Hosted, Cash, Tab, Oh My!: Guide to Bar Packages for Your Wedding

You’ve selected your venue and your date yay! Now it’s time to get down to business and start planning the other details of the big day like what food you and your guests will be eating, linens, centerpieces, flowers, cake and whether or not you will have a bar and what kind.

When it comes to bars each venue is different in what they offer. Today we are going to be sharing some of the most common bar types and the good and bad with each.

Photographer: Leah Marie Photography

“Do I even have to have a bar?”The answer is no, of course not! If you don’t want alcohol served at your wedding then by no means do you have to have it. You can opt to just serve the complimentary drinks that the venue provides or just juice and soda. Here at Los Willows if you choose to not have a bar we provide infused water, lemonade, iced tea and sparkling cider for the wedding toast.

“I definitely want a bar at my wedding.”
Love it! Depending on the venue they might have various options for bars. Let’s get into what the different types are.

Cash Bar
Guests pay for their own drinks both alcohol or non-alcoholic. A set up a fee may be required for the Host to pay and non-refundable.

Photographer: True Photography

Hosted Bar
The Host puts down a Tab, a pre-determined dollar amount for the bar and guests receive drinks, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, on the tab until it is reached. Once the Tab has been reached the Host can add more money to the tab or convert to a cash bar.
What you want included on the Tab is up to you and the venue. Maybe you just want to do beer, wine, champagne, sodas and juices and have guests pay for any liquor maybe you want to do beer, wine, champagne, sodas and juices, well and premium liquor and have guests pay for the Patron or Maker’s Mark.


Photographer: Shadowcatcher Imagery

Bar Packages
The Host is charged per person. Packages can range from just soda and juice to everything included.

Corkage Fee
Some venues will allow you to bring in your own liquor but will charge you a corkage fee to do so.

Photographer: Leah Marie Photography

Soft Bar
This is a bar with beer, wine, juice and soda so no “hard” alcohol.


Here at Los Willows we offer a variety of options for bars. Click here to read all about our bar options or schedule a tour to learn all about our packages and to pick the one that’s best for you!


The Los Willows Team

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