Jason Masters

Everyone is a little happier when they hear those magic words: “open bar.” But they're not cheap, which is why we asked Clark Trim, owner of Colonial Wines & Spirits, to share his insider tips and save you money.

1. Skip nationally-recognized brand names. "Some of the most popular imported vodkas can cost two to three times more than lesser known brands."

2. Avoid “age specific” selections. Scotch, bourbon and Irish whiskeys that are aged for 12-30 years are expensive. Choose blends or varieties that carry no age statement.

3. Purchase the 1.75 liter size. In virtually every case, the cost per ounce will be considerably cheaper.

4. Offer only the basic bar set up. It’s impossible to have everyone’s favorite. Usually, a Bourbon, Scotch, Vodka, Gin and Rum will meet requests of the large majority of guests.

5. Most stores will allow the return of unopened bottles for credit, so make sure bartenders know to open only one bottle at a time.

6. Don’t buy products off the shelf, place an order with liquor store personnel well before the wedding.

7. Kegs instead of bottles.

8. Save on liquor by serving a signature cocktail alongside beer and wine.

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