When it comes to cutting costs on your wedding a bar with no alcohol is definitely going to make things much more affordable. Then again, how much does it cost to provide a non-alcoholic bar of drinks for 200? Is there really that big of a difference?

The Non-Alcoholic Ratio

When it comes to calculating drinks per guest the general rule is four drinks per guest, but when it’s non-alcoholic guests tend to drink less. However, don’t sell yourself short–especially if you are throwing a picnic, barbecue or outdoor style reception on a hot day. So the math goes:

  • 200 guests
  • Times 5 drinks per person
  • You’ll need roughly 1000 drinks

But how do you know if one person will want water and one juice, one tea, or one three soft drinks? You don’t. So to properly put together a bar, you have to opt for a mixture of drinks.

The general rule of thumb is:

  • 1-2 waters per guest
  • 3-4 non-water drinks such as soft drink, iced tea, or juice

Go With The Deals

Brewing your own iced tea is the cheapest drink option ever. It’s also cool and refreshing and can be offered sweetened or unsweetened. On average you can get a 64 to 72 ounce jug of tea using 16 tea bags. A box of iced tea tea bags can be purchased in family size boxes of 48 count for under $5. Iced tea is a no-brainer for a drink option if you’re trying to trim your budget.

Solo cups can be found at warehouse stores for exceptionally low prices. A great option is also the Dollar Store: the small clear tumblers are 10 for $1, which makes it even better than the prices at Walmart, or even these same cups in a pack of 100 at Amazon (to be fair, I’m lazy, so I’d have them shipped to me on Prime). Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

The Great Soft Drink Debauchery

The best way to score cheap soft drinks is in two liters from the grocery store. Most local grocers have member card deals of five two liters, mix and match, for $5. If you’re 200 guests are going to enjoy some fizzy drinks, then you’ll want to take this into account:

  • 4 x 12-ounce Serving Per Guest
  • $1 – $1.25 for a 2 liter (5.5 12-ounce servings per 2 liter bottle)
  • You’ll need about 160 (2 Liters) = $160 to $200

If you decide to offer juice and tea or lemonade and tea, you can half the expense seeing that juice runs around $3 a 64 ounce bottle making your cost for juice $201.

You’ll also need around 200 bottles of water which isn’t all that bad, because you can grab five 40-packs at Walmart for $5.38.

Making your grand water total = $27. Simply put them on ice in a bucket and let guests self-serve.

Ways To Really Cut The Costs

If you really want to get savvy for the non-alcholic way to throw a killer reception without the booze, create some sweet signature mocktails. Do one per guest, so you’ll need juice, some fresh fruit and a soft drink like lemon lime soft drink.

  • $102 for juice
  • $34 for lemon lime soft drink
  • Fruit for cocktails around $10
  • Average of $150 for signature mocktails

If you did a signature mocktail, iced tea (both sweet and unsweet) and water your total cost of a non-alcoholic bar would be = $176. Not too shabby if you’re shooting for that Wedding for $1000! Check out more of our ideas for delicious DIY Bar ideas here!

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