How do I buy alcohol for my wedding? This is a very common question! There are pretty much three basic types of wedding bars: beer and wine only, full bar, and the something in-between sort of modified bar. Aloha Bars is a full service cocktail catering company here on Maui! Once you know which type of alcohol you would like to offer at your wedding or party, then you can get into the details of whether to purchase the alcohol on your own, or having the caterers provide the alcohol. I have listed some information on Costco alcohol vs premium alcohol in order to help you decide!
Buying alcohol from Costco can be a great option if you are trying to cut down on your budget. Alcohol can get expensive very quick. There are definitely some pros and cons to weigh in on before deciding where to get your liquor and wine from!
You do not need to be a Costco member to buy alcohol
Many states (including Hawaii) have a law prohibiting stores from requiring membership to purchase alcohol! This means, you are able to buy alcohol at Costco without a club card. Certain cashiers may not be aware of this law. Make sure to go in ready to discuss with a manager!
Costco’s wine markups are half that of most stores
Many boutique wine shops sell bottles for up to 50 percent more than what the wholesale price is! Wow! The markups for Costco hover around 14 percent. The cost of the same bottle of wine purchased at Costco versus another retailer could differ greatly.
Costco is the largest wine retailer in the U.S.
Wine makes up nearly half of the big box store’s yearly alcohol sales. Costco’s most recent number was $1.69 billion in 2016 sales. This placed Costco as the largest wine seller in the country.
You can stock an entire bar with Kirkland brand booze
Now, you can pretty much buy every spirit under Costco’s signature in-house label: American and French vodka, Scotch, whiskey, bourbon, rum, tequila, and gin. Don’t forget all of the craft beers and wine!
Returns on alcohol NOT accepted at Costco
Costco is notorious for it’s very liberal return policy, but they do not budge when it comes to booze! Be prepared for this as you will not receive a refund, even if your containers are still completely sealed.
Big-name brands make some Kirkland spirits
- Beer is brewed by Gordon Biersch.
- Scotch are distilled by either Alexander Murray and Macallan Distillery.
- Bourbon and rum is produced by Jim Beam.
- Vodka is made from the same water source and by the same employees that Grey Goose uses.
- Tequila is produced in the same distillery as Cielo tequila.
Costco’s prices are tough to beat
Buying your own booze always tends to be the cheapest way to go. The alcohol at costco tends to be 20 to 40 percent cheaper than store-brand spirits.
If you have unopened bottles, usually your local liquor store will accept returns. This is a HUGE bonus if you are concerned about not being able to return bottles to Costco!
Now, there are many different reasons why it would be a great idea to purchase your own alcohol. Don’t worry, your caterers will still be able to make your drinks and serve them to your guests. But now you just saved more money by purchasing it on your own. If you are feeling stressed and do not want the extra “burden” of purchasing the alcohol, then it is best to let the catering company that you are working with take care of it.
Sometimes saving the extra dollars can be nice, and especially necessary! Other times, the help is what you truly need and some of the planning weight lifted off your shoulders. Make sure to do your research and know the difference between Costco alcohol vs premium alcohol!
Photography : @dmitriandsandra