Having an open bar can add $50-$75 per head onto your wedding bill, so it's very tempting to skip out on this extra expense. What should you do? Simply put, have alcohol at your wedding.
But me and/or my fiance don't drink much
Do your friends drink? Even just casually drink? What about your family? If you answered yes to any of these, then yes you need to have alcohol at your wedding.
But we can't afford it
Yes, it is a big cost. However, there are great tricks to cut that number down. Only offer Beer and Wine - cutting out liquor can save you some money. Or better yet, find a venue that will let you bring your own alcohol. Buying beer/wine/liquor at a liquor store is a quarter of the price of paying a venue to provide it.
But we're having a brunch wedding
Then serve brunch drinks! Everyone loves Mimosas and Bloody Mary's. I'm from Philly, and here we have happy hour during brunch on the weekends. So believe me, people will still be expecting alcohol.
But I don't think it's that big of a deal
To your guests, it is. Yes, it's your party. But part of being a good party host is providing a good time for your guests. The flowers, the decorations, the shoes - all of that is for you. In a month, guests don't remembers that stuff. They remember if the food was good and if they had a good time. So if spending hundreds on decorations can fit in your budget, you should be able to find room to fit alcohol into your budget.
But it's against my religion
Okay, this is a fair point. In this case, you can have a dry wedding. If it's against your religion, then most likely your family doesn't drink either. Your friends should understand under those circumstances.
What about a Cash Bar?
NO. Just, no. Absolutely not. There is nothing more tacky than a cash bar. That's like saying your guests aren't worth it. It's hard to tell someone "you need to come to my party, but you have to pay for your own drinks, oh and also you need to get me a gift." In my opinion it's better to have a dry wedding than a cash bar.