(Closed) Open Bar Rant

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

You shouldn’t feel so upset.  I believe there was a post going around about how insensitive the word "tacky" can be to others.  Your wedding will be about you and your fiance, and will be as beautiful and wonderful as you hoped it could be.  Yes, some people prefer an open bar, but it is customary to have a cash bar, or a limited open bar at other weddings all over the country and you shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrased about it.  You seem to have put a lot of thought into your planning.  By saving the money on the bar, where did you put it towards flowers?

I saved a lot of money on my reception by not getting all the extras at the catering hall.  Such as candy table/desserts table, or ice sculptures.  We instead used up the money towards our photography package where we overspent but overall we were glad with our decision.  Just as I’m sure you will be/are about your decisions regarding the wedding.

 

Post # 4
Member
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I think your reception will be amazing and the only ones that bitch about it will be the ones that would bitch about something else if you DID have an open bar. 

We’re not having a bar at all! We’re having a luncheon reception and there will be wine service included. That’s it. If anyone thinks that’s tacky or cheap, they can bite me! Why is unlimited free alcohol considered the ne plus ultra of hospitality? If I had friends over to my house, I’d probably crack a bottle or two of wine. I suppose that’s tacky and I should fully stock my alcohol cabinet so that I can provide them with the liquor of their choice.

Ooh, I sound a little ranty, don’t I? 🙂

Post # 5
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

I have to agree… and add: I have only been to one wedding that had a completely open bar in my entire adult life. All of the others that were beer and wine (sometimes with a few signature cocktails), but if you wanted a stiff drink you were on your own! There is absolutely nothing wrong with serving only certain types of alcohol, especially if this is the norm in your social circle/region/family. We had wine and beer only and people still had lots to drink!

Post # 6
Member
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’ll admit – I’ve posted on the pro-open bar side of this debate, though the word "tacky" is really offensive and I don’t think applies. Not having an open bar is your choice and I think you clearly have a lot of valid reasons for doing so. The only thing I’ll say is just make sure your guests know that beforehand. A lot of people just don’t think to carry cash all the time, especially to a wedding. I went to a beer/wine wedding recently where they did the open bar for the cocktail hour and then liquor drinks were cash during the reception, and while I wasn’t like OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS HOW DARE THEY, I would have appreciated knowing beforehand because I prefer liquor and didn’t have cash on me. I ended up bumming money off people all night and having to run around the hotel the next day before everybody left paying back 2 bucks here and 2 bucks there – really annoying!

Post # 7
Member
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

I don’t think open wine/champagne bar and cash drinks is tacky at all. My personal feeling is that I don’t want my guests, who probably are also buying me a gift and spending money to be with us, to have to open their wallets again once they get there… so we’re having open beer/wine and no hard liquor at all (my venue doesn’t even give the option of a no-host full bar, or I would have considered that much–it’s another few thousand to host hard liquor and I don’t think it’s worth it on my budget). I think as long as you are providing a meal and something to drink to go with it, it’s not that big of a deal to charge for cocktails.

Post # 8
Member
2250 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

your wedding sounds great! I wouldn’t worry about what people say on here, and besides lots of things are tacky or not depending on the situation. MOB in white? you would say tacky but some brides choose to put the bridesmaids in white and I saw phtos of a wedding here everyone was in white. Stunning. also having a wedding where some things are extreme like i think a huge hall with lavish decorations and a cheap buffet is a totally different story from a simple buffet at a more simple wedding. The gist is that guests want to feel welcomed and it sounds like you can’t wait to share your day with your guests!

Post # 10
Member
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

@Chantellamus – overall I believe weddingbee is about being a positive community that exchanges ideas.  If everyone thought the same way and had the taste and ideas what would there be to exchange.  There wouldn’t be any new ideas or visions for people to relate to.

Please don’t be afraid to post things in the future.  Hopefully your little rant, will make someone else feel better about not doing an open bar.

Post # 12
Member
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

we had an open bar but only served hors duerves (spelling?) instead of dinner (the theme was ‘evening cocktail party’). when describing it to people, lots of people thought it would be tacky. screw em is what i say. youre providing wine so its not like people will only have water to drink.  if youre gonna charge for cocktails, just make sure its on the website or spread the word so people know to carry cash.

Post # 13
Member
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I am on the pro-open bar side of this coin, but what I think is really important is communicating with your guests before they arrive.  I’m not from an area where cash bars are done frequently, and I have been very surprised when I discover (without much cash in my wallet, of course) that I have to pay for my own drinks.  I do think you need to make sure everyone has the right expectations so no one is disappointed.  (The same way you wouldn’t have a 5:30 pm reception without making sure everyone knew that in advance.)

Post # 14
Member
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I debated with this issue as well as I have uncles that are big drinkers and tend to drive home drunk…we decided to host the cocktail hour only and then turn it over to a cash bar after. We posted the information on our website and are passing on the information word of mouth.

Post # 15
Member
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

At first we thought about not having a bar at all because 1) we can’t afford an open bar and 2) I had read in several magazines and on several blogs that having a cash bar was indeed tacky.  Well, during our first meeting with our venue coordinator, she flat out said, well about 75 to 80% of the weddings we do here have a cash bar.  That sold me so we went with a cash bar.  I’m not doing wine/beer, we are doing unlimited iced tea, but for the most part my family feels that if a person wants booze they can pay for it themselves.  I am having my bridal party and immediate family on a single tab as a way to say thank you for everything they have done for the wedding, but even that tab is limited to beer and wine.  I asked all of them first, and they said, hey we are just happy to be there anything extra is just icing on the cake.

There have been several posts that reference not carrying cash…our venue allows for people to open tabs…and most people always have a debit or credit card.

Post # 16
Member
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

It is becoming more and more customary to have a limited bar. You could just leave it at that so people don’t even have the slightest excuse to balk at forking out cash for anything. Not that I think you even HAVE to provide alcohol–we had a perfectly lovely dry reception–but if you feel like treating your guests to something, that is a good way to do it. There are hundreds of way to configure the bar, keep your wallets in check, and keep your guests as happy as humanly possible. But as some others have said, someone will find something to criticize–just brace yourself for that. As long as YOU and your husband are happy with YOUR wedding, that is all that really matters. These people are there to celbrate your union–they don’t need to get plastered for free to accomplish that!

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