being that our small group of friends (theres 5 couples, 3 of which have kids) are the only real drinkers, the rest of the guests are parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, who will only have a couple of glasses of wine of a few beers, and theres a few who will stick to soft drink (quite a few actually drink spirits in which case will pay for their own), i actually think even $1000 on the bar might be sufficient for 3-4 hours.
FH reckons its no where near enough, until i pointed out who was actually coming, and how many drink and dont. now he sees my point.
for example, myself, my brother and my SIL dont drink at all. so there is no way we would drink our $37.50 (ish) amount for a package worth of soft drink in 4 hours!
i think on comsumption will definately be our bet!
Sounds like on consumption will definitely be your best bet! Even if you have a few heavy drinkers there are enough other people (eg grandmas, you and your hubby, etc) to even things out a bit. $1000 doesn't sound like a lot, do you have a little bit extra you could reserve in case the tab runs out quickly? You obviously know your guests, but with toasts etc a lot of the tab would go quite quickly at the start. Just a thought!