Beverage packages drive me cray cray. No, I haven’t partaken in one too many.
It’s not because I think they are a scam (we’ll talk more below on how you can make a beverage package work in your favor).
With all the talk about wedding budgets and how much money things can be, I don’t hear anywhere near as much consideration given to the value of beverage packages.
Well… that ends today!
Give some thought to your beverage options. You could end up saving a decent chunk of change in your wedding budget.
Look, skimping on food and beverage is not advisable. If nothing else, put your money here.
I know you want to show your guests a great time. If you let them go hungry, they won’t remember much else about your wedding.
That being said, whether you are spending $10,000 or $50,000 I know you are looking to make the most of your budget.
With your food and beverage likely taking the largest chunk from your budget, let’s explore your options for the latter:
BYO or SELF CATERING
Your favourite bottle of wine in a restaurant is charged at $35.00. You can get it from your local bottle shop for $10.00.
Enough said right? Well kind of.
BYO beverages does require a decent amount of effort and additional costs to factor in:
- Finding a venue that allows BYO
- Purchasing, transporting and storing
- Having enough refrigeration / ice on hand for the evening
- Bringing it all to the venue on the day
- You may need to provide your own glassware
There is also the option of hiring wait staff through your venue or an event staffing company if you’d rather not have guests serve themselves.
Still worth exploring as there is definitely a decent margin of savings to be had.
ON CONSUMPTION (with a set limit)
First up, this is often called different things at different venues. Bar Tab, On Consumption, Host Bar or Open Bar.
Essentially you want to be charged for consumption and not per person or by the hour. You set the limit of this consumption amount.
On the night your venue can let you know when you’ve reached that limit and you can decide whether to increase it or not.
You may look around and decide everyone is suitably ‘hydrated’ by this point anyway.
I highly recommend this option.
In a nutshell, beverage packages generally work in the venues favor.
In many instances people won’t drink their fill of the per person price in the allocated hours.
It evens out for venues on the occasional booking when a lot of people come through who are big drinkers, and drink their fill and then some.
So if you have a lot of fish coming to your wedding (ie: big drinkers) then by all means, beverage package away. This will likely work in your favor.
If you look at your guest list and see it mainly filled with non drinkers, occasional drinkers, new parents (who will have one and be gooonnneee) or you know there will be a decent amount of designated drivers… then I strongly recommend pushing for the on consumption option.
Your venue may not come to the party.
If this is the case don’t automatically think they are trying to rip you off.
Running a business is freakin’ hard, especially a business in the service industry.
There may be reasons why a venue has decided beverage packages work for their business structure (and they may offer value in other areas that you shouldn’t be quick to overlook).
“Okay great advice” I hear you say.
“But how much money should I allocate or booze should I buy?”
The awesome team over on A Practical Wedding have already done the calculations for you here:
Found this helpful? Be sure to share on Facebook for good karma in helping other couples like you.
Want to see how your beverage options fits in to the bigger picture of your wedding budget? Grab your copy of a dollar by dollar breakdown of a real wedding budget here >
Because more joy in the world is a good thing.