it yourself. One way to save some cash is by purchasing the alcohol yourself. While it does require some extra work on your part, buying everything yourself means that any unopened containers or liquor or boxes of beer can be returned for a full refund (at least in Ontario they can- make sure you know what your province or state regulations are before trying this one at home). We do recommend asking your guests what they enjoy drinking before the wedding (perhaps even feature it as a choice on your RSVP) so you can be well equipped for their taste. None the less, more often than not, there will be leftovers that (unopened) can be returned for your money back!
A Beverage Barrel or Canoe
Another alternative to offering a full open bar at your backyard wedding is to offer guests a canoe or barrel with complimentary beer or coolers. Whether or not you want to account for multiple beverages per guest or just one, they can help themselves to a complimentary drink instead of cracking out their wallet one more time. Canoes, barrels or whatever else you can come up with (heck, why not spiked cider for a Fall wedding?) can add a nice element to your decor. So call up Uncle Jim that loves to fish and ask him to borrow his canoe for your big day!
Note: Make sure to delegate the task to someone to keep replenishing the canoe/barrel, etc. throughout the evening if you’ve purchased enough to keep it full.