Budgeting for the Bar

— Wedding Budget Planning

Budgeting for the Bar
Budgeting for the Bar

It has to be one of the greatest mysteries of planning a wedding…just how much alcohol does one party need? The options for drinks are endless, as are the possibilities of over or under catering - each posing a unique set of problems (one budget-blowing, the other, a possible party-dampener on the night!). So where do you begin? We picked the brains of Monique from Byron Bay based Seaweed Cuisine, a fully licensed (not to mention incredible cocktail making!) caterer, for some advice and tips on what to serve when, how much to expect to pay, and how Seaweed structure their packages…

Monique: I’ve found over the last few years beverages have found a new & exciting place in the world of Weddings. People not only want great food but they want to pair & match with alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. There are so many great innovative beverage ideas have come into place such as welcome drink fruit spritzers, cocktail bars, whisky bars, cocktails in glass dispensers (available through the duration), coffee & liqueur bar or coconut stands - serving piano coladas.

Guest Arrival
We have been serving many mid-strength alcoholic house made spritzers. Mostly served in little cute glass bottles, garnished with straws and iced down for those hot Summer days. These are a great colourful, thirst quenching drink where guests’ are pleased to be welcomed with. A little alcohol always takes the edge off but only offering 1 per person and mid strength doesn’t take the focus off Bride and Groom whilst the ceremony proceeds. Welcome drinks may include Vodka, pink grapefruit, lime and mint / Vodka, infused coconut sugar and lemongrass or Vodka lemonade.

(Immediately) After Ceremony & Canapes
During this time its good to offer a choice of drinks. Most of the guys will want a cold beer, whilst the girls will want a crisp cold glass of bubbly.

Cocktail Bar
During this period we usually set up a cocktail bar offering 1 or 2 types of cocktails that have been pre chosen by Bride + Groom. A version of the cocktail is also offered as a non alcoholic drink served in ornate glass dispensers (always a popular for the non drinkers, pregnant ladies or for those that want a pause + not get too tidily). This is usually a 11/2 hour bracket in duration.

Reception / Stand Up Progressive or Sit Down beverage packages

Stand Up Progressive - If the Wedding continues as Stand Up the drinks continue either by trayed drinks served to guests’, topping up where staff will be amongst guests topping up Champagne and Wine. Water with lime is also trayed up + served in glasses, reminding guests to drink water. Or guests can meander to the open bar where a variety of drinks are served.

Sitdown - Once the canapes have finished, guests move into the seated area where they are offered Red or White Wine, usually a choice of 2 Reds and 2 Whites.

After Dinner - The guests are wanting to move around + chat to other guests, the music is starting ready for the dance floor to heat up. Most opt for a Spirit Bar (where mixed drinks of Bride + Grooms choice are being served), a Whisky Bar and/or a Coffee + Tea Bar serving liqueur / Expresso Martinis / Affogatos.

PACKAGES (6 hour duration)

Stand Up Progressive - $50 per head
1 x Welcome Drink - non alcoholic
2 x Beer
1 x French Champagne
1 x Red Wine
1 x White Wine

Sit Down - $55 per head
1 x Welcome Drink- non alcoholic
2 x Beer
1 x French Champagne
2 x Red Wine
2 x White Wine

Add Ons
Welcome Drink Alcoholic Spritzer - $7 per head
Cocktail Bar - 11/2 hours - 2 Cocktails - $20 per head
Whisky Bar - POA

Package includes all soft drinks, juices, bottle water, garnishes, ice for ice tubs + drinks, glass water dispensers

Explore more of Monique and her teams incredible work and food over on their website.

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