Q: I’m having my wedding at a hotel and they sent me their wedding drinks menu. I see that they have a wedding drinks package, but it also says you can do wedding drinks on consumption. What’s the difference? And is it better to do your wedding drinks as a package or on consumption?
I love this question! Because it’s a question I don’t think couples ask enough. But, it can make a big difference in your total cost and your overall budget. And who doesn’t want to keep their costs down?
So, a wedding drinks package will typically be a set price per person per hour. Sometimes it can include X amount of hours per person. With this package your guests can order whatever beverages and sprits are included in the package. So, no matter how much or how little they drink, the cost is set.
In contrast wedding drinks on consumption is literally that, on consumption. So the bar will charge for every single drink that gets ordered.
The difference is really just paying a set price vs. the actual price.
Now the real question is what is better? Which really just means, what will save you money?
So, obviously without knowing the exact pricing I can’t give you a specific answer. But, in most cases, unless you have a really heavy drinking group, doing your wedding drinks on consumption will typically be cheaper.
Because think about it, those that drink generally won’t drink enough to compensate for those that don’t. Or for those that do drink, but minimally. Generally, you’d have to have a group that drinks at least 2 drinks per hour per person to make a package worth it.
However, if you do have a group that drinks a lot, a wedding drinks package can be a huge savings. And if you like knowing ahead of time what you’ll be paying, there will be no surprises since it’s a set price.
Now if you have the option to a combination of the two, that can sometimes be your best option. Most venues don’t typically work this way, but occasionally that is a option. If so, do your package bar during the timeframes where people will drink the most. That would be cocktail hour and dancing. And then leave the other timeframes like dinner on consumption.
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(Photo credit: Christie Pham Photography)