A wedding is a celebration! Accordingly, the requisite champagne, wine, beer and liquor cost couples nearly $3,000. Add an open bar and some thirsty friends, and you're going to be paying a much bigger tab.
If you're going to be serving alcohol, plan on shelling out for more than monogrammed cocktail napkins. You've also got to pay for liquor permits, bartenders and gratuities, which can easily add hundreds more to your total budget. While it's tempting to offer a wide selection of drinks to keep your guests happy (and mingling), keep in mind that the more variety you offer, the higher your costs will soar.
One final note: We're not sure who started the rumor that a cash bar is a suitable answer to your budget crisis. It's never acceptable to ask your wedding guests to pay for their drinks (they also shouldn't be tipping the bartender, so make sure there aren't any tip jars lurking on the bar). If cost is a major concern, offer a signature cocktail and just one or two varieties each of beer and wine.