Budget Bride Tip for June 20: Build, stock and staff your open bar
We’re celebrating the month of June with a daily tip from savvy brides who saved big bucks on the wedding of their dreams. But today we’re going to change things up a bit and take our tip from a groom.
When Justin and Genevieve Gaynor decided to have their reception and wedding dinner in the rustic dining hall of a summer camp, they had to figure out what to do about a bar.
Their best bet, they figured, was to hire someone to come in and handle the booze.
"I contacted some bartending services that wanted thousands of dollars to come out and serve bar for the night," says Justin, 28, an iPhone and iPad apps developer who married Genevieve, 26, a documentary film editor, on Oct. 8, 2011.
The biggest part of that cost was that those bartenders insisted on bringing their own alcohol -- "and charging their own prices for it," Justin says.
Instead, Justin and his future father-in-law built a bar out of plywood and 2x4s left over from home improvement projects.
The couple then bought their own alcohol and hired a friend to pour drinks at the Green Lane, Pa., party.
To lessen the workload, they took a canoe and filled it with ice and beer that guests could fetch for themselves.
"We ended up with a 5-hour open bar that cost around $1,200," he says.
According to The Wedding Report, a wedding industry research company, the average cost of an open bar in 2011 was $2,463.
They didn't need to pay for an after-party, either.
Since guests were staying in cabins at the summer camp, they held a bonfire by the lake and served the beer and wine left over from the reception.
Here are Justin and Genevieve at their wedding dinner ...
This is the canoe filled with ice and beer ...
Here are the other "Budget Bride" tips we've published so far:
Thanks to Justin's brother, Jonathan Gaynor, for providing these photos.