If an open bar is out of your budget consider a BYOB wedding over throwing a cash bar. There are a lot of advantages to a BYOB wedding: Guests can choose how much they want to spend and share the pot with friends. They also can bring as much or as little booze as they want, without worrying about running out of cash at the bar. While you might feel a little uneasy at the prospect of guests showing up with cases of their own, these six tips will help you make the ultimate BYOB wedding.
Make It Clear on the Invitation
Most guests will assume the bar will be covered at your wedding, so make sure your invitation states loud and clear that they need to bring their own booze. You don't need to provide an explanation for why, even if someone asks later, but "BYOB" should be in a bold and large font on the actual invitation — don't save it for day of detail cards or the RSVP card.
You may not be able to provide the bar, but you can help make the drinking easier by providing mixers. Head to a wholesale bargain store and stock up on mixers like tonic water, cranberry juice, and soda. Display mixers in carafes or put bottles in decorated coolers with signs so guests know they're free for the taking. If you can, include that you're providing mixers on the invitation so guests know they can bring more than wine and beer.
Decorate With Ice Buckets
There's nothing worse than warm beer or white wine, so keep plenty of ice on hand. Place decorative ice buckets or troughs on each table, so those sitting together can keep their booze cool, and if they're generous, share with their table mates.
Hand Out Glasses
You don't have to buy mason jars or fancy stemware to satisfy your guests, but be sure that the glassware is on you — they won't know to bring their own cups afterall. It doesn't matter whether you go for plastic solo cups or glass barware provided by your caterer. Either way, don't leave your guests to drink out of the bottle.
Give Bottle Openers and Corkscrew Favors
Make opening those bottles easier with bottle opener and corkscrew wedding favors. Place a few on each table, or one at each seat, so guests can easily get into those beers and wine. If you can, put a cocktail shaker at each table too for mixed drinks.
In your thank you notes for your gifts, be sure to include a line thanking your guests for being going along with the BYOB-theme. Again, you don't need to provide an explanation or be elaborate. But you should acknowledge the extra effort — and money — they put into being at your wedding.