How Much Does an Open Bar Cost for a UK Wedding?

Planning a UK wedding can be exciting and stressful at the same time, especially when it comes to calculating the cost of an open bar. An open bar is a popular choice for many couples, as it allows their guests to enjoy a wide variety of beverages without worrying about paying for them. However, it can also be a significant expense, depending on several factors.

So, how much does an open bar cost for a UK wedding? The answer is not straightforward, as there are various factors to consider. For instance, the number of guests, the type of bar package you choose, and the duration of the event can all impact the final cost.

In this article, we will dive into the nitty-gritty of open bar costs for UK weddings. We will explore the different factors that affect the cost, the types of open bar packages available, and ways to save money on open bar expenses for your special day. By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of whether an open bar is worth the cost for your UK wedding.

So, let’s get started and find out how much an open bar really costs for a UK wedding!

Factors that Affect Open Bar Cost at Weddings in the UK

When planning a wedding, one of the most significant expenses can be the open bar cost. The amount you spend on an open bar can depend on several factors, such as the type of bar you want, the location of your wedding, and the duration of your reception. One of the biggest factors affecting open bar costs is the number of guests you plan to invite. The larger the guest list, the more alcohol you will need to accommodate everyone, which can significantly increase costs.

The type of alcohol you serve can also play a role in the cost of your open bar. If you opt for premium liquors or rare wines, your costs can quickly add up. However, if you stick to more standard drinks and house wines, you may be able to save some money. Additionally, the time of year you plan to get married can also impact the cost of your open bar, as prices tend to be higher during peak wedding season.

Finally, the location of your wedding can also affect the cost of your open bar. If your wedding is in a major city or a popular wedding destination, you can expect to pay more for alcohol than if you were hosting your wedding in a rural area. It’s essential to consider all of these factors when planning your open bar to ensure that you stay within your budget.

Venue Location and Availability

  1. Location: The location of the wedding venue can significantly affect the open bar cost. Venues in major cities such as London tend to have higher rates compared to smaller towns and rural areas.

  2. Availability: Availability of the venue can also impact the cost of the open bar. Popular venues during peak wedding seasons are likely to have higher rates compared to venues available throughout the year.

  3. Package Deals: Some venues offer package deals that include open bar services. Choosing a venue that offers an all-inclusive package can be a great way to save money on open bar costs.

  4. Time of Day: The time of day the wedding takes place can also affect open bar costs. For example, a daytime wedding may have lower costs compared to an evening or late-night wedding.

  5. Guest Count: The number of guests attending the wedding can also impact open bar costs. More guests mean more alcohol, which can increase the overall cost of the open bar.

When selecting a wedding venue, it’s essential to consider the location, availability, and package deals offered. These factors can significantly impact the cost of the open bar and ultimately, the wedding budget. It’s crucial to research and compare prices to find the best value for your wedding.

Types of Open Bar Packages Available in the UK

If you’re considering an open bar for your wedding, there are several types of packages available in the UK that can fit your budget and preferences. The most common types of open bar packages are:

All-inclusive package: This package includes unlimited drinks for a set price per guest, typically for a set period of time. This is a popular option for couples who want to offer an open bar without worrying about unexpected costs.

Consumption package: This package charges based on the amount of alcohol consumed. This can be a good option for smaller weddings or those with guests who are not heavy drinkers.

Cash bar: This option allows guests to purchase their own drinks at the bar. While this can be more affordable for the couple, it may not be as convenient or enjoyable for guests.

Dry hire: This option allows you to bring your own alcohol and hire a bartender to serve it. This can be a cost-effective option, but keep in mind that you’ll also need to hire glassware and any additional equipment.

Each package has its own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to consider your priorities and budget before making a decision.

Consumption Bar

A consumption bar is an option where guests are charged based on the amount of alcohol consumed. This means that you pay for each drink your guests consume during the reception. The price per drink can vary, and you may also have to pay a set-up fee. Some venues may require a minimum spend to set up a consumption bar.

One advantage of a consumption bar is that you only pay for what your guests drink, which can be cost-effective if you have guests who do not drink or prefer non-alcoholic beverages. Additionally, guests are free to choose the drinks they want, and you are not restricted to a set package.

However, a consumption bar can be unpredictable, as it is difficult to estimate how much your guests will drink. This can result in unexpected costs that may exceed your budget. Additionally, your guests may feel uncomfortable paying for their own drinks, especially if they are not aware of this beforehand.

Package Bar

When it comes to sending packages, we all want to ensure that our precious cargo arrives at its destination safe and sound. That’s where the Package Bar comes in – a one-stop-shop for all your packaging needs. Whether you’re sending a fragile vase, a stack of books, or a delicate piece of jewelry, the Package Bar has got you covered.

At the Package Bar, we offer a wide variety of boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and other packaging materials to suit all your needs. Our knowledgeable staff are always on hand to help you choose the right materials for your specific package, and to offer advice on how to pack your items securely and efficiently.

Not only do we offer a wide selection of packaging materials, but we also offer a range of shipping options to ensure that your package arrives at its destination as quickly and safely as possible. Whether you’re shipping domestically or internationally, we have the expertise to help you choose the right shipping option for your needs and budget.

But that’s not all – the Package Bar also offers a range of customization options to make your package stand out from the crowd. We can print your company logo on your boxes or add a personalized note to your shipment, making it clear that your package was sent with care and attention to detail.

  • Choose from a variety of box sizes to fit your specific needs
  • Protect your items with our high-quality bubble wrap and packing peanuts
  • Seal your package securely with our strong and durable tape
  • Select the right shipping method for your needs and budget
  • Add a personal touch with our customization options

With our wide selection of packaging materials, shipping options, and customization choices, the Package Bar is your one-stop-shop for all your packaging needs. So why wait? Stop by our store today and let us help you ensure that your package arrives at its destination safe and sound!

Box SizeBubble WrapTape
Small1 roll1 roll
Medium2 rolls2 rolls
Large3 rolls3 rolls
Extra-Large4 rolls4 rolls
Total10 rolls10 rolls

Cash Bar

Are you planning a party or event but unsure about the budget? Don’t worry, there’s an easy way to manage your expenses – the cash bar. Here are a few things you need to know about it:

Cash Bar Basics

A cash bar is a bar where guests have to pay for their drinks. It’s different from an open bar, where the host pays for all the drinks. With a cash bar, you can control your expenses, and guests can choose what they want to drink and pay for it themselves.

Benefits of a Cash Bar

The biggest benefit of a cash bar is that it can help you save money. You don’t have to worry about overbuying alcohol, and guests can pay for their drinks. Another benefit is that guests can choose what they want to drink, and you don’t have to worry about everyone liking the same drinks.

How to Set Up a Cash Bar

Setting up a cash bar is easy. You can either hire a bartender or set up a self-serve bar. If you hire a bartender, make sure you have enough staff to handle the crowd. If you’re setting up a self-serve bar, make sure you have enough glasses, ice, and garnishes. You’ll also need to provide a cash box and change for guests who don’t have exact change.
  • Choose Your Drinks Wisely: You don’t have to offer every type of drink at your cash bar. Stick to a few popular options, and make sure to have non-alcoholic options available as well.
  • Set Prices in Advance: Decide on the prices for each drink in advance and make sure they’re clearly displayed. This will help avoid any confusion or disputes later on.
  • Communicate with Your Guests: Make sure your guests know about the cash bar in advance. You can include it on the invitation or send out an email beforehand.
  • Keep an Eye on the Bar: If you’re hosting the event, it’s your responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly at the cash bar. Keep an eye on the crowd and make sure there are no issues.
  • Be Gracious: At the end of the night, make sure to thank your guests for coming and for using the cash bar. It’s a great way to show your appreciation for their support.


A cash bar is a great way to control your expenses while still offering drinks to your guests. With a little planning and preparation, you can set up a successful cash bar that everyone will enjoy. Just remember to choose your drinks wisely, set prices in advance, communicate with your guests, keep an eye on the bar, and be gracious.

Ways to Save Money on Open Bar Costs for Your UK Wedding

When planning a wedding, one of the biggest expenses is often the open bar. However, there are ways to keep the costs down without sacrificing quality or variety. By following these tips, you can save money on your open bar costs for your UK wedding.

First, consider having a limited selection of drinks. Offering a signature cocktail or two, along with beer and wine, can help keep costs under control while still giving guests a variety of options. Additionally, consider skipping premium liquors and sticking to well brands.

Second, set a time limit for the open bar. Instead of having it open all night, consider limiting it to a few hours during the reception. This can help reduce the amount of alcohol consumed and keep costs down.

Third, consider offering a cash bar instead of an open bar. This means that guests would be responsible for purchasing their own drinks. While this may not be as generous as an open bar, it can be a good compromise that allows you to provide drinks without breaking the bank.

Finally, work with your venue or caterer to negotiate prices. Many venues and caterers offer packages that can be customized to fit your budget. By discussing your needs and budget with them, you may be able to get a better deal on your open bar costs.

By implementing these strategies, you can save money on your open bar costs without sacrificing quality or your guests’ enjoyment. With careful planning and negotiation, you can have a wedding that’s both affordable and unforgettable.

Limit Drink Options

If you’re looking for ways to save money on your UK wedding open bar costs, limiting the number of drink options is a great place to start. Reducing the number of options can significantly lower the cost of the open bar without making a big impact on the guest experience. Consider offering only a few signature cocktails or a selection of beer and wine.

Another option is to serve only non-alcoholic beverages during the dinner portion of the reception, and then open the bar for alcoholic drinks later in the evening. This allows guests to enjoy drinks without breaking the bank for the entire duration of the reception.

It’s also worth considering limiting the types of alcohol that will be served. For example, you can choose to only serve a specific type of liquor, such as vodka or whiskey, rather than offering a full bar with a wide variety of spirits. This can help to keep costs down while still providing guests with a great experience.

Is an Open Bar Worth the Cost for Your UK Wedding?

When planning your wedding, you might be wondering if having an open bar is worth the cost. After all, weddings are already expensive, and adding an open bar can be a significant expense. However, an open bar can also be a memorable and enjoyable experience for your guests, and it can add to the overall atmosphere of your wedding.

One option to consider is having a limited open bar, where you offer a selection of drinks for a set period of time, rather than having an open bar throughout the entire event. This can help you manage costs while still providing your guests with a fun and festive experience.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to have an open bar comes down to your budget and priorities. If having an open bar is important to you and your partner, you may want to consider allocating more of your budget towards this aspect of the wedding. However, if you would rather prioritize other elements of the wedding or simply cannot afford an open bar, there are plenty of other ways to create a memorable and enjoyable experience for your guests.

Consider Your Guests’ Preferences

When deciding whether to have an open bar at your UK wedding, it’s important to consider your guests’ preferences. Some guests may not drink alcohol at all, while others may have specific preferences for certain types of drinks.

One way to ensure that all of your guests are happy is to offer a variety of drink options, including non-alcoholic options. For example, you could have a signature mocktail or offer a selection of juices and sodas.

It’s also important to consider the time of day and the style of your wedding. If you’re having a daytime wedding or a more casual affair, your guests may not expect a full open bar. In this case, you could offer a limited selection of drinks or opt for a cash bar instead.

Factor in Other Wedding Costs

When deciding whether to have an open bar at your UK wedding, it’s essential to factor in other wedding costs. Remember that the open bar is just one aspect of your wedding, and there are other expenses to consider, such as catering, venue, photography, and decor. You don’t want to overspend on the open bar and compromise other essential elements of your wedding.

Additionally, you may want to consider the size of your wedding and the number of guests. The more guests you have, the more expensive an open bar will be. If you’re having a small wedding, an open bar may not be as costly, and you may be able to afford it without affecting other wedding costs.

Lastly, consider your budget and financial situation. If you have a limited budget, you may want to skip the open bar and allocate your funds to other important wedding expenses. Remember that your wedding should be a reflection of your values and priorities as a couple, so make sure you allocate your budget accordingly.

Alternative Drink Options

  • Smoothies: A refreshing and healthy alternative to traditional sugary drinks. Smoothies are packed with essential nutrients and can be easily customized to fit any taste preference. Experiment with different fruits, vegetables, and dairy-free milk alternatives to create your perfect blend.
  • Herbal Tea: A soothing and calming option, herbal tea is perfect for those looking to cut back on caffeine. It’s also a great way to incorporate medicinal herbs into your daily routine. Choose from a variety of flavors such as chamomile, peppermint, and ginger.
  • Kombucha: A fermented tea that’s become increasingly popular in recent years. Kombucha is known for its probiotic benefits and unique tangy flavor. You can find it in most grocery stores or even make your own at home with a starter kit.
  • Coconut Water: A natural and hydrating option, coconut water is a great alternative to sports drinks. It’s packed with electrolytes and has been known to aid in digestion. Look for brands that don’t contain added sugars or preservatives.
  • Juice: A classic alternative to soda, juice can be a healthy option if you choose wisely. Look for brands that use 100% real fruit and don’t contain added sugars or preservatives. You can also make your own at home with a juicer.

Next time you’re craving a sugary drink, try one of these refreshing and healthy alternatives. Whether you’re in the mood for something fruity, herbal, or tangy, there’s an option for everyone. Incorporating these drinks into your daily routine can help you stay hydrated and feel your best.

What Guests Can Expect from an Open Bar at a UK Wedding

Attending a wedding is an exciting experience, and having an open bar is a great way to celebrate the occasion. Here are some things to expect from an open bar at a UK wedding:

A Variety of Drinks: From classic beers and wines to signature cocktails, an open bar typically offers a wide selection of drinks to choose from. Guests can indulge in their favourite drinks without having to worry about the cost.

Time Limits: While an open bar allows guests to enjoy as many drinks as they like, it typically has time limits. Open bars are usually available for a set amount of time, often during the reception. Make sure to take advantage of the open bar while it lasts!

Drink Tickets: Some weddings may use drink tickets as a way to limit the number of drinks guests can have. Guests may receive a certain number of tickets that they can exchange for drinks at the bar. This helps to ensure that everyone gets a chance to enjoy the open bar without any overindulging.

Professional Bartenders: An open bar is usually staffed by professional bartenders who are experienced in making a variety of drinks. They can also help guests with any questions or special requests they may have.

A Festive Atmosphere: An open bar creates a festive atmosphere, allowing guests to let loose and have a good time. It’s a great way to get everyone in the mood for dancing and celebrating the happy couple.

Overall, an open bar at a UK wedding is a wonderful way to celebrate with family and friends. With a variety of drinks, professional bartenders, and a festive atmosphere, guests are sure to have a memorable time.

Selection of Drinks

When it comes to an open bar at a UK wedding, guests can expect a wide selection of drinks to choose from. Most open bars offer a variety of beers, wines, and spirits, as well as non-alcoholic options.

For those who prefer beer, there will be a selection of drinks that cater to different tastes. From light lagers to dark stouts, there is something for everyone. Similarly, wine lovers can look forward to a variety of red, white, and rosé wines to choose from.

Guests who prefer spirits will not be disappointed either. Most open bars offer a range of options, including whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum. Guests can choose to have their spirits served neat, on the rocks, or mixed with their favourite mixers.

  • Cocktails: Guests can also look forward to a selection of cocktails, both classic and modern. Whether they prefer a Martini, a Margarita, or something more adventurous like a Pornstar Martini, there is something for everyone.
  • Mocktails: For those who do not drink alcohol, most open bars offer a selection of mocktails. These are non-alcoholic versions of classic cocktails, perfect for those who want to enjoy a drink without the alcohol.
  • Soft drinks: Finally, there will also be a range of soft drinks available for those who do not want to drink alcohol. These include a variety of juices, sodas, and other non-alcoholic beverages.

In conclusion, an open bar at a UK wedding will offer guests a wide selection of drinks to choose from, including beer, wine, spirits, cocktails, mocktails, and soft drinks. Guests are sure to find something they love and can enjoy throughout the night.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the factors that determine the cost of an open bar at a UK wedding?

The cost of an open bar at a wedding in the UK can vary depending on several factors such as the location of the venue, the type of drinks being served, and the number of guests attending the event.

What is the average cost of an open bar at a wedding in the UK?

The average cost of an open bar at a wedding in the UK can range from £20 to £50 per guest. However, the final cost will depend on the factors such as the duration of the event and the type of drinks being served.

Are there any additional charges to consider when booking an open bar at a wedding in the UK?

Yes, some venues may charge additional fees for staffing, glassware, and other related services. It is always best to inquire about any additional charges before booking an open bar for your wedding in the UK.

What are some cost-saving tips for booking an open bar at a wedding in the UK?

One cost-saving tip is to limit the selection of drinks being served or opt for a cash bar instead. Another option is to negotiate with the venue for a lower price or consider booking the open bar for a shorter duration.

How far in advance should I book an open bar for my UK wedding?

It is recommended to book an open bar for your wedding in the UK at least 6-12 months in advance to ensure availability and secure the best pricing. Some venues may also require a deposit to secure the booking.

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