Post # 1
Neither my FI or I are big drinkers, but he comes from a family that finds drinking together to be the ultimate bonding experience. I tend to be a no cash type of person (I always hated paying for sodas as a kid at my cousins’ weddings, at bars etc) but budget is coming into play.
My venue has an exclusive contract for bar service since it is a historical venue and they had problems with vendors scratching the floors in the past. We cannot bring in our own alcohol. We are looking to host beer and wine for part of the reception (4 hours max) since we can’t afford anything else and guests would be able to purchase any type of hard liquor during that time if they wanted it.
We are having a 4:00pm reception on a Sunday, dinner served at 5:30 pm.
Which options do you think would be best? I’m worried people will be mad if it switches from hosted to cash on them but honestly I think the ammount we would spend on this (almost 5k) probably isn’t even worth it
Post # 3
Geeze, that’s a lot for a bar! I voted that you have the hosted bar for cocktail hour, 3 hours during the reception (closed for dinner) and then cash bar at the end. But now that I think about it, I’m not sure that’s the best option. I think what would be best is to have a cash bar for cocktail hour then a hosted bar for 4 hours during the reception. Not everyone will be around for cocktail hour, but everyone will definitely be around for the reception.
Depending on the length of your reception, you could opt to close the bar down during dinner, or make the last hour or so cash only. But if you do switch to all cash at some point, you need to let your guests know. I’d recommend putting a sign up at the bar.
Post # 4
I vote none of the above. I think you should host the bar for the cocktail hour, close it during dinner (maybe have wine on tables?) and then open again for 3 hours. Since it’s a Sunday I doubt people will stay too late anyway.
Post # 5
@ummsgna: Let me say first that I COMPLETELY understand being on a budget- we, too are on a budget.
But then let me also say- having an ONLY cash bar for the entire evening is tacky. It really is.
The last wedding I went to a few months ago- it was open bar for cocktail hour, then it was hosted wine and beer and cash bar. That was fine.
How large is your wedding? I’m not a HUGE drinker, either, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to host.
Post # 6
@MrsEME: 170 people, about 15 are underage so they aren’t counted obv.
I don’t like cash bars either, as I stated right in my original post, but I figured I’d put it in the poll since it is the most budget friendly option other than a dry wedding.
The main issue I run into is I can’t afford to host more than 4 hours of the event even just hosting beer and wine, so it is how keep guests happy when the bar will have to be cut off eventually.
Post # 7
I think a hosted bar for most of the night and cash after is perfectly fine! I went to a wedding like this once and no one minded, we still had a great time. I just ended up paying for my last drink, towards the end of the night!
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World
How long is your reception? I think 4 hrs of hosted beer and wine is fine. Our cocktail hour started at 6, then reception was at 7 and ended at 11. I closed the bar an hour before ending time, so we had 4 hrs total (granted we had a full bar, but it was fine and no one went overboard and we even received a refund for the alcohol that wasn’t used).
Post # 9
@prisigtr: We have the venue until midnight but I don’t anticipate people staying for that long on a Sunday. We have months before we need to know for sure but I anticipate the majority of family will leave around 10 but my friends will stay until I kick them out 🙂
Post # 10
See if the will do a wine and beer cheaper. Or do open bar to 9:30 then close it with no open option.
Post # 11
- Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World
@ummsgna: Oh yeah, you have plenty of time!! Just saw your wedding date (one day after my 1st anni!). 🙂
Post # 12
I think you would be ok having the cocktail hour, close the bar for dinner, and then reopen for three hours. It’s a Sunday wedding and I just don’t see people getting all the way turnt up and staying out late. As a guest I have always appreciated a good cocktail hour while the pictures are being taken. Just make sure everyone knows the cut off time so they can get a refill 🙂
I’ve been to several weddings that are set up that way and no one thought it was tacky. One was a Saturday wedding and when the reception ended (10pm) we all moved to a local pub to keep the party going.
Post # 13
@ummsgna: another option is this (at least at our venue)- we can either tell them- host all night, OR we can prepay the amount we for sure want to host, and then we are told when it hits this mark. We can then choose to continue hosting OR turn it into a cash bar at that point.
Our wedding will be between 65 and 75 people I am guessing (we send out invites to 85 people)- it’s mostly family, our wedding party, and a few close friends. While our wedding party is CAPABLE of partying all night long- what we’re talking about doing is: whenever bride and groom make thier exit (somewhere between 10 and 11pm)- we will then turn the bar into cash bar. We aren’t having a sitdown dinner (butler passed and stationed hors’duevres), we aren’t doing a first dance (neither one of us are big dancers, so why do we want to feel uncomfortable on what’s supposed to be one of the best nights of our lives), and we aren’t even doing the whole cake cutting thing (we like cake pops!!)- so it’s a total mingle reception, which is why people might not stay suuuuuper late. We ARE having a DJ though- so who knows. Generally speaking, our venuw sort of shuts things down by 12am, which is totally cool by us.
So we don’t really know what’s going to end up happening bar wise- but we plan to only turn to cash after WE’VE left (and who knows….we might be there late!)
Post # 14
I vote a few hours of free booze then late pay-as-you-drink. I don’t drink (even before I was pregnant) but I don’t like the idea of people drinking all night then driving home so I would prob. cut booze off or limit it later on in the day. You might also spread the news a bit in case someone was waiting to drink later on, with dessert, etc.
Post # 15
You say you can afford wine and beer for four hours, so serve wine and beer. That’s not a dry wedding. I voted none of the above.