is final hour cash bar ok? PLEASE HELP

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
1302 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@laurelewrigley:  Yes, I think it would be tacky to just have the last hour be cash bar. I would suck up the exptra expense and pay for the additional 1 hour, or forgo the $300 to the DJ and end the reception at 9.

Post # 4
Member
1472 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@laurelewrigley:  I don’t think it’s tacky, but I do think you haven’t warned your guests, so they won’t be prepared. I know you said you don’t have other options, but could you offer just beer and wine that last hour? If not, I think it’d be better to just have a sign on the bar that says “the bar will close at 9 p.m.” and not offer drinks after 9. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. 

Post # 5
Member
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@laurelewrigley: I have this same situation. I’m having my reception at a restaurant, and we are having a 4 hour open bar (5-9 pm), which I think is generous. I think by 9 pm (lots of people traveling an hour + to the wedding), people will either be leaving or on their way out to go bar-hopping. I just can’t imagine people wanting to spend 5 hours at a restaurant…

However, if it is really THAT tacky, we may add another hour… I’m going to see what consensus is on the Board.

Maybe you should add a poll?

Post # 7
Member
526 posts
Busy bee

@Jess1483:  A small percentage of our guests were left in the last hour of our wedding, although they were drinkers.  but I would suggest seeing if the venue would do a tab for you for the last hour.  That way you don’t have to pay open bar for your whole guest list (you know grandma is going home early and not drinking a ton) but your friends who do drink and want to stay late still can drink and you won’t break the bank.

Post # 9
Member
1302 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@edgebee:  +1 This is a great idea. See if the venue will let you run a tab. I highly doubt there will be $1600 worth of alcohol bought in the last 1 hour and that way you will only have to pay for what is actually drank/drunken (?)

Post # 10
Member
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@edgebee:  That’s actually a good idea. I will check with my event coordinator about that possibility. Being European (where we are very generous with food and booze at weddings), cash bars and I just don’t resonate well, lol.

Post # 11
Member
2642 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I wouldn’t do a cash bar.  I think it will cause confusion and annoyance.  I would just stop serving alcohol 1 hour before the end.  It isn’t unheard of to do this.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been to weddings where last call was about an hour before the end.  It’s not ideal, but it’s ok.

Alternatively, is there any way to cut the uplighting so you can extend the bar?  I think guests care much more about the open bar than they do about uplighting.

 

ETA: I like edgebees suggestion.

 

Post # 12
Member
1244 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@laurelewrigley:  I agree with you. Three hours of an open bar is plenty! No one needs to be gulping down liquor after 9 as the night is about to end, anyway. And if they need more liquor, they still have the perfectly fine option of paying for it. The last wedding I went to was a cash bar the whole time–no one complained. You can have someone do an announcement before 9, maybe like at 8:30 or so and let people know that the open bar will be closing, kind of a last call  for free drinks. Or, at the start of the reception, announce something like, “The bride and groom are happy to provide an open bar until 9pm”. That way they know what’s up. Don’t sweat it, you’re being more than generous.

 

Post # 13
Member
1472 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@laurelewrigley:  Sure, whatever. I think either option is fine. At my wedding, very few people were still drinking by that point. I guess as long as you warn them… I was just figuring that if I wasn’t prepared for a cash bar and then it switched to a cash bar, I’d be more upset than if it were just closed at 9. But I wouldn’t be that upset either way. So do what you want!

Post # 15
Member
11740 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We closed down our bar 30 minutes before the reception ended on purpose, because we didn’t want people grabbing a last drink then hitting the road.  I don’t think it’s tacky to close the bar an hour early, as long as you can still provide water/soft drinks for people who want drinks.

For what it’s worth, the bar was fairly deserted by the time we hit the last hour of the reception.  Everyone was already pretty buzzed and hitting the dance floor or catching up with friends/family members they hadn’t seen in a while!

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