Post # 1
I am wondering what the breakdown is of people doing Open Bar vs. Cash Bar. I have been to very few weddings where there is an Open bar (which all depends on where you are from I believe) and we are doing an Open Bar during Cocktail hour, then cash bar. My parents (who are paying for our venue/food/drink) are VERY opposed to having an open bar. They are social drinkers, but they are afraid that people will abuse it. FI and I have decided that we really want an Open Bar for at least cocktail hour and are going to pay for that ourselves. I know in all the “Wedding Etiquette” books it says to NEVER have a cash bar… so I want to see what real people are doing!
Post # 3
I said full open bar for the whole wedding but that isn’t quite true. We’re doing beer/wine/champagne only to save money.
Post # 4
You are going to get a lot of responces from people who think cash bars are a no no. But in my area cash bars are the norm.
Post # 5
I have never been to a wedding with a cash bar.
Every wedding I’ve been to has been open bar and I never even bring cash to a wedding.
We are doing an open bar, cocktail hour & all of the reception.
We will be buying the alcohol ourselves and the caterer will serve it.
At all weddings I’ve been to the guests pay for nothing at the wedding & reception. I would never ask my guests to pay for drinks.
Post # 6
I too have never been to a cash bar wedding. They are just not done where I’m from. We are having a full premium open bar for our reception. We are also having an open tab for guests at the rehearsal dinner. (Just to give you an idea of what is the norm here.)
Post # 7
We are doing open bar but only having beer, wine & champaign. 🙂
Post # 8
Open bar. But I have to say, I just attended a wedding with a cash bar, and contrary to the complaints I heard beforehand–it was still fun. And I didn’t hear anyone complain after the fact.
Post # 9
You don’t have an option for providing beer and wine but leaving hard alcohol as cash.
Post # 10
I think you have answered your own question: your parents are VERY opposed to having an open bar. They are paying for it. Case closed!
Yes, it’s your wedding and “what you want” should normally be a consideration, but it’s also important not to take advantage. You are very lucky that your parents are paying for this, and you should respect their wishes not to have an open bar. I also think it’s great if you and your FI are going to foot the bill during cocktail hour to provide something for your guests at that point.
Heads up – you are going to have extremely hot opinions and possibly some arguments on this thread. I personally think open bar vs. cash bar is an extremely debatable with absolutely no right or wrong answer. It’s a unique situation in each case. It is not worth putting your parents into debt for, or having them be very uncomfortable over.
Post # 11
Full bar for 3 hrs (1 hr for cocktail and 2 hrs for reception) – the last hour of reception will be alcohol free – we want our guests to sober up AND we save some money that way too ….
Post # 12
Simply could not afford open bar…don’t feel bad about it at all.
And there was no way in hell I was going to cut my guest list in favor of alcohol.
Post # 13
Open bars are not the norm in my area, so neither me nor my family wanted to pay for it. FI and his family are used to open bars, but his family was not willing to help us out with it. So we compromised – open bar for the cocktail hour, we put a little money towards a hosted bar afterwards, but then it’ll go to cash bar once we hit that limit.
Post # 14
We’re doing an open bar all night, but that’s because the savings of having a cash bar weren’t worth it (to us) in the end. I’ve been to cash bar weddings, beer/wine only weddings, open bar weddings, weddings where the couple had a guest manning a margaritaville and that was the only drink option, etc – always seem to drink about the same amount, and I’ve always had fun. I think as long as word gets out about the bar being cash, so guests know to bring money, you’ll be fine.
Post # 15
Full open bar. I dont know. I never really saw it as an option, that’s just how it’s done around here.
Post # 16
I’ve never attended a wedding with cash bar. I think it’s a regional thing. It might be a good idea to let people know beforehand so that they come prepared. If it’s the norm where you live then that might not even be necessary. I’m doing an open bar just because that’s what’s expected around here.