Post # 1
Now I know everyone has their own opinions of this but please if you have been a guest at a wedding that has done this or did this for your own wedding. What were your thoughts. Unfortunately the person who was paying for the bar decided to take his money out of the pool and is now giving us a maximum of $700 and there are no options to bring your own liquor in.
We are goin to have the first hour be open bar whatever you like (we have to have a cap of 1500 though) and then after that it will be cash bar for the remainder of the night (until midnight) We are hoping to find some savings somewhere to atleast be able to provide beer wine and soda for 3 hours but I am unsure if it can be done.
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta
@Waitingbee57: I know people can be crazy when it comes to cash bars. Every wedding I have ever been to had a portion a cash bar. We are buying bottles of wine from the venue and paying for unlimited juice, pop, coffee, tea, so the bartenders can make mimosas and spritzers at no extra cost. If guests want something other than that it is a cash bar. We also can’t bring any food or drink in. We will be paying about $1600 for drinks total, including tax and grat.
Serve wine for supper (do they let you buy bottles of wine?)
Open bar for cocktail hour (limit options?)
Serve just beer, wine all night (cash bar for everything else)
Post # 4
@Waitingbee57: I would try to find a way around doing it that way. If you advertise that it’s free for the first hour, people will try to get as many drinks as possible. That won’t work. If you don’t advertise, people won’t know to bring money. It’s a lose/lose situation.
You have nine months to save money…figure out how much you can save, find a way to add some, and then figure out how much alcohol you can afford. Serve that.
Post # 5
Hi @Waitingbee57: As you are well aware (by your OP) these posts rarely go well… so be prepared for that
In so much as with longer Receptions in Canada, and other Commonwealth Countries a Co-Hosted Bar is far more popular than in the USA where Receptions are much much shorter and the Open Bar is King.
It truly comes down to WHERE you are, and what the Local / Family Custom is.
Where I live in Canada, this would all be quite acceptable.
Infact, my First Wedding looked a lot like this. We had an Open Bar for the Cocktail Hour (Wedding Punch & Champagne Fountain), then served Wine with Dinner (1 Red & 1 White per table), Bubbly for Toasting… and after Dinner people were on their own for the Dance / Party part of the evening.
With having Distinct Parts of the Evening it made things much easier to manage from a logistically / Bar point of view … in that no one had to suddenly pull the plug when a certain Dollar Amount / Quota was reached. That would be awkward IMO… and a lot harder to budget for.
Something to think about
Post # 6
Would it be an option financially to host a bar that is only beer and wine? I would rather have that than find out that I should have brought cash for the bar.
And, if you have a 1500 limit for a single hour, that’s going to be hard to keep track of.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse
@This Time Round: curious where in Canada you are?
Post # 8
If you do this, I suggest you secure some of the hosted drinks for bridal party members/VIPs who might be taking pics w you etc during cocktail hour and likely until after your tab runs out. Since those VIPs have probably put the most time and money into the wedding, it stings a bit if right after the ceremony, you shout out that you’re only paying for a certain amt so ppl better drink all they can quickly during cocktail hour (ensuring your VIPs are left as only ones who never got a hosted drink).
Post # 9
I e would do open beer, and wine, but liquor available for purchase. It’s a nice option if credit cards are accepted.
Post # 10
I was a guest at one wedding that was open bar for cocktail hour then cash for the reception and I wouldn’t advise going that route. Aside from violating basic etiquette of not letting your guests pay for anything, it was awkward as there was no warning and embarrasing when you have no cash to buy another drink. In my case, the bride promised a lot of other things that weren’t there, so that was also part of the disappointment.
If I were in your place, I’d try to save up/cut other expenses. I think guests care more about drinks and food than flowers and decor. Or have just wine/beer or a dry wedding. I firmly believe only providing what you can afford.
Post # 11
@Pixienickie: @peachacid: @This Time Round: @MsJ2theZ: @LDay1983: @Shkragoldfish: @Jamieg: @NYMango:
Thank you all for all of your suggestions. We are looking at our budget and we are on a very very small budget of 10K (with the money his father was supposed to give us) everything is minimal. Beer, Wine, Soda for 3 hours is 14/person for 140 people plus 150 for 2 bartenders 18% tip and 7.75% Tax. It comes to about 2600 (more than that I think) for open house bar for 3 hours it is about 18/person for 140 people plus everything for the wine bar. it comes to about $3200. Right now our plan is to put a limit in place of 1500 for the cocktail hour (this is something the venue does all the time and it was their idea). We are going to try to pick up a second job, sell things we done need, Babysit, and do some odd jobs to come up with some extra money for the wedding but truth be told we dont know what we could do. I work 40 + hours a week from 10:30 in the morning until 8pm so my day is basically gone Tuesday through saturday (saturday I work 9am – 2pm) And he stays home with out son during the week and works a part time job and goes to school. What are some other creative ways that you ladies know of to make additional income?
The original question for all of this is if you have done this please share your experiences. I know how much having a cash bar sucks and I assure you I do not want to do it but we are not receiving a big chunk out of our budget and our wedding is 8 months away. We have cut everything we can…we really cant cut much more.
Post # 12
@This Time Round:
Thank you for sharing your experiences with this I will take them into consideration.
Post # 13
@Waitingbee57: sorry I wasn’t clear in my post. I think it works just fine as long as you arrange in advance for someone to bring some drinks on your tab to (or set some aside for) anybody who’s in your bridal party/doing pics w/you during cocktail hour. I went to a wedding w/cocktail hour paid for on a tab and the rest cash bar and imo it went perfectly fine (and ppl drank plenty and had plenty of fun) even though it wasn’t common for the area etc. The only thing I think that could have gone better is that 1 or 2 drinks on your tab be given to your bridal party or whatever VIPs are stuck taking pics w/you during the free cocktail hour because they have also put the most work into and paid the most for your wedding. It’s kinda rude to only provide a drink for ppl who you aren’t as close to.
Post # 14
@Shkragoldfish: This is a great idea we are actually paying for drink tickets (I know tacky) for our wedding party so they will have atleast 3 tickets and we will be be able to put some of their drinks on our tab as well.
Post # 15
@Waitingbee57: I don’t have a problem with it. I’ve been to lots of weddings where there’s a tab, when the limit is reached it switches to cash. No one ever cares. (I would just ask your bartender to limit the number of drinks per person at a time so that no one ‘stocks up’ on rum and cokes for the night – i’ve seen people try).
Post # 16
@Shkragoldfish: I was writing that reply when you replied. That is exactly what we are doing. We are providing each person of the wedding party with 3 drink tickets and letting them pickout there own drink throughout the reception.