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  • FIRST POST
    • Mumsy3
    • By Mumsy3 26th Mar 17, 8:53 PM
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    Mumsy3
    Providing a free bar
    • #1
    • 26th Mar 17, 8:53 PM
    Providing a free bar 26th Mar 17 at 8:53 PM
    My son is getting married this summer. They are hiring a venue and are wanting to provide a free bar because the guests are travelling and therefore have additional costs for staying over etc. The venue is happy for them to provide their own booze.

    I am looking for ideas as to how some of the costs of providing the alcohol can be recuperated from donations. Can anyone suggest anything other than a bucket on the bar for guests to make a donation for what they drink please?

    TIA x
Page 1
    • flea72
    • By flea72 26th Mar 17, 9:27 PM
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    flea72
    • #2
    • 26th Mar 17, 9:27 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Mar 17, 9:27 PM
    How can asking people to donate cash, equate to a free bar? Its either free or its not.

    All weddings ive been to you buy your own drinks, or if the hosts are feeling genous, they put some money in the kitty to cover the bar bill, so most people get at least one free drink on arrival
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 26th Mar 17, 10:25 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    • #3
    • 26th Mar 17, 10:25 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Mar 17, 10:25 PM
    The only way I think you can do it is if you arrange for the bar to charge less than bar prices, so it is almost as if you giving it away.

    I agree though either it's a free bar or it isn't.....you can't say to people here's a free bar but you need to donate when you have a drink.

    The problem I can see with a free bar is that there's a lot of wastage - people only half drinking drinks etc or people don't have any appreciation of how much they're drinking and drinking too much.

    It's a nice thought but unless the venue charges stupid prices for drinks I wouldn't worry too much - most people, if they've accepted the invitation, are prepared to suck it up.
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    • Mumsy3
    • By Mumsy3 26th Mar 17, 10:45 PM
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    Mumsy3
    • #4
    • 26th Mar 17, 10:45 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Mar 17, 10:45 PM
    There is no provision for guests to buy their own alcohol. I would imagine most people would be happy to make a token donation. I was asking for ideas as to how this could possibly be done for those who may wish to donate. No-one is asking people to donate cash - but if they wished to then how best can this be done?
    If I was in a similar situation I would happily make a token donation to cover all I would drink!
    Last edited by Mumsy3; 26-03-2017 at 10:49 PM.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 26th Mar 17, 10:50 PM
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    comeandgo
    • #5
    • 26th Mar 17, 10:50 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Mar 17, 10:50 PM
    This sounds awful, a bucket to put "donations" in. If it's a free bar a suggest you put a few bottles of wine and spirits on each table with lots of mixers and let guests help themselves.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 26th Mar 17, 10:51 PM
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    comeandgo
    • #6
    • 26th Mar 17, 10:51 PM
    • #6
    • 26th Mar 17, 10:51 PM
    Also, is this venue licensed to allow payment?
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 26th Mar 17, 11:42 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    • #7
    • 26th Mar 17, 11:42 PM
    • #7
    • 26th Mar 17, 11:42 PM
    I'd also be concerned about the safety of the bucket & its contents.
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    • Izadora
    • By Izadora 27th Mar 17, 10:39 AM
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    Izadora
    • #8
    • 27th Mar 17, 10:39 AM
    • #8
    • 27th Mar 17, 10:39 AM
    Could you ask people to bring a bottle? You'd still have to provide some booze (there are always a couple of people who bring two cans of lager and drink 3 bottles of wine...) but it would massively cut down the cost.
    • KateySW
    • By KateySW 27th Mar 17, 2:57 PM
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    KateySW
    • #9
    • 27th Mar 17, 2:57 PM
    • #9
    • 27th Mar 17, 2:57 PM
    I'm not exactly sure how you'd do that... I've been to events where they have a 'pay what you feel like' bucket, but I'm not sure how that would work for a wedding.

    I'm getting married this year and we had a similar dilemma - of course, we want to give people free drinks to a point but our budget would only stretch so far. So we decided upon getting a bar and leaving so much behind for a few rounds + including plenty of bottles of wine on the tables and some cocktails for the start of the reception (we're going to the a cash & carry to get that!). It's a sticky one for a lot of people I think, but as long as people at least get a couple of drinks included I'm sure no one would be too upset. Or at least I'd hope not!

    Good luck!
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 27th Mar 17, 4:24 PM
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    esuhl
    The bar will be charging to make a profit, so drinks will be quite expensive. If you want to pay for drinks, it would probably be cheaper to buy a barrel of ale, a keg of lager, and some wine.

    It'll probably cost you less than if you had a free bar with a donations bucket.

    I just looked up the cost of a 72-pint barrel of ale, and it's about £120, so that's about £1.67 a pint. I imagine a bar would charge £3.50 a pint, so you'd need to be getting an average donation of over £1.83 a pint for it to be cheaper with the donations bucket.

    http://www.ringwoodbrewery.co.uk/contact
    Last edited by esuhl; 27-03-2017 at 4:28 PM.
    • Trevelyan
    • By Trevelyan 4th Apr 17, 3:51 PM
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    Trevelyan
    For our caterers we are going to go for a cash bar, because guests are friends and friends understand that we've got to pay and that for our wedding its a little bit harsh to expect us to pay for all of them!

    Since we're having a city wedding, though, all the caterers seem expensive for their cash bar lists. I'm considering asking if we can subsidise it by 25% or so (£4 pint becomes £3) or something..

    I'm seeing very limited bar choices for the cash bar though. But BYOB sounds interesting as an idea. I know plenty of the guests would!
    • nimbo
    • By nimbo 9th Apr 17, 5:42 AM
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    nimbo
    I'm hoping to do a booze run to France. IF my mother or step father will drive. As I can't drive in France.

    Then I'll suggest maybe bring a bottle - but depending on budget may not need to. We'll be using a village hall (or something similar) to get married in though.

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    • nimbo
    • By nimbo 16th Apr 17, 10:08 AM
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    nimbo
    I've just spoken to my partner.

    We're considering a local hall that a friend is his used years ago as a venue. Apparently he load on a fair bit of booze. However as he'd married in a hall which was known to have no bar facility many people bought a bottle of something. So he ended up having a load of booze left over to drink up.

    My partner may well wish to buy a barrel of ale of a local brewwmer friend of his as he'll lend him the pumps etc for free. I don't want to go too mad as I'm not planning on inviting many people and the whole thing seems to be getting bigger by the day ��

    People may do something like that without being asked?

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    • skintpaul
    • By skintpaul 16th Apr 17, 10:13 AM
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    skintpaul
    see if OP can negotiate some reduced prices, then put £x behind the bar to cover a couple of drinks each-

    or give vouchers for same to each guest- up to them after this, how much they spend..

    I would not expect bride and groom to pay for the venue, meal etc, AND all booze on top!
    Last edited by skintpaul; 29-04-2017 at 12:09 PM.
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    • DD265
    • By DD265 16th Apr 17, 12:20 PM
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    DD265
    A couple I know posted something about people who received their invites will also have received a request for £20-25 if they were drinking, to allow a free bar to be provided.

    I'm not sure how that works, tbh.

    What I would say is don't forget the non-alcoholic drinks

    I wouldn't take the risk of a free bar as lord knows what it'll end up costing (and we aren't providing our own booze) but if we can afford it, we'll put a tab behind or drinks on the table etc. We'll probably do this for the "cocktail hour" and ask the venue to let us know when we're nearing a certain limit so we can decide whether to continue offering paid for drinks or not.

    Interestingly enough I'm on a wedding forum where the users are predominantly in the US, and there is absolute outrage whenever a cash bar is suggested.
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    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 17th Apr 17, 8:20 AM
    • 18,033 Posts
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    Pollycat
    A couple I know posted something about people who received their invites will also have received a request for £20-25 if they were drinking, to allow a free bar to be provided.

    I'm not sure how that works, tbh.
    Originally posted by DD265
    I don't think it works at all.

    How can anyone ask for up to £25 from guests and then announce they're providing a 'free' bar?
    It's nonsense!
    • Rytta
    • By Rytta 21st Apr 17, 12:52 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Rytta
    This sounds awful, a bucket to put "donations" in. If it's a free bar a suggest you put a few bottles of wine and spirits on each table with lots of mixers and let guests help themselves.
    • arbrighton
    • By arbrighton 22nd Apr 17, 7:00 PM
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    arbrighton
    Buy what you/ couple feel you can afford for people

    If no option to buy other drinks there, state so on invite and ask people to BYOB

    It's not a 'free' bar if there's a donation bucket and someone has to sit by the bucket to make sure it doesn't empty itself.....
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 22nd Apr 17, 7:27 PM
    • 1,400 Posts
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    parking_question_chap
    Could you set up your own bar, but perhaps just charge 50% of the drinks value?

    Just say to guests there is a cash only bar?

    Keep it nice and simple with one kind of red and white wine, larger and cider purchased in bulk?
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 22nd Apr 17, 9:50 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    If you set up your own bar you will need an alcohol sales licence. This may include if you ask for 'donations'. You might also need to arrange with the venue about glass hire and whether this includes glass collection/washing.

    Do one or both of limited supplies of free drink on the tables, or a voucher system so people can get a free drink or two from a limited menu. Remember you can make a little alcohol go a long way in spritzers and punches.
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