Post # 1
So I am getting married and having the reception at a hotel. The bar fees are crazy expensive. My mom feels adamantly that we can’t invite people to a wedding and have them pay for drinks. And switching from paying for cocktail hour and then switching the bar to cash, seems abrupt and deceptive. I know the etiquette people say don’t have alcohol at all if you can’t pay for it and are against cash bars. Every wedding I’ve been to has been mostly a cash bar. I think people would rather have the option to drink even if they have to pay for it, rather than having a dry wedding. Don’t you?
Just curious what the consensus is regarding the bar. We most likely will be hosting it but by consumption. To have a completely open bar would be about $10,000 plus service fee and tax, $50 pp. Some people won’t drink that much and others will but I can’t justify $10,000. I’m hoping that people will be moderate and we will have beer, wine and maybe a signature cocktail. The well brand of liquor is the same price per drink as beer, but I think people suck down cocktails faster than beer and wine. I might just have the manager check in with me when the bar gets to $5000. I want to put a funny little note maybe on my website under q & a that basically says that yes we are buying you drinks but the bar is hosted, not OPEN so they don’t think they might as well drink their faces off or leave their drinks lying around and get a new one. Is that an okay thought?
Post # 2
To answer your questions:
Yes, your mom is right. Making your guests pay for drinks is rude. If I saw that you hosted your reception at a fancy hotel and then made me pay for drinks, I would be very confused. Host what you can afford.
No, don’t put that on your Q&A. Most people don’t know the difference, and hosting a limited selection is fine.
Post # 3
Open bar is all I know in my area and social circle. these threads normally go south so I won’t insert my opinion. Do what makes you happy!
Post # 4
I covered beer and wine and all non-alcoholic beverages throughout the night. We did let people have the option of buying other drinks if they wanted to, and a few got martinis but for the most part it was beer and wine all of the way. I like the way we did it personally.
Post # 5
I’ve only been to one cash bar wedding, most among our circle are open bar. Please don’t put anything about limiting your guests consumption on your website. They are adults and don’t need to be told how much they can drink. If you can’t afford the open bar do a limited bar of beer and wine.
Post # 7
I wish it was at a fancy hotel. I picked all the moderately priced venues to look at. It’s at the Sheraton. I’m in the Los Angeles area so unless I got married at the parks and rec, there’s no getting around the fees. Just food is $20k. I never minded paying drinks at my friends weddings, seems like cash bar is the norm rather than the exception. I would rather have the option to have alcohol, than a dry wedding. Went to one of those and wished I could buy a drink. I totally would rather pay for the drinks but $10,000!? I am jealous when I hear that others can buy liquor at Costco and serve their own drinks. Other similarly priced hotels didn’t have quite the cost for open bar, but they got you on the hors d’oevres.
Post # 8
I will say that while I’m very pro open bar or limited hosted bar, I’d rather have a cash bar than nothing. i just hate having to shell out $8 for a drink. Wedding venues seem to charge higher prices than bars and restaurants and it sucks.
Post # 9
TheLadyA : ha ha. I’m new so I haven’t seen too much about the topic. All the ones I read seem to mention switching to cash bar. I’m sure there are a lot of opinions. I just wanted to see the majority because I actually don’t see the posts from the open bar or hosted bar people. I get why people do the cash bar as it’s so expensive to have booze. But no bar seems worse.
Post # 10
We did hosted, with served wine and drink tickets. No minors recieved tickets. Some of the guests we were concerned about if we had an open bar didn’t get wasted. There were extra tickets to go around.
Post # 11
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter's Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
We have unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks, but spirits will be on a cash bar basis. This is pretty normal around this area – every wedding I’ve been to has had this so I feel like it’s fine.
Post # 12
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
crzyorchid: I think if that is hw you feel then you should do drink tickets – two or three per person for after dinner (which is usually more than enough) as well as a open during cocktails. Other option is to provide non-alcoholic only and the rest cash. And the provide all drinks is a regional thing, not an ettiquette thing (it drives me crazy when people say this). In my region the thing people typically do is either all cash or have open during cocktail hour, provide wine during dinner and cash after dinner. I have been to only one open bar. Whatever you do you should be comfortable with what you choose.You could also choose to provide only a certain type of liquore all night.
Post # 13
crzyorchid: I would do one of a few things. 1. Find a different venue, maybe south of LA? I know Stone Brewery, in Escondido, has awesome spaces for weddings…but that may be too far and not what you want. If you stay near LA, you might want to keep searching…art galleries? Something different? You might find a cheaper option. 2. Do beer, wine, and non-alcohol drinks only (if it’s an option), as another poster said. Then if people want hard liquor they can pay for it. 3. Elope!!!
Post # 14
crzyorchid: There are a lot of people with strong views when it comes to bars at weddings lol.
Post # 15
Must weddings I have gone to host beer and wine which I’m fine with. I would rather have the option to purchase my alcohol over no alcohol being offered.
ETA: what is the norm for your social circle?