Open bar?

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
2915 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

I am personally not offended by a cash bar. I’ve been to weddings with them and have had a great time. 

Post # 4
3265 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

We’re having an open bar. FI really wanted it. It was surprisingly only a few dollars more per person.

Is there any chance you can do a limited open bar? Signature cocktails, only a couple types beers, something like that? If not, just spread the word that it’s a cash bar before the wedding.

Post # 5
1002 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I’ve never been to a wedding with a cash bar.  With that being said, I would not think anything negative if I had gone to a wedding that was.  It’s your preference to spend your money where you want, I just would make sure that guests know ahead of time that it will not be an open bar so they can budget accordingly and bring cash if the bar doesn’t accept cc’s.

Post # 6
2787 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I think people who get offended by cash bars are a lot fewer than they appear to be on wedding websites.  The biggest reason to have one that people site I find a bit silly.  They state if you are hosting a party, would you expect your guests to pay for their alcohol.  In my circle, if I host a party, my friends bring alcohol weather I ask them too or not.  It goes double for my family.  Most of the time they come with food too.  Yes, I’m hosting, but 90% of the time where I’m from that means I am offering a place to party, not that I’m expected to offer everything for the party. 

Post # 7
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Can you have beer and wine? A few kegs and some bottles of wine can be done on a budget and you can offer cocktails on a cash bar basis.

Post # 8
2878 posts
Sugar bee

@SammyI:  No way ! We’re paying enough wine for the dinner, but if guests want to drink more, they’ll have to buy extra wine bottles themselves (our venue is in a vineyard). We’re having a banquet. Alcohol is very expensive in Canada, we’re certainly not putting ourself into debts for an open bar. 

@Misswhowedding:  Exactly the same in my social circle and family.

Post # 9
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

No open bar, it isn’t common where I live. I also had a Sunday afternoon wedding so there wasn’t a party for people to drink at. We served wine with the meal because we didn’t want to seem cheap!

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

@SammyI:  I had an open bar at my wedding, but I had my wedding at a restaurant not a traditional wedding venue so costs were lower than they would have been at a traditional venue.

I grew up in MA, hence have a lot of friends there that got married. I think every wedding that I went to for them was a cash bar (with maybe an open bar cocktail hour), and I wasn’t offended. However, DH’s friends who got married are all from upstate NY and cash bars are unheard of for them (all his weddings that we went to were open bar).

Could you maybe just do two bottles of wine (red/white) at each table? One of my MA friends had a cash bar but with wine bottles at the tables, and her wedding was on the “budget” side.

Post # 11
657 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

We had an open bar. I have never been to a cash bar, people are really against them in my area.

Post # 12
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

We had unlimited Mimosas only (it was a luncheon), and it was $2/pp for the 3 hour reception!


Post # 13
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@Misswhowedding:  I think you’re mistaken about most people not caring about cash bars.  On a forum, people are anonymous, and therefore more likely to be honest.  No one is going to tell the bride and groom that cash bars suck.

Post # 14
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@SammyI:  yes, we had an open bar but it’s not mandatory. As long as you, as the hosts, provide reasonable beverages to your guests and don’t ask them to pay, you’re fine.

Post # 15
8480 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

We had an open bar because we were at a distillery and because I love booze (and know my friends do too).

Open bars are fairly common around here, even if they are just wine and beer (fine by me).  When I was younger I went to some cash bars but I think as most of my friends are now older they can afford more.

Not a big fan of cash bars.  Now, I’ll still stay and try to have fun but if the reception isn’t really fun then I’ll be more likely to leave.  I can drink for free at home.  And if it wasn’t that much fun I’d rather be at a bar buying my drinks.  I will say that the weddings I had the most fun at all had an open bar (whether just beer and wine or full).

At most places, it’s not too bad ($ wise) to do just beer and wine.  That is definitely adequate!

Post # 16
8387 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@SammyI:  I don’t drink, so as long as there is soda I’m perfectly content.  We did have an open bar because we knew our guests would enjoy it, but I slashed my entire decor budget down to $400 to do it (including flowers).  Every couple has different priorities when it comes to budgeting for the wedding, but I think it’s important to stick to your budget no matter what those priorities are.  I’m generally not a fan of cash bars, but paying for a soda doesn’t really break the bank.

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