Photo by Romulo Yanes/BRIDES
BRIDES magazine scopes out the best and worst ways to trim the bar bill:
DO limit the liquor. "You'll save big if you reduce the main ingredients to just, say, vodka," says Chris Harkness, food and beverage director for Great Performances, a New York caterer (greatperformances.com). Stock an assortment of mixers.
DON'T blow your budget on a champagne toast; swap in a less pricey sparkler instead, like a Spanish cava or an Italian prosecco.
DO ask your bartenders to use bottle pourers, which dispense a set amount of alcohol.
DON'T go nuts with rentals. If you want more than one all-purpose glass, Harkness suggests renting three at most: a water goblet, an all-purpose wineglass, and a rocks (or old-fashioned) glass.
DO cater to your crowd. If you have big drinkers, go for an unlimited bar, for which you pay a set fee. Otherwise, pay by consumption, meaning only for what guests drink. (Regardless of which option you choose, ask that servers clear only empty glasses.)
—Lexi Dwyer, BRIDES Magazine