You wouldn’t think of asking someone to pay for a cocktail in your home, so don’t have a cash bar at your reception. When you invites guests to your reception, they are just that-your guests. If a bar is not in your budget, serve soft drinks, wine, or champagne. Or perhaps you’ll cut back on the size of your guest list and serve a full array of drinks. Just do not let the hotel or club or reception-site manager talk you into selling tickets for drinks or having guests pay their way!
If you serve liquor, carefully estimate the amount of alcoholic drinks likely to be served. If you plan a seated dinner, your needs will include drinks for the cocktail hour and also with meal. The two basic ways a caterer or a reception site can charge are:
Open Bar: The host pay a flat fee for drinks served during a specific time period-either during the cocktail hour or for the entire event.
Consumption Bar: Drinks are charged at a per-drink rate, and a running tap is kept for the time the bar is open. The hosts are charged for what is actually served.