A Guide to Wedding Reception Bar Types

After the vows have been read, couples are typically excited to celebrate with their guests! For most weddings, that means having some sort of bar at the wedding reception. While people do opt for dry weddings these days, our wedding photographers find that most people serve some sort of alcohol at their reception. Many couples are surprised to learn that there are many different types of bars they can offer guests at their reception. So our wedding photographers have broken down all of the different types of wedding reception bars you can have at your wedding!


Open Bar

As the name implies, an open bar means that guests can order whatever they want for no cost. The couple getting married will pay a flat fee so that guests can order as many drinks as they want. This is one of the most popular bar types, but there are some downsides. Wedding photographers find that guests tend to be more relaxed with drinks flowing, but that also means they can get rowdy. There is also the cost to consider, as these are usually more expensive than other bar types.


Consumption Bar

A consumption bar offers the same range of drinks as an open bar. However, rather than paying a flat rate, the host will pay per drink at the end of the event. This is a good option for a smaller wedding, but it can really add up, especially if guests are limited to a certain number of drinks. This type of bar isn’t common at most Toronto weddings, but it’s still an option.


Cash Bar

Many hosts want their guests to have fun at their wedding so they pay for the drinks. However, if they want to stay budget conscious or don’t want guests getting too crazy, they might opt for a cash bar. A cash bar offers a range of drinks, but guests are required to pay for them. Some couples will offer wine during the meal for no cost to the guests, but require them to pay for anything else.


Soft Bar

A soft bar is when no hard liquor is offered. This means that the drinks offered are limited to red and white wine, champagne, and beer. This is a good option if you want to offers guests alcohol, but don’t want them to get too crazy. Our wedding photographers are finding soft bars more and more common at Toronto weddings. Some venues also only offer soft bars to avoid any liability issues.


White Bar

As the name implies, a white bar only offers white liquors. That means the only alcohol offered is gin, vodka, white rum, and white wine. Some may offer red wine as well. If you opt for a white or pale color scheme, this might be a good option to avoid the risk of any guests spilling and ruining the décor or nice wedding photos.


Dry Bar

Dry weddings are a good option for some couples, although they still aren’t as popular as other types of wedding reception bars. A dry bar simply means that guests are offered everything but alcohol. This includes soft drinks, water, juice, tea, lemonade, etc. The only thing not included is alcohol! There are pros and cons to dry weddings, but regardless of whether or not there is alcohol at your wedding, our wedding photographers will be there to capture all the fun!

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