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Caterer for venue won't let us provide our own alcohol


My fiancé and I are having a little trouble with planning for our wedding budget and wondered if anyone had any similar experiences or advice.  When we booked our venue we were told that the caterer would provide the food, fizz, wine for meal and bar at reception.  My fiancé works for an alcohol company and can get really good deals so we wanted to stock the bar ourselves but pay for staff service.  We thought this would save us money and the venue told us that plenty of guests have done this before.  However, now the caterer is telling us that this isn't an option and it's not open for discussion.   We're really disappointed because we were factoring in a big saving on our bar costs.  Before we go back and argue with them, we're trying to understand what their motivation is?  Does it just cause them hassle or is it because they make a lot of money from the bar?  Is it a lot of hassle for them if we are planning to order and deliver the stock the day before the wedding then collect any excess.  We can still pay for the staff to serve alcohol so it's not like they wouldn't make something out of it. 

Any help much appreciated! 



  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455

    you have just said that when you booked you were told the caterer would supply all alcohol, so it doesn't sound like they have hidden this fact from you. Caterers make a lot of their profit from alcohol.

  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    I don't think there's really much you can do unfortunately. A lot of venues don't allow you to supply your own alcohol.

  • We have booked a community centre for our wedding & had originally planned to bring in all our own alcohol for the guests. We found out later that they franchise out the bar so we can't bring any of our own alcohol in. We have had to negotiate them down & also re-think what we can pay for. The first quote from the bar owners was 3 times the cost of hiring the venue!! They reduced the price per head & we've also decided to do cocktails & prosecco but no wine on tables 

  • Beet13Beet13 Posts: 68 New bride

    They make money on the bar which covers other costs. If you just pay their staff then they don't make any money (or very minimal if there's a mark up) but they could be providing things such as refrigeration, uniforms, linen glasses, ice, a till/credit card machine. Our caterer didn't mind if we wanted to provide the alcohol but we had to pay them a lump sum for this which I guess would cover the profit they would have made. 

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