Ask Colin: Wedding Budget

In place of an open bar, offer signature cocktails at your reception or cocktail hour. For dinner, select a flavorful wine and offer a cash bar for those guests who are looking for a bit more.

Colin Miller

We can't afford an open bar. What should we do?

There are lots of chic ways around this problem. Upon arrival at your reception or cocktail hour, offer two signature cocktails. They can be pre-made and elegantly served with a beautiful garnish. Print up the recipe and give it a charming name that resonates with your guests. (I once did a wedding where we named the cocktails after the bridesmaids.)

At dinner, select wines from Chile, Spain, South Africa, New Zealand or Australia. They are very affordable and delicious. After dinner, if your guests want to drink something other than the cocktail or wine, it is perfectly okay to have a cash bar.