(Closed) Open/Cash bars norm in Boston Area

posted 9 years ago in Boston
Post # 3
Member
1776 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

All the weddings I have gone to have had a one-hour open bar at the beginning of the night and a cash bar after that.

Post # 4
Member
74 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

Ahh the Open Bar question….I do not think there is a "Boston standard" for this question. I have been to my fair share of New England weddings and everytime the bar situation is different.

Etiquitte tells you that your guests are guests and should be treated as such. So the best thing to do in my opinion is to offer as much as you can afford, without sarificing your budget or putting yourself in debt. If that means Beer and Wine only for the evening so be it. If that means wine on the table and soft drinks, so be it. If that means only a "champagne" toast so be it.

Talk to you venue about the options available…just not the standard typical offerings that appear in the catering menu and pick whats going to be right for you.

Note: people can and will  get angry….but they will get over it. 🙂

 

Post # 5
Member
538 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

In my family/group of friends, we have mainly gone to weddings with just one hour open bar (the coktail hour), then cash bar after that. I have only been to one wedding with an open bar all night and it was beer and wine only. Then another wedding that was cash bar all night.

 I think in New England it is more normal to have a cash bar than other parts of the country. I also think over all costs of weddings are higher here so people understand the cash bar more than they would if you were in an area with smaller overall costs.

Post # 6
Member
2022 posts
Buzzing bee

Most weddings I’ve been to around here have been open bar or open beer and wine all night.

Post # 7
Member
11 posts
Newbee

Open bar is common, but your guests will deal with whatever you can provide them.

I agree with brideesq. Depending on your venue and vendor rules, it’s worth trying to negotiate an arrangement. I have heard of beer/wine/soft drinks only, or "consumption bar", where you pay for the bar up to a set $$ amount, and then once that’s met, it’s cash bar only. My friend was able to provide all the beer and wine (big trip to Costco!) for her reception, and had the catering people just "serve" it (which was required for insurance reasons). Her caterer had to agree but they still got the gratuity for service so everyone was happy.

Post # 8
Member
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We’re doing beer and wine all night.  My sister did the same and people were fine with it.  I knew I didn’t want people doing shots, or making me do them!!  The easiest way was to cut out hard liquor.  Our wedding is also in October, so I’m thinking people will be less likely to want a fruity drink with an umbrella….KWIM?  If we worked at it, I’m sure we could have a full bar budget-wise, but I really just don’t want it. 

I photograph weddings and it’s been a half-and-half mix of open bar vs. cash bar.  I do remember one wedding where I overheard the guests saying how they had to go find an ATM.  The wedding was in NH in the middle of nowhere so driving to an ATM was going to be a DRIVE.  So understandably they were a little annoyed.  The bride and groom were just out of college, and had invited a ton of college friends, so I think maybe the guests weren’t familiar with attending weddings since it was the first one in their group.  In that case, a heads up would have been nice, you know?

Post # 9
Member
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Ha Ha Ha… if I knew the answer to this one I wouldn’t have made the post I did yesterday, LOL!

With all the feedback I got yesterday though, I think I am going to just go with what we originally planned – money down on the bar and when it’s up, it’s up! What’s that saying? "You can’t please all of the people all of the time?"

Good Luck to you as well though!

Post # 10
Member
2022 posts
Buzzing bee

As an addendum to my prior post, I think that you should do whatever you feel comfortable with…PP said you can’t always please everyone, which is very true.  Don’t go for broke – go for what you can afford.  Is an open bar preferable for most?  Yeah, probably, but not if it will be a hardship!

Post # 11
Member
18 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I have personally never been to a wedding that didn’t have open bar or at least open beer/wine/sig cocktail all night. That applies to Boston weddings as well as those out of state… I would try to go for beer/wine if you can swing it but honestly just do whatever works best for you & your FI as well as your bottom line!

Post # 12
Member
1428 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve been to weddings in this area that were open bar all night as well as open bar for the first half-hour, open bar during cocktail hour, and hosted beer and wine only. I think you should do whatever you can afford and are the most comfortable with.In my family, open bar tends to be the norm, but in my circle of friends, anything goes. It’s lovely to go to a wedding and find out it’s open bar all night, but I’m always prepared with cash in my purse. 🙂
I have to add, it’s NEVER made me angry to find out it’s a cash bar, more so it’s a pleasant surprise to find out there’s an open bar. But I’ve never had any negative feelings towards the B & G if they had a cash bar. Just my opinion FWIW.

Post # 13
Member
538 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I agree with happilywaiting, I haven’t ever been mad either at a cash bar. It is nicer to have an open bar, but you can’t blame a couple who can’t afford it.

Post # 14
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee

I’m in Boston and most weddings I’ve been to are cash bar. I’ve never minded or even really thought twice about it.

 

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

For our wedding we did open bar for one hour (cocktail hour) and wine with dinner. After that it was a cash bar. We spread the word to our close friends and family and every still had a great time. I didn’t hear one word of complaint. As long as you do what’s right for your budget – your guests will be fine!

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