You don't have to break the bank to have a good time at your wedding reception. By having your wedding early in the day and focusing on less-expensive beverages, you can make the bar at your wedding reception another customized part of your special day. Another way to keep costs under control is by having the bar open only prior to dinner. Pass champagne after the meal for toasting.
Ask the liquor store if they'll take back any unopened bottles after the reception. Many times, they'll agree in order to make a big sale. If you're holding the reception at a hotel, club, restaurant or reception hall, talk to the manager or the caterer. Ask if you can bring your own wine. Beware of corkage fees, which the venue may tack on for serving -- they can cause the tab to balloon considerably.