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Weddings & Liquor: Beware the Teetotaler Trap!

Updated on October 6, 2015
Worried about how much your wedding guests are drinking? You shouldn't be!
Worried about how much your wedding guests are drinking? You shouldn't be!

Liquor and the Wedding Budget: CAUTION!

Everyone knows that the reception is the largest expense of a wedding--and liquor--if you permit it, can put you over the top!

Unfortunately, some catering directors will advise you to purchase liquor "by the drink" or by the "open bottle," based on your assertion to them that most of your families are teetotalers. In other words: They don't drink much.

In my opinion, it's one of the biggest mistakes you can make!

It's up to you, when you sign that contract, how YOU will pay for liquor!
It's up to you, when you sign that contract, how YOU will pay for liquor!

How Wedding Liquor Can Be Your Financial Undoing!

Let's assume you fall for the catering director's advice and agree to purchase liquor "by the drink". For each drink, you agree to pay $6.50. You have 100 guests and estimate that 50% are teetotalers.

At the end of the evening, you're handed a liquor bill for $5,000. This means that your guests EACH had 7.69 drinks. But you thought half of your guests didn't drink??? Besides, this is outrageous!!! How could EACH of my guests have consumed seven+ drinks???

The problem is: You signed the contract and you'll pay!!! And you have NO proof of how much your guests drank!

Don't be bullied by catering directors. Buy liquor "by the head"!
Don't be bullied by catering directors. Buy liquor "by the head"!

Solution to the Wedding Liquor Dilemma!

No matter if you think your families are teetotalers or not, buy liquor "by the head". That means that you pay one price for a four- or five-hour open bar for every person attending your wedding reception of drinking age.

In that way there are no surprises! You know what your liquor costs are upfront and you can budget for them!

Don't ever put yourself in a position where a catering property is in control of your liquor cost.

P.S. Visit Deborah McCoy, AAWP:


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